Women returning to the workforce often sell themselves short, partly because of society’s view that if you’re not in the paid workforce you are “doing nothing”.
The other part of this equation is because after a few years of dealing mainly with children and duties around the home, many women find own self esteem and self confidence is low as to what they have to offer in the world of work.
But as any savvy employer knows, a woman returning to the workplace brings with her extremely valuable skills and qualities.
Here’s a top ten list of the gifts, the blessings, the strengths that Workplace Reentry Women bring with them to the workplace …. . whether they know it or not!
Any woman running a home and family has to be able to at least 16 different things at one time!
Next time you see young mother in the grocery, with a couple of small children take the time to observe how many tasks she in undertaking at one time. This is skill and half and immensely valuable out in the world.
And that’s all before she gets to the checkout, where neither child wants to wait, and then getting everything and everyone back out to the car.
2. Problem Solver, Handling Emergencies, Troubleshooting:
Small problems seem like big problems to small people! Mum has to handle endless ‘emergencies’ and some real ones too, not to mention problems such as how to get the peanut and jelly sandwich out of the VCR (or even worse, the DVD player!)
This is just the tip of the iceberg of what an at home mum has to deal with.
3. Manager, Initiative, Self Directed:
She manages the family, the house, the meals, and everything else around the home. She has no instructions, no training, and no expert to turn to (unless her own mum)
4. Organized, Inventory Control:
Where is it? How much do we need? Keeping track of everything and anything is her job too. How do we get Jason to softball and Janet to ballet at opposite sides of town at the same time?
5. Creative, Innovative, Lifelong Learner:
Finding ways where no ways have been found before (to mess up the Star Trek saying atrociously!) This needs to be done, how are we going to do it? If there’s something you don’t know that you need to know – you learn it, you create it, you invent it.
6. Money Management, Budgeting:
Whether rich or ‘financially challenged’, money still has to be managed and budgets still have to be maintained. Whether it’s just the weekly grocery bill or when to buy a designer outfit, budgeting is always part and parcel of the job.
7. Reliability , Stable, Sense Of Responsibility:
Kids trust implicitly, and are totally reliant on mum to be there when she says she will, and take care of what they need taken care of. Even the most unreliable of women become much more responsible when she has a family to take care of.
8. Event Organization:
Ah, those parties. Birthday parties, Christmas parties, picnics, even holidays – mum is in charge of organization, making it fun and getting everything ready and put together.
9. Mediator, Interpersonal Skills:
Kids fight! Mum has to calm the waters, reinstate order, arrange compromises, and do it all with a very unsophisticated audience who just want what they want.
10. Coach, Mentor, Teacher:
Mothers teach by instructing, helping and also by modeling the behavior the want. Mothers can teach people who don’t want to learn it, and get it established as a habit. Now that’s a skill!
Children learn more from their parents than from school – albeit different things most of the time. Never underestimate a mother’s role as a teacher.
So there you have the top ten skills. All are directly transferable into the workplace. There are many more. But this is just taste of the wonderful gifts a workplace reentry woman brings with her when she goes back to work.
Don’t feel you have nothing to offer – instead celebrate your wonderful gifts and abilities and share them with the world.
© 2005 Fiona MacKay Young, a trained & experienced Coach and Career Consultant specializes in working with Women Reentering the Workplace, finding a job, or starting a business. Returning to work after 16 years at home, she believes you don’t have to settle for a low level job just to make ends meet – you can follow your heart and do what you love to do. She can help you. Fiona @fiona-online.com, http://www.fiona-online.com.