Balancing the demands of a successful career with the responsibilities of parenting is no small feat. Fortunately, being a working parent can provide professionals who are seeking a new role or promotion with a unique set of leadership skills to highlight on their résumés. Working parents’ daily experiences, from learning to manage their time well and displaying empathy to problem solving, can translate into valuable talents in the workplace.
Below, 10 Forbes Coaches Council members share aspects of being a working parent that professionals can legitimately draw upon to showcase their leadership abilities. By leveraging their experiences as parents, individuals can demonstrate resilience, adaptability and the ability to foster teamwork—qualities that make them exceptional candidates for leadership roles.
1. Managing Multiple People, Schedules And Projects
Managing is a skill that working parents become proficient in. They inherently have to manage multiple people, schedules and projects. This is a transferable skill that working parents should be speaking about when seeking a promotion. Don’t forget to have a few examples that highlight this skill. – Christopher Mullen, PhD, chrismullen.org
2. Communicating, Innovating And Being A Creative Resource
Have you implemented programs for your child or children that might be innovative? Many of my parental friends who have special needs children who are not students in traditional schools have had to become communicators, innovators and creative resources. By doing this you may have developed job-ready skills, but you may be underestimating these skills for use at your job. Investigate them. – John M. O’Connor, Career Pro Inc.
3. Listening, Solving Issues And Moving On To The Next
I know some people might think of multitasking as a valuable skill. Nevertheless, nobody is good at multitasking. Parents can be good at focusing on one task, listening to the issue, solving the main issue and moving on to the next one. All of this is done in a short amount of time. It’s not “multitasking”—it is “multi-skilling.” They are not specialists; they are generalists who are very, very good at juggling. Skilled generalists are underrated. – Julien Fortuit, Julien Fortuit Agency
4. Practicing Time Management And Prioritization Skills
Speaking for myself, parenting has up-leveled my time management and prioritization skills. I thought I was busy and over-committed before having kids, so after having kids, I had to get even better at managing my time and attention. It’s still a challenge, but for most parents, it’s a well-practiced competency. – Asia Bribiesca-Hedin, Bridgewell LLC Professional Services
5. Seeing Things From Different Perspectives
Being a parent forces you to see things from perspectives you’ve forgotten to consider and perspectives you never even considered possible. Bringing these same skills to your work as a leader can be a powerful way to gain the trust and understanding needed to drive change, even in the most complex organizations. – Carol Geffner, CB Vision LLC.
Forbes Coaches Council is an invitation-only community for leading business and career coaches. Do I qualify?
6. Empowering Teams And Focusing On The Growth Mindset
Effective leaders empower their teams and spend more time coaching and supporting them than actually doing the work themselves. Working parents can’t micromanage their kids, as they don’t have time. The growth mindset is triggered when you allow people to fail and learn. Teaching people to have a learning mindset is a powerful skill both at home and at work. – Alex Draper, DX Learning Solutions
7. Juggling Multiple Tasks And Prioritizing Efficiently
As a working parent, I have the necessary skills to juggle multiple tasks and prioritize efficiently. This allows me to lead teams effectively while staying organized and focused on my goals. My ability to stay composed in challenging situations and delegate responsibilities under tight deadlines demonstrates my competence in successfully leading projects. – Peter Boolkah, The Transition Guy
8. Staying Organized, Managing Time And Delegating
Showcase your leadership abilities by highlighting your strong organizational, time-management and delegation skills. Juggling the demands of parenthood and a career requires effective multitasking and the ability to make strategic decisions. These skills can demonstrate the individual’s potential for taking on additional responsibilities and leadership roles in the workplace. – Jonathan H. Westover, Ph.D, Human Capital Innovations, LLC
9. The Ability To Structure
Working parents seeking promotion have a crucial leadership ability they can draw attention to: the ability to structure. Working parents are masters of structure. Their calendar will be perfectly timed, organized and planned. They see how pieces can fit together in the short and long term and know how to use time more efficiently. – Carry Metkowski, Carry Metkowski
10. Being Empathetic, Flexible And Understanding
Working parents understand the complexity and unique challenges of balancing life and work in a way that an employee without kids simply cannot. This empathy, flexibility and understanding are required when seeking promotions and leadership roles within a company. Working parents should be sure to highlight their personal and professional organizational skills, solid time management and boundaries. – Michelle Rockwood, Unscripted Sales
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