By Yvonne Quahe, WBFN career & program advisor
Don’t you hate it when someone at a cocktail party comes up to you and very soon after initial introductions says, “What do you do?” You rather self-consciously mutter, “I am just a housewife,” or “I used to be an economist but now I am just a stay-at-home Mom”.
Actually, the last response was exactly what one participant said at a Jump Start Your Job Search workshop. In the past 10 years since her last job, she had raised 3 children, relocated to DC and completed her PhD. Would you say she was ‘just a stay-at-home Mom’? I think not.
But this is how she saw herself and all that she had achieved. The story we tell ourselves is the most important story of all, because it is what we believe, which in turn influences our feelings, behavior and ultimately the impact on us and our families. What story do you tell yourself?
Did you know that Mom-skills can transform your career? What are Mom-skills? Think about all that you do without hesitation, almost on autopilot.
- Remember how you coordinated your last international move.
Translation into work skills: coordination between multiples stakeholders, tolerance for ambiguity, working under pressure towards deadlines, conflict management
- Remember the first day you brought your first-born home. Did you know what to do? Did you have a manual? I know I learnt as I went along, by trial and sometimes great error. Translation into work skills: Being comfortable and able to deliver in new and challenging situations with good results.
- Remember asking other new mothers and more experienced mothers how they handled a colicky baby, a poor sleeper or a fussy eater.
Translation into work skills: Willingness to seek advice, gain another perspective.
- Remember trying to encourage or coax your children into doing what they didn’t want to do.
Translation into work skills: Being able to influence the crowd and persuade others when the group has competing interests.
- Remember dealing with teachers, fellow PTA members, or the difficult mother at the school gate or bus stop. For some of you, this may be the current situation.
Translation into work skills: Being able to collaborate with multiple stakeholders.
Sit down in your favorite chair with a cup of coffee or glass of wine. Reflect on what you did yesterday for your family but with a twist this time, translate it into a work skill.
To learn more about all the different skills you are gaining every day and in turn use them to tell your career story the next time someone asks “What do you do?”,Click Here to learn how
PS. Dads, don’t feel left out, do the same with a glass of beer in hand. Consider how you are honing your soft skills and how it will help you manage your work team