Multitasking is the biggest transferable skill that parenting has brought working mums, according to a Workingmums.co.uk poll.
The poll found 43% put multi-tasking as the biggest transferable skill parenting had brought them, compared to 13% who said time management, 11% who said problem-solving, 3% who said dealing with difficult colleagues and 3% who gave other reasons such as prioritising and putting things in perspective. However, 27% said parenting had not had any impact on their transferable skills.
Of those who stated other skills, one woman gave the following list: “time management, problem solving, cooking, listening, supporting, communication skills, staying in control when stressed and multitasking”.
Another who said she was better able to put things in perspective since becoming a parent stated: “Work is not everything when you want a family. There are times I feel I was giving so much of my time and energy to my job when I should have concentrated on my family and me instead.”
Other experts have listed skills such as greater maturity.
Payal Gaglani-Bhatt set up her School of Mumagement blog to emphasise the links between parenting and management skills. She wants mums to be more confident about their skills rather than apologising for them.
She cites examples around negotiating with colleagues/toddlers and change management/managing the different phases of children’s lives.
She says parenting skills such as pre-planning, prioritising and resource and time management as vital in the workplace. “They become ingrained as a parent,” she says. “You do it naturally, but many people do not recognise this. It is not acknowledged. A lot of mums think they are just looking after their kids, but these soft skills they are developing make a big difference in the workplace.”