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NikkiVivian

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You’ve spent the most recent part of your life doing the most amazing, difficult, rewarding job of your entire life. That sounds pretty impressive right? So why are you trying to hide it?

Why when it comes to making the move back to a career are you glossing over this, or worse, trying to cover up the gap in your (paid) employment? Being a parent is not unusual, you’re not unique in this experience, yet when it comes to applying for a job, we tend to pretend we haven’t done it, like it’s a dirty, secret part of our lives that has no place for the career woman.

This is crazy to me. Being a parent equips you with a huge amount of skills that are only going to serve you well in the work place. Not only do you have all the skills and experience you had before you went on maternity leave, but you have a whole host of new abilities that you can add to your list. Becoming a Mum has helped you, not hindered you. Yes, it’s probably changed you, you’re probably not the same person you were before having kids but is that a bad thing? I certainly don’t believe so.

I think it’s total madness that when it comes to our careers we feel the need to apologise for being a Mum. Instead of looking at everything we’ve achieved; balancing family and career, going through monumental changes in our lives and embracing those changes, taking on a totally new way of life with no experience or training, taking multi-tasking to a new level and succeeding at all this, we brush it aside and don’t mention it for fear that it will go against us in the work place.

That time you spent focused on raising a family is a HUGE ACHIEVEMENT and one that should be embraced. Think about everything you’ve learnt during this time and use it. You had a career before kids, you’ve lost none of that but you’ve gained plenty. Be proud of being a Mum and focus on how it’s shaped you into the strong, capable, knowledgeable person you’ve become. That will get you further than trying to account for career breaks and focusing on what you’ve missed while you’ve been away.

You’ve spent the most recent part of your life doing the most amazing, difficult, rewarding job of your entire life. That sounds pretty impressive right? So why are you trying to hide it?

Why when it comes to making the move back to a career are you glossing over this, or worse, trying to cover up the gap in your (paid) employment? Being a parent is not unusual, you’re not unique in this experience, yet when it comes to applying for a job, we tend to pretend we haven’t done it, like it’s a dirty, secret part of our lives that has no place for the career woman.

This is crazy to me. Being a parent equips you with a huge amount of skills that are only going to serve you well in the work place. Not only do you have all the skills and experience you had before you went on maternity leave, but you have a whole host of new abilities that you can add to your list. Becoming a Mum has helped you, not hindered you. Yes, it’s probably changed you, you’re probably not the same person you were before having kids but is that a bad thing? I certainly don’t believe so.

I think it’s total madness that when it comes to our careers we feel the need to apologise for being a Mum. Instead of looking at everything we’ve achieved; balancing family and career, going through monumental changes in our lives and embracing those changes, taking on a totally new way of life with no experience or training, taking multi-tasking to a new level and succeeding at all this, we brush it aside and don’t mention it for fear that it will go against us in the work place.

That time you spent focused on raising a family is a HUGE ACHIEVEMENT and one that should be embraced. Think about everything you’ve learnt during this time and use it. You had a career before kids, you’ve lost none of that but you’ve gained plenty. Be proud of being a Mum and focus on how it’s shaped you into the strong, capable, knowledgeable person you’ve become. That will get you further than trying to account for career breaks and focusing on what you’ve missed while you’ve been away.

You’ve spent the most recent part of your life doing the most amazing, difficult, rewarding job of your entire life. That sounds pretty impressive right? So why are you trying to hide it?

Why when it comes to making the move back to a career are you glossing over this, or worse, trying to cover up the gap in your (paid) employment? Being a parent is not unusual, you’re not unique in this experience, yet when it comes to applying for a job, we tend to pretend we haven’t done it, like it’s a dirty, secret part of our lives that has no place for the career woman.

This is crazy to me. Being a parent equips you with a huge amount of skills that are only going to serve you well in the work place. Not only do you have all the skills and experience you had before you went on maternity leave, but you have a whole host of new abilities that you can add to your list. Becoming a Mum has helped you, not hindered you. Yes, it’s probably changed you, you’re probably not the same person you were before having kids but is that a bad thing? I certainly don’t believe so.

I think it’s total madness that when it comes to our careers we feel the need to apologise for being a Mum. Instead of looking at everything we’ve achieved; balancing family and career, going through monumental changes in our lives and embracing those changes, taking on a totally new way of life with no experience or training, taking multi-tasking to a new level and succeeding at all this, we brush it aside and don’t mention it for fear that it will go against us in the work place.

That time you spent focused on raising a family is a HUGE ACHIEVEMENT and one that should be embraced. Think about everything you’ve learnt during this time and use it. You had a career before kids, you’ve lost none of that but you’ve gained plenty. Be proud of being a Mum and focus on how it’s shaped you into the strong, capable, knowledgeable person you’ve become. That will get you further than trying to account for career breaks and focusing on what you’ve missed while you’ve been away.

Let’s talk about career breaks. Generally these are seen as a positive thing. Students that take time out after studying to travel and work or volunteer abroad. Other’s take time to pursue a passion and become more expert at it.
A huge proportion of the population take a career break to become a parent by taking extended time off to raise a family, this is also a career break. So why is this version of a career break viewed so negatively?
I’ve put together a little comparison list of things you learn on a career break working abroad compared to things you learn on maternity leave/extended leave to raise a family. It might surprise you.

 

Travelling abroad to work                             Stay at home parent

 

 

Communication
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Communicating with people in different cultures, often who speak a different language means that you have learnt to adapt your communication style by perfecting other means of communication.

Communicating with a small child means that you not only have to adapt your style of communication, but you become so in tuned with this little person that you are able to identify what they want through a sound or gestures alone.

Working to budgets
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With no income for a set period, you have learnt to budget effectively. You have had to make adjustments at short notice due to unforeseen costs and made sure all essentials are covered for the entire trip.

Maternity pay and then surviving solely on a partner’s income means you have made cut backs and adjustments to spending. This has given you experience in working to budgets and making necessary changes to make sure the essential things are still accessible.

Organisation
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Planning a trip abroad requires a great deal of organisation. You have put together itineraries, organised transport and accommodation and done all of this within a set time frame.

As a parent, you organise your time and schedule as before, but also those of the rest of the family. Coordinating things so that everyone is happy and commitments don’t impact on each other is a skill you have developed.

Negotiating
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Working abroad in certain countries requires you to negotiate or barter for services including transportation, food and accommodation.

Getting children to get dressed, eat a decent meal, go to bed, all requires negotiation techniques.

Adaptability
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Travelling to different countries requires you to adapt to new cultures quickly. You have learnt to accustom yourself to other cultures.

Going from working full time and being responsible for only yourself to being at home all the time and responsible for another person, means you have learnt to be incredibly adaptable in terms of lifestyle and mindset.

 

So, there you have it. If you’re thinking your time as a stay at home parent doesn’t account for much, I hope this goes someway to helping you see things differently. The skills you learn from being a parent should never be glossed over and should be used to boost your confidence when you return to a career, not be detrimental.