Navigating the complex landscape of pregnancy and work can be challenging. Stories shared by advocates like Pregnant then Screwed shed light on the discrimination faced by individuals who choose to start or expand their families. Systemic changes are needed to provide unwavering support for those on the journey of parenthood, ensuring that they can maintain successful careers. However, until these systemic shifts materialise to eradicate discrimination, how can working parents navigate the daily career transitions that arise with the arrival of children?
The influence of having a baby on one’s career is undeniable. The glaring disparities highlighted by Pregnant then Screwed underscore the prevalence of discrimination against expectant parents. It’s likely that all working parents have felt the apprehension that comes with anticipating a child’s arrival while grappling with concerns about their career’s future.
The Challenge Faced by Working Parents, colloquially known as “the colossal task of simultaneously earning a living, advancing a career, and being a dedicated, loving parent,” is an authentic obstacle that every parent confronts. The introduction of children fundamentally transforms the work environment. However, there are several ways in which having a child can positively reshape your career trajectory.
The pandemic has unequivocally demonstrated that working parents are adept multitaskers. Yet, parenting imparts numerous other translatable skills that significantly enhance employability. The skills developed through parenting are applicable in various professional scenarios, making them impressive additions to your CV. While some of these capabilities might be second nature to you, let’s take a moment to shed light on the attributes that both we (and potential employers) recognise within you.
Masters of time management, parents adeptly coordinate getting a young child up, dressed, fed, and off to school or daycare, all while managing their own morning routine and addressing queries like, “Do bees defecate?” and “Mommy, where’s my Lego seahorse?” This skillset, honed without the aid of magical watches, positions you to deftly handle any task your employer presents, all while verifying that yes, bees indeed do defecate.
With the management of countless tasks daily, parents acquire a keen sense of which responsibilities demand immediate attention and which should take precedence. Given the perpetual quest to conquer to-do lists spanning multiple pages, parents have become experts at identifying priorities and efficiently addressing them—a skill any supervisor would value.
Parents excel as super organisers, adept at juggling calendars, family initiatives, meal plans, social schedules, and more. In a realm brimming with activities, your proficiency in managing such complexities translates into a remarkable ability to oversee multiple projects, stakeholders, and expectations—an attribute in high demand.
Every sector requires creative problem solvers, and none excel quite like parents. Babies and children present a constant array of practical and emotional challenges that demand solutions. Whether you’re elucidating the meaning of a word, mediating sibling or friend disputes, repairing broken toys, or tending to bumps and scrapes, you assume the role of Chief Solutions Manager—an asset that effortlessly transitions to the professional realm.
Ever endeavoured to reason with a toddler who insists on eating a banana off the floor? Recall the art of persuading your child that holding hands while crossing the road is non-negotiable? Managed an overtired and unreasonable little one? You’re a communication maestro. Parenting necessitates constant mentorship, teaching, and guidance, honing your persuasion, interviewing, and listening skills—a triumphant trifecta for prospective employers.
Louise Webster established Beyondtheschoolrun upon recognising the untapped talent within the school gate community. The platform empowers working parents to leverage their skills during available hours. Louise explains, “While it’s undeniable that children will reshape one’s work approach, I’ve encountered numerous mothers who adapted, pivoted, and created anew. Becoming a parent can open doors to an entirely different working path—one that transcends the 9-to-5 grind, competition, and the race to the finish line. It’s a collective journey toward realising our purpose, flowing through the stages of caregiving and skill utilisation throughout life. This paradigm, I believe, will benefit future generations, enhance well-being, and honour caregiving in our human journey.” She continues, “For many, parenthood ignites the drive to pursue long-desired goals within the time constraints, driving impactful change and aligning with personal values. It’s about leaving a mark on the world.”
Ashley is a mom, founder of the Bizzimumzi podcast, and Define London fitness studio. She is a former Broadway performer and celebrity trainer. Through Bizzimumzi Ashley has created a welcoming community to share the highs and lows of parenting, and inspire others to feel empowered in their journey. Ashely believes the most perfect picture of parenting is simply when you are trying your best. Bizzimumzi is a safe space that helps parents to inspire, educate and support each other to be the best parent they can be.