Real talk: Parenting always deserved a spotlight in the hiring process, but post-pandemic, it’s now more important than ever.
Since the dawn of time, moms have been entrusted with spinning one-too-many plates all day, every day. Caring about and tending to everything and everyone under your respective roof comes with the territory of having and fiercely loving little ones. It’s what we do! It’s who we are. And it sharpens us as people in all of our various roles.
When the world was turned upside down in early 2020, parents were handed the impossible task of working like they didn’t have children (And digital learning! And zero help!), or parenting like they didn’t have a job. Some parents struggled through attempting both simultaneously, one interrupted Zoom meeting at a time. Others, unfortunately, weren’t given the option to continue working. While the pandemic didn’t discriminate between male and female workers being laid off, it’s been reported that men have recouped their lost jobs, but women are still lagging behind.
According to an analysis of the latest U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics report from the National Women’s Law Center, women accounted for 63 percent of all jobs lost between February 2020 and January 2022, and approximately 1.8 million of those jobs are still left to be regained in large part due to uneven caregiving responsibilities.
These figures point to mass numbers of mothers who will have a gap in employment on their resumes, and it shouldn’t be a strike that women try to conceal—it should be expected and understood! Not only that, but these women will be coming back to the paid workforce with even more dynamic skills and valuable assets to offer a company after walking through the refining fire that is motherhood.
No matter what your resume says, your mothering makes you essential, to your family, to your community and to your potential place of work.
The Movement to Destigmatize Motherhood in the Workplace
In an effort to help moms get back to work, these organizations are bringing caregiving to the table as a marketable set of skills and normalizing women leaving and reentering careers without the stigma.
Motherhood on the Resume (MOTR) is a movement started by the online community Hey Mama that hosts workshops and offers resources to working moms. They teach how to translate parenting into professional skills throughout the hiring process, so you can confidently highlight your knowledge, talent, unique attributes and strengths you bring to a company, not in spite of being a parent, but because of it.
Path Forward empowers job seekers to restart their careers after caregiving through its “Returnship” program. This paid return-to-work opportunity provides guidance and industry connections for anyone wanting to re-engage with their former work after taking a leap of absence.
HireMyMom.com connects remote and freelance workers to smaller companies. Its business model, as the name implies, is built on employing modern moms with flexible, legitimate, home-based occupations.
The Intersection of Parenting and Professional Skills
Did you ever come across that 2019 data report from Salary.com that says the median salary for a stay-at-home parent amounts to approximately $178,201? Yep, your super-mom schedule has you hypothetically earning six figures, and rightfully so!
While this theoretical paycheck won’t actually line your pockets, hopefully it gives you a little extra confidence in knowing you have what it takes to get the job you want and excel within your roll. After all, parenting boasts a host of transferable skills and attributes that complement the office. Consider adding these to your list.
Multitasking: Hello! This is every mother’s not-so-secret weapon. From cooking dinner while coordinating child drop-off to updating the monthly budget while meal planning for the week, there’s absolutely no shortage of things happening simultaneously by you—and might we add, seamlessly.
Planning: To operate at such a high level (amidst constant chaos), you’ve probably adopted some solid organization practices. Duties such as building a weekly/monthly schedule for activities and chores or balancing and maintaining the family finances are strategic examples of how you keep your home on track and running smoothly.
Management: A good leader manages her team well and also has great time management skills. If you’re getting your kiddos fed, dressed and off to school (mostly) on time five days a week, then you can expect the same hustle and delivery for your colleagues.
Communication: You’re talking all day about important stuff: making decisions, conflict resolution, delayed gratification, risk assessment, how to treat others, all while keeping your cool and maintaining important boundaries.
Patience: Believe it or not, every time you are challenged by your three-nager, your capacity for child-and-adult shenanigans grows. You’ve learned how to be less reactive and emotional in situations while you find a proper solution.
Empathy: This one is so important. Having the capacity to listen to the experiences and concerns of others and making them feel considered without compromising what’s best for the bigger picture is needed when people are working together.
Vision: Every great CEO casts a vision for a company, and as a mother, you are the visionary for your family. The priorities you keep, the choices you make and the lessons you instill all speak to the overarching story you’re building in your home. These same types of efforts can be applied to helping an organization continue in the direction it wants to go to achieve goals and dreams.
Remember, mom: Parenting isn’t only the most important job you’ve ever had, but it’s the ultimate training ground for leadership. You may feel like you’re out of the game, but the game can change, starting with unapologetically adding parenting to your resume and confidently drawing comparisons like the capable woman you are.