How caregiving/full-time parent skills can be transferable
Updated: Jan 9
Many people feel when they take a break from their careers that, they have not kept up their career skills. However, most people underestimate the skills they gain as a caregiver, whether for children, aging parents, or other loved ones.
The reality is that caregiving often offers some of the greatest transferable skills needed in your career when you head back to work. Be sure you use these skills to compensate for your employment gap and to highlight how you can creatively utilize your skills in a variety of ways.
1. Time Management Skills
No one knows how to manage time better than the person running the household. Whether that's managing doctors' appointments and activities, or planning for the weekly meals, caregivers tend to have excellent time management skills gained from balancing several tasks in little time.
You can transfer these time management skills to work as well. You can adjust to working under pressure and make sure project deadlines are met just like you manage the household.
2. Crisis Management Skills
From nursing a sick child or treating wounds, and managing medical issues, caregivers often learn to be calm and resourceful in times of crisis. Caregivers often become adapted to dealing with unplanned challenges and emergencies.
Staying cool and calm under pressure and managing unexpected events are a great skills to highlight to employers.
3. Problem-Solving Skills
Children and caregiving in general, comes with a long list of problems that need to be solved. From finding the right school to the right nursing home and dealing with the emotional shifts and nuances of other people to coming up with solutions to larger life problems.
These challenges are similar to issues in the workplace. Problem-solving skills are needed to mediate disagreements within a team, fix complications that arise in daily operations, and solve major strategic issues to name a few.
4. Communication Skills
Caregivers gain great communication skills from teaching communication to young children or learning how to re-communicate with someone with dementia. Plus, they further hone their communication skills by communicating with teachers, doctors, nurses, etc.
As a result, caregivers learn to speak clearly, communicate in understandable language, and be sympathetic to others' feelings, which are all essential skills at work.
5. Project Management Skills
Project management skills help pull off successful family holidays and trips. From assuring that everyone's needs are met, to food being prepared, and making sure each person knows their role and value at the event. Many caregivers also do this by helping to manage projects from bake sales and fundraisers, volunteering projects, and even downsizing their loved ones' homes as they don't need the space.
So, be sure to add those project management abilities on your resume, as they are essential skills in any company.
6. People and Team Management Skills
Most of the time caregivers are managing people around the clock from children to activities groups. They lead a team to feed, cloth, and provide fun activities for large and small groups. They need to manage diverse goals and personalities to reach group objectives. Plus, they are constantly working with different stakeholders such as teachers, doctors, and administrators, to ensure caregiving goals are met.
These are all the same skills you need to manage a team of people, whether deciding care for your loved one or making sure your family is running smoothly, and people are happy, or managing a workforce team. Most caregivers are team leaders with excellent people skills.
7. Creative Skills
Creativity is the mother of invention. No one gets more creative than mom's with screaming children. And caregivers on tight budgets often come up with the most innovative ideas.
Be sure to highlight ways your creativity helped solve a problem, adjust to a tight budget, or created a positive impact. Creativity is a necessary if often undervalued skill.
Caregivers have undoubtedly picked up a myriad of important work skills as they are caring for loved ones. Don't undervalue these. They should be on your resume. Whether you list them as key skills or additional skills will depend a lot on the role you are applying to but they can boost your chances of getting hired!
So, what are you waiting for?
Add your caregiving skills to your resume and start practicing how to speak about how these skills transition to workplace situations.