Returning to work after taking time off to have kids can seem like a daunting prospect. Like a new kid in school, you’re confronted with a host of new challenges – from getting to grips with a different environment to re-connecting with colleagues.

Without a shadow of a doubt, one of the biggest concerns I’ve heard from friends and family returning to work is the fear that they’ve ‘lost their edge’ or won’t be able to keep up with new industry practices.

I definitely felt apprehensive when I went back to work after my second child, however I quickly realised that the skills you learn as a parent actually help you to become a better employee.

Championing working parents became my mission and this ethos began to filter into every part of life. From reassuring fellow Mums returning to the workplace that they’ll succeed, right down to choosing to work at Ivy College, an online education provider that offers nationally recognised qualifications designed to help working parents meet their career goals, my mantra was clear – give confidence back to working parents.

Here are five reasons why the skills you learn as a parent can make you a better employee:

1. Excellent budget management skills

With more expenses and in many cases a reduced income due to taking time out of work, parents often have to have extensive financial planning experience to survive. This ability to balance budgets and get ‘resourceful’ if times are lean is a key skill, valued by employers in any industry.

2. Effective decision makers

As a parent, there’s often just not the time to deliberate over small decisions. Family life is fast-moving and that means extensive experience making quick, executive decisions and following them through. This is an essential skill when managing projects and adapting to new situations in the workplace

3. Keeping calm in times of crisis

The ability to focus through the mayhem of tantrums and the constant craziness of parenting often means parents aren’t as easily flustered if there’s a crisis at work. This cool attitude is a huge asset in a busy work environment and makes parents stand out from the crowd.

4. Top notch negotiation skills

Who would have thought that negotiating bedtimes with your toddler could benefit your career, but strong negotiation skills filter into every part of business. From salary negotiations to project management, a tenacious approach to negotiating goes a long way.

5. The importance of forgiveness and listening

A child’s capacity to live in the moment and truly forgive is remarkable – most of the time they just want to be heard. Being a parent truly highlights this and strong listening skills set you apart from the (very noisy) crowd.

Do you have anything to add to this list? 

Main image courtesy of Shutterstock.com
  • If this article is accurate, some of my bosses could not have been good organisers at home with their families.


  • That all makes sense to me, I agree with them all


  • Cant go past multitasking and working under pressure, and working to deadlines… always so mush to be done between school from off and school pick up…


  • I think mums make very reliable employees as we need to think about others and not just ourselves, so not turning up to work is not an option.


  • Time management is a necessary skill in any role and a skill that is highly valued.


  • I wish my boss could read this. he along with most other employers think that mums are not reliable employees. When in fact most are just as good if not better than a young one just out of school as returning to work mums (if they go back to their original job) at least know the company and the workflow more than someone with no experience.


  • Multi tasking and time management definitely! Also, I think we appreciate going to work more than people who have not had a break from paid work to raise children, so would probably be more enthusiastic and willing to work hard.


  • some fair points. most employers think that mums are not the ideal employee. when in actual fact they are just as good if not better than a young one just out of school with no experience.


  • sounds awesome and looks great


  • Great article thanks for sharing


  • great list. good to see it all written down.


  • Love this and mums are more wiling to go the extra mile to get things done


  • Parents are more responsive and quick.


  • well that is nice to read


  • Very interesting and very surprising.


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