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Phoenix Forward

5 ways parenthood makes you a better employee

Parenting skills help at work

You may not realize it, but the skills you’ve gained as a parent can help you in the workplace. In fact, research reveals that parents make more successful corporate managers, Forbes magazine reports. Here are five parenting qualities that can pay off on the job:

1

Patience

The fortitude and perspective that raising kids teaches you can transfer well to the business world, according to Leslie Baker, a licensed marriage and family therapist and an instructor in the master’s in counseling program at the University of Phoenix Bay Area Campus.

“[Parenthood] trains us that our job as parents is not always popular but necessary in terms of setting boundaries and limits,” Baker says. “Meanwhile, tolerating dissonance without taking it personally and finding solutions through negotiation are also very valuable in business.”

2

Flexibility

Nothing will teach you to roll with the punches like raising children, and Baker believes that can make you a more valuable employee. “[Parents], especially mothers, are the CEO of the home,” she says. “This translates well to work, because parents know not to get hooked up on the small stuff.”

Because parents have navigated the crises that are an everyday part of raising children, they can bring that flexibility and finesse into the workplace.

3

Multitasking

Managing family and home is much like running a project team at work, Baker believes. “Parents juggle many skills and roles — from counselor, tutor and coach, to nurse and financial manager,” she says. “This translates well to managing business projects, whether it’s motivating the crew or completing complicated tasks.”

4

Empathy

Being able to understand another person’s situation or feelings “is a soft skill that can really set you apart in the work world,” Baker says. “Children will teach you a lot about what you don’t know, as well as how important it is to consider others’ needs and wants.”

Employees who can anticipate and act on others’ wishes add value to employers through better deal-making skills and the ability to understand and motivate their teams, Baker notes.

5

Problem-solving

Raising children into productive, successful adults can be a time-consuming, complex puzzle that builds character and resilience, according to Baker.

“I think all parents want their kids to do better and accomplish more than they did, so parents tend to apply the hard lessons they’ve learned along the way to their parenting decisions,” she says. “If you invest in your company the same way you invest in your kids, that can really benefit the company.”

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