Multi-tasking – the key transferable parenting skill, says poll
The poll of over 460 working mums found that 55% rated multi-tasking as the main transferable skill they had acquired through becoming a parent. Some 23% rated time management as the top skill while 15% said improved communication skills acquired through trying to get incalcitrant small people to do things they might not otherwise want to was the most important.
Gillian Nissim, founder of workingmums.co.uk, said: “Skills such as multi-tasking, communication and time management are some of the most sought after ones in the workplace today and many parents consider themselves to have done a master course in them, even if they or their employers sometimes don’t rate these skills as highly as if they had done them as part of a formal training course.”
One woman who took part in the poll commented: “You have to be able to multi-task when being a mum as you have the house chores or other siblings or even work to juggle, so you have to be able to feed your child while getting the washing out.”
Another mother, Samantha Dolke, added: “Young mothers today have to adapt to the always-on-the-move, juggle everything at once mode. If you don’t, you’ll end up a nervous wreck. Work, study, eat, sleep, clean, wash and hang clothes, get the kids ready, change bums, read, sing, entertain and work work work! Us mums – and dads (sorry boys!) – are expert multitaskers.”
For those just starting out on the whole mega multi-tasking front, she had these words of encouragement: “You manage and eventually you actually manage really well.”
Others felt multi-tasking was something that either came fairly naturally or was a product of other skills, such as time management.
Amanda Nevison commented: “In order to be able to multi-task effectively and efficiently, time management is a priority. If there’s no disciplined TM in your routine, all multi-tasking skills go out of the window. Hence the most valuable skill set to deliver is time management.”
Another parent agreed, saying: “Everybody at some point has to multi-task, but as a parent time management has to be perfect or else everything around you comes crashing down!”
Another argued that the improvement in communication skills brought through parenting was the most valuable in the workplace. She said: “Multi-tasking comes naturally to most people. Depending on situation, we all find ourselves in from time to time, we all have to learn to multi-task. I believe the ability to communicate is far more important. Communicati must be clear and to be able to make oneself understood, one must be able to deliver a clear message.”