If you have taken time off work after having your children then you might be feeling apprehensive about returning to paid work. You may feel that there is a big gap in your CV and that you have become cut off from the work environment or that others are more skilled and qualified than you are. It is important to recognise however that staying at home to look after children gives you a whole new range of skills and qualities - ones that are transferable and valuable to the workplace. Recognising these skills and qualities is important, not only to your own self-esteem and confidence but also for the value that they bring to your CV. Read on and feel confident when you return to work.

A number of studies have highlighted the important skills gained through parenting. Research carried out by Salary.com in America showed that a full-time stay at home mother would earn £72,609 a year, if paid for all her work. This figure was the result of calculating the earning power of the 10 jobs that survey respondents said made up a mother's role. These included day-care teacher, housekeeper, cook, facilities manager and psychologist. For most parents, knowledgeable of the massive tasks and responsibilities that parenting brings,  this figure will not come as a surprise.

A typical day with young children will  involve getting up at 6am and looking after and entertaining them until they go to bed at around 7pm. Unlike a paid job there is  often no time for coffee breaks. As well as looking after your children there is the responsibility for running the household which often falls primarily on those that stay at home. There are budgeting responsibilities, cooking and  cleaning tasks, shopping and medical and dental appointments to make for the family. If you were to see all these tasks and responsibilities written in a job specification it would seem like a massive responsibility.

I have listed below some of the transferable skills and qualities that you gain through parenting so that you can see how to add them to your CV. This is just a small selection and I am sure that you can think of others - 'Communication Skills' for example - the ones you use when defusing an argument between your children.

The parenting skills that you can transfer to the workplace include the following:

  • Time management
  • Multi-tasking
  • Solving problems
  • Taking responsibility
  • Supervising others
  • Prioritising tasks
  • Thinking on your feet
  • Remaining calm in a crisis

As well as giving you a whole range of transferable skills becoming a parent also you a new set of personal qualities, ones that will be valued in the workplace. These include patience, perseverance, commitment, dependability  honesty and a sense of humour. Remembering these skills and qualities and brushing up on skills such as ICT can help you to gain confidence when updating your CV and applying for jobs. The skills and qualities gained in parenting can be built into the 'Personal skills and qualities' section of your CV. Feel confident with your new skills and go get that job!