I do a lot of communication and work coaching with single parents who are trying to navigate the waters of balancing their career and parenting. Many of them are seeking new jobs or opportunities and one of the questions that I often get asked is – “Will employers shy away from hiring and working with single parents – primarily because of time and scheduling issues?” I always say absolutely not. In fact, I think many smart employers and businesses actually like and admire single parents because we are fantastic at getting things done and multi-tasking! Simply put – single parents make great employees!
Why Single Parents Make Great Hires And Dependable Employees
Single Parents Know How To Multi-Task
I tell people that the multitasking skills a single parent gains through their everyday juggling of work and home life can hugely benefit employers. The very nature of single parenting makes us creative problem solvers who can meet deadlines and deal with many issues at one time. We know how to function under stress and we know how to complete tasks on our own. We are leaders, by example and be necessity, and we often need to think outside the box to solve problems and find solutions. All of these skills are a big asset to almost any company.
We Are Up For Challenges
Single parents tend to make fantastic managers and bosses. We excel at providing for those around us and we do it on our own. We are dependable and are fantastic at coordinating schedules, people, and goals. We tend to be great communicators who encourage clear and open expression of thoughts and feelings and we handle problems with clear direction and objectives. We encourage honest and trusting relationships because we have no choice. We can’t use the old trick of saying – “Go ask your mother/father!”
We tend take good care of ourselves, both mentally and physically, because we know that we have a child who depends on us to be there for them – literally and metaphorically. “Taking a sick day” as a single parent is simply not an option and any employer will love that attribute. We seek and accept responsibility. It is our nature and we don’t run away from a challenge. We work hard not to let down our children and those hard work habits translate well into the work place – we don’t let down the company, the co-workers, or the boss.
Single Parents Focus On The Positive
When you are job hunting and interviewing, play up these unique skills and point out your success at raising a child solo. Be proud of what you have accomplished and find all the positive aspects of your situation. If your boss says – “Will you have trouble finding a sitter at the last minute” respond with – “Not at all, I always have two or three options for whenever a situation comes up. I have to being a single parent!” or if the potential employer asks you how you handle taking work home and completing tasks at night when your child needs you. Simply tell them that you have a great system of doing your home work while your fifth grader does theirs!
The point here is to highlight the solutions instead of worrying about the pitfalls. Turn every negative scenario into an opportunity to showcase your strengths and problem solving skills. Single parents have great tenacity and organizational skills, we have to because we have no one else to lean on! We have to get as much done in one day as two parents get done – that realization alone speaks volumes about our work ethic and competence.
The added bonus of making all these points to your boss or potential employer also says a lot about you. It showcases your confidence and lets them know that you are a person who can overcome almost any obstacle and answer any question. And, as us single parents know – overcoming obstacles is easy after spending years jumping over Legos and bicycles and stuffed animals!
Make sure to not let anyone diminish your accomplishments or downplay your skills. You are a single parent! Own that title and wear it as a badge of honor!