Wednesday, 20 January 2021

The COVID-19 pandemic has changed the way of life for just about everyone.  But women, and especially mothers, have taken the lion's share of negative impacts from the pandemic. 

Many of them have taken the reigns at schooling children, maintaining their family's wellness and holding down their own jobs throughout the process. 

If that sounds familiar to you, instead of letting all that effort wear you down, take a moment to consider what you've learned and the skills you've sharpened along the way. Parenting through a global pandemic may be more challenging than any of us ever expected, but it also bestowed upon many of us strengths and knowledge we may never have perfected otherwise. Even better, those skills and experiences can transfer into greater success at work.

You can pivot quickly

Parents of schoolchildren have had to comply with changing plans and switching directions throughout the school year. School districts have switched among virtual schooling, hybrid schooling, traditional classroom learning, and back again. Maybe you felt a sigh of relief when your child finally returned to school, only to have them quarantined at home for another two weeks when a classmate tested positive for COVID.

Throughout all the changes, you've learned to quickly change directions, assemble backup plans and continue to accomplish what needs to be accomplished. That flexibility is valuable in the business world, where pivoting in response to market needs and priorities is crucial.

You can prioritize

With children learning at home, adults working from home, finding new ways to interact with friends and extended family, and managing the anxieties and health concerns that come along with it all, something has to give. Pandemic parents have learned not only how to determine the most important things, but also how to let go of things that seemed important in other times.

In the business world, this ability to sift through all the to-do's and pinpoint the most important on which to focus your efforts is a valuable skill that can help companies meet goals and conserve cash.

You can work remotely

Maybe you always suspected you could manage work and life better if you were doing it all from the same location. But now you can prove it. If you've mastered Zoom and Microsoft Teams, as well as Google Classroom, Schoology or other remote learning platforms, you probably have the skills businesses will need to foster communication, teamwork and collaboration in the future.

These new skills of managing your own work and collaborating with others remotely will be important for the future of work, as many employers plan to maintain a larger remote workforce. According to one recent study, one in five employers are developing policies and providing resources for employees who may work remotely long term, and 58% are adjusting their requirements for working on site and remotely.

You can balance tasks and emotions

Powering through the pandemic has meant more than simply ordering more takeout and watching Netflix. Women have been uniquely required to ensure that everyone in the household is completing the work required and staying healthy, both physically and mentally. Keeping a check on your children's emotions and emotional needs, as well as your own, while ensuring that classwork is completed and work is done, has likely sharpened your mental strength. 

The ability to fulfill responsibilities effectively even in the midst of chaos is a valuable skill for business and life, developed only out of necessity.

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