It’s never too late to change your career. And I’m proof of that.
In 2019, I was hired as the Hospitality Coordinator at Frogslayer and am currently the Office Manager. When I was first hired, I had been out of the full-time workforce for so long that I wasn’t sure what to expect. However, I soon realized that I had been training for this career for over 30+ years as a stay-at-home mom.
A bit about me: I am the mom of 3 exceptional children. My two oldest are in their thirties, and my youngest is a teenager. Throughout their lives, I had been blessed with the opportunity to stay home with each of them. When my oldest children were little, I worked part-time – mainly at the schools my children attended – while finishing my bachelor’s degree in Fashion Merchandising and Retail. When my youngest son was born, however, I had the opportunity to stay home for 13 years. Looking back, I never dreamed all the tools I learned while being a stay-at-home mom would lead to helping in my career at Frogslayer.
5 SAHM Skills that Translate to the Workplace
Since starting at Frogslayer three years ago, I’ve found that these stay-at-home-mom skills have helped me most in my new career:
- Time Management
- People Management
- Event Planning
It takes time management skills to juggle a household – such as school drop-offs and pick-ups, after-school activities and getting dinner on the table. I’ve found that creating schedules and a routine, setting achievable goals, and breaking them down into daily, weekly, and quarterly lists for my family and home have been easily applicable to the workplace.
As a parent, I’ve had to develop communication skills around mentoring, teaching, and counseling. Participating in committees for my children’s school and/or extracurricular activities has helped me develop communication skills with others. And these skills have been an integral part of my role.
As Office Manager, I interact daily with people, whether meeting in person or virtually or messaging on Slack. Actively seeking open lines of communication with my coworkers, being an attentive listener, and hearing their needs are vital to making our firm successful. It builds better relationships when employees know whom they can go to with concerns and ideas. Increasing employee engagement can lead to a more productive work environment and improve morale and employee satisfaction.
As my children became involved in extracurricular activities, I began volunteering for various committees. It all started when my oldest was in kindergarten. I signed up to be a homeroom mom, having no idea what that entailed. As the years went on, I continued this tradition with all 3 of my children. I took on roles as part of PTO fundraising and carnival planning committees, Cub Scout Den Mom, Cub Scout banquet planning chair, Dance Committee Chair, and Band Booster Spirit Committee member. At first, I took the “I can do it all myself” approach. Well, I quickly learned that no one could pull off an entire carnival or banquet without delegating tasks.
To pull off events or roll out new programs at work, I certainly can try to do them on my own, but they’re much more manageable and better overall for the firm when I bring others in. Being able to break down tasks, delegate those tasks, and organize a group to accomplish our goals are all important skills in the workplace.
My favorite stay-at-home mom skill that has become integral in my role at Frogslayer is my party-planning superpower. I have always loved party planning, but now it is on a larger scale. Seeing my 5-year-old’s face light up when Raphael from Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles shows up to his birthday party is just as rewarding as seeing my colleagues enjoy our End-of-Year party for our entire firm.
Years of homeroom parties, school carnivals, Cub Scout banquets, school dances, and End-of-Year Band Banquets helped prepare me for this aspect of my job and are a huge part of why I enjoy planning our social events, including our monthly company lunch, quarterly wellness adventures, and the End-of-Year Party.
Like at home, problem-solving is a fundamental tool for an office manager. Issues come up frequently, giving me a chance to help provide the necessary tools for people, so they can make sound decisions. There are always a variety of personalities in the workplace, so I always have to keep that in mind when finding the right approach to solving a problem. What works for one person may not always work for everyone – just as what works for one child won’t always work for all your children.
Making the Switch
As a stay-at-home mom, it’s easy to feel discouraged when switching to working full-time when you’ve been out of the workforce for a while. My biggest piece of advice for stay-at-home moms who are unsure if they have the skills to jump back into the workplace: don’t underrate the skills you have learned through life experiences. Share with future employers how your skills as a mother have prepared you for the workplace, and give real-life examples of how these skills translate to the role you are applying for.
Employers are looking for these unique skills. And for me, these skills have been an asset to my career at Frogslayer. Being a stay-at-home mom has helped me create a positive workspace for my colleagues to develop and grow. I am often referred to as the “office mom.” Some people might think being called the office mom is a bit odd, but it means everyone knows they can rely on me to take care of our employees, clients, and the office as if they’re my own family. I take pride in that and in being able to contribute to Frogslayer’s success.
Your smile is your logo, your personality is your business card, how you leave others feeling after having an experience with you becomes your trademark.
– Jay Danzie