How to get more support from your workplace as a working parent.
Being a working parent is tough – whether you’re due to return to work after some time away, or if you’ve already gotten over that hurdle.
It’s tough enough just catching up with what you were doing previously, and when it comes to balancing work with your family at home. It can be really draining.
It’s easy to feel overwhelmed in your position.
It can negatively impact not only yourself, but actually the work environment as well.
As if you didn’t already have enough to worry about.
However, don’t toss in the towel just yet – there are some things you can do which will help.
Talk to someone.
The most important thing is to talk to your manager as soon as possible.
Having a honest conversation can help you clearly lay out the situation.
As a working parent you goal is to reach an agreement which will benefit both parties – to ensure that you can be happier, more productive, and add value to your employer, as well as have enough time and energy to look after your family.
But how exactly do you accomplish all this?
Confidence begins with competence, and understanding what makes you uniquely strong.
It’s important to understand what value you bring to the company, and to not underestimate yourself.
Once you begin to see yourself as somebody who can add value to an organisation, you’ll be able to get your employer to see you in the same way.
Let your employer know that, as a working parent, you’re looking for a bit more flexibility in your job. In terms of the days and hours you work, as well as what the work itself is comprised of.
As long as you’re still adding value to them, most employers will be happy to provide you with more flexibility.
Mant people have the mentality of once they get into a job, they’re stuck in that job or career path forever.
This is no longer the case. Don’t worry about taking a step away from work.
These days, people want to change jobs a lot more, and not just follow that linear path up.
It’s actually more like a jungle gym nowadays.
You can go left, right, up or down – whichever direction advances your career in the way YOU want.
Exploring and mixing up our career journey in this way helps you avoid getting trapped too far down one career pathway.
Don’t come in with a problem – come in with a solution.
This applies to almost every issue that arises at work.
Why? Managers deal with a plethora of problems daily – too many to solve by themselves.
Solve some of these for them, and you’ll be seen as a valuable employee.
It will allow you and your employer to work out how to best fix the situation, and help set the tone for your future interactions with your boss.
I can assure you, employers these days understand.
In terms of being a working parent, they know it can be tough.
Even if they aren’t a working parent themselves, they understand that it’s going to be a difficult time for you, and they don’t want to burn you out.
They want their employees to be functioning at full capacity, or as close to it as possible.
Having this conversation as soon as a problem arises is important; it’ll save you a lot of grief later on.
Not only will you be perceived in a more positive light as your employer, but it’ll also set you up to meet your career goals in the future.
There are so many opportunities these days – you can choose your career and define it along the way; there’s always time for change.
Don’t let it scare you – accept it, embrace it, and remember to look for job opportunities everywhere.
Until next time,