Amy Levin-Epstein recently wrote an article entitled
8 Ways Parenthood Can Make You Better At Your Job.
http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-500395_162-57406556/8-ways-parenthood-can-make-you-better-at-your-job/ I gave her my answer in this article -- but as I pondered this concept, I thought about how all of our experiences really count as predictors of future success.
Whether you're starting a company as a first-time CEO, changing careers entirely or getting back into the job market after raising your children, it's not just previous positions that reflect your suitability for the challenge.
Here are some critical resume building skill sets you have acquired but may have overlooked!
1. Parenting: Amy's article is excellent for this category. How many lessons have you learned as a parent that you can apply in business? Or vice versa? It's all experience and it all counts.
2. Physical Challenges: Many of us have traversed through medical nightmares of our own or of those closest to us. There is nothing scarier than navigating your way through a life-threatening illness or caring for a dying parent. These situations require extreme proficiency in crisis management and serve as completely valid examples of how you handle adversity. As such, they are relevant to reflect how you can and will deal with business challenges.
3. Fiscal Responsibility: Have you eked through some very trying financial times? Have you had to balance this, trade off that, save on this or find a way to get that for half? Resourcefulness is a key metric to business success. And being able to make a dollar go a long way in business is a talent that most investors value when entrusting you with their hard-earned cash.
4. Passion: There is no substitute for passion and focus. Have you ever done something you felt was absolutely necessary? Did you achieve it? Were you an advocate for your child? Did you fight for a friend who was wronged? Help an aging parent deal with an adversarial bank or insurance company? Ways in which you turned a passion or outrage into an actionable plan to prevent abuse or change the system is absolutely relevant as an indicator for success in a business that solves an important socio-economic problem or provides a solution for those in need.
We women spend a lot of time working for our family, for our friends and for our passions. We need to take ownership of our successes, experiences, and accomplishments in our "other" jobs. I often hear women tell me I don't know how to run a business or I don't have any experience being a CEO. OK, well, neither did any other CEO's in their first role as CEO. So don't be afraid to use all of your past experience when convincing others, or yourself, that you really do have what it takes to build a business.
Inspire, Illuminate, Innovate...