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Parenting may actually be a career enhancer

August 06, 2018

Parenting may actually be a career enhancer

Ekaete Inyang, Product Manager at Labs, is not alone in feeling that parenting has made her a more productive individual. In fact, one research paper, focused on professional economists, found that parents are actually more productive than non-parents. Their findings apply to both mums and dads.

The reason? Apparently, parents develop better time-management. Parents excel at skills such as negotiating, compromising, multitasking, and patience. And parents are often more ambition-driven than non-parents.

“I always thought I was fairly productive,” stated Ekaete, “but when you’re a parent you have to be really efficient with your time. You’d be amazed how much you could get done in an hour if you knew you needed to be finished before your child’s up from her nap.”

Initially, the transition back to work after parental leave can be tough. But, given time and proper support, the process can be well-managed.

Parija Thakur, Software Tester at Labs, managed to bypass the parental leave transition by taking five years off to begin her family. “It went very smoothly,” stated Parija, reflecting on her return to the workforce. “I was very clear about my priorities, and resumed work only when I was confident I could do so.”

Both Parija and Ekaete agree the support they’ve received from Octopus has helped them quickly adjust to their role as working parents. “The flexible working hours help immensely,” stated Parija. “The option to work from home is so important to keep a healthy work-life balance for parents, especially.”

Ekaete adds, “Labs and my manager, Emma Burt, have been really supportive. I feel like I’m able to give my best at work, without it being to the detriment of my time at home.”

Many parents find additional support through family, friends and community. School breakfast clubs, after-school activities and childminder services can be a great help in managing busy work schedules, especially for single parents.

But Parija believes most workers already possess the most powerful parenting tools. “We are equipped with work skills like organising, planning, plotting strategic steps, etc. Why not use these skills at home — meal planning, creating family calendars, scheduling some time off for yourself? These all help minimise the stress that comes with trying to balance family and career. All we need to do is be a little smarter!”