Lessons and Strategies for Working Parents

Working Parents (2)

I’ve heard people say, “I never knew how productive I could be until I had children!” While stressful at times, there is also much joy and satisfaction that comes from a fulfilling home and work life, especially when work-life balance (and career growth) are prioritized by your employer — two reasons people often cite as to why they love working at Perficient.

Tony Mauro, director, wrote an article in 2018 about his experience as a working father, “7 Ways My 3 Year Old Improves My Relationships at Work”, and the lessons it taught him, which inspired a Question of the Week with some great responses we wanted to share with our Life at Perficient readers.

8 Working Mothers Share the Parenting Advice That Helps Them Succeed at Work

Our Women in Tech ERG has a channel dedicated to working parents where tips, encouragement, questions, and strategies are shared by both women and men. We asked our Women in Tech ERG “What lessons have you learned from being a parent that you apply at work?” and got some helpful, inspiring, and humorous responses:

“Encourage, support, work together, set an example by practice, believe, and trust. Let go (in regards to micro-management) and rejoice in their success (applies to each team member)!” Sangeeta K., lead business consultant

“If someone is in an unexpectedly cruddy mood or whining, maybe they’re just having a bad day. Everyone has bad days, toddlers and adults alike.” Samantha Z., senior business consultant

​“Lead by example, for sure!” Mariana H., director

“Practice responsibility, be truthful, listen, be honest, follow the rules, express your ideas, and be patient.” Yuliana A., associate technical consultant

“No answer is an answer. And know that you are being watched and teaching even when you don’t realize it. Your words must match your actions.” Gail S., senior talent acquisition specialist

“Communicate. People aren’t mindreaders; use your words. :)” Liz S., alliance director.

“​The only constant is change. Always be ready to adapt to something new.” Jennifer E., senior project manager

“Snack early and often.” Vanessa N., senior project manager

HBR Tips for Working Parents

Even a Perficient crowd favorite, Harvard Business Review, has shared strategies parents can apply to manage pandemic stressors. The tips below are adapted from the article “6 Strategies for Exhausted Working Parents”. Click through to read the recommendations in more detail.

Round Up: Take 15 minutes, and, either in your own mind or on a piece of paper, make a list of things you’ve managed to deliver, for work and for your family, since March of 2020.

Close it Out: Apply the “What’s done is done, and over with. Now, onto the next.” approach here: close out the past — so you can free yourself up for what’s coming.

Find your “Point of Control”: This is a single, small part of your life that you have complete authority over, that you can engage with easily and often, and that provides a disproportionate boost to your overall sense of wellbeing. Amidst the go-go-go and shifting conditions of the next few months, your point of control will allow you to feel more like an in-control person, regardless of circumstances.

Adopt a Future Anchor: If you have a positive mental picture of where you want to be as a professional, parent, and person months or years from now, the tsunami of to-do’s and stressors you encounter today won’t loom quite as large.

Give your Career Some Attention: Find a bite-sized chunk of time each week — 15 minutes is fine — to turn your attention completely towards your career and professional advancement. (Luckily, Perficient employees can turn to Perficient Academy to learn everything from partner and skills training to personal hobbies, like how to play an instrument or speak a new language!)

Mentor Another Working Parent: You don’t have a lot of free time to throw at mentoring, but you can still get that pay-it-forward satisfaction and psychological boost if you do it smartly. (Another Perficient win is our Mentorship Program, where people of all job levels can both grow and give back.)

And above all else, remember that there is no roadmap to parenthood, so give yourself a break and just do your best.