Tuesday, January 12, 2021

How to Stay Relevant as a Work-From-Home Mom

 

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Balancing work, parenting, and sometimes, even schooling at the same time can take a significant toll on work-from-home moms. The pressure to remain relevant in uncertain times, such as the pandemic season, is real and challenging. According to the US census department, working women make up 32% of all employed mothers in America. As significant as this is, it doesn’t take away the fact that you need to adopt measured strategies to remain relevant. Fortunately, we’ve created this list below to help.


  1. Be up to date with technology

For most women, the best technology is knowing how to operate a smartphone and a computer. If that is you, you’ll need an immediate paradigm shift on what technology is and how it influences your performance as a work-from-home mother. Make a deliberate attempt to get a basic understanding of digital systems and procedures used in the office, which aided your previous career. More importantly, now that your office setting is the home, apply this knowledge to enhance your performance.


Furthermore, because technology continues to evolve at lightning speed, you cannot afford to be left behind. Besides, there is a possibility your current status may change and would require going back to the office to work. There are simple but effective ways you can stay abreast with technology. For example, instead of using the traditional way (pen and paper) to record your expenses, try Google Sheets to input your monthly budget and track expenses. 


Secondly, you can back up your phone’s operating system to cloud storage and learn the ins and outs of this digital method. The objective is to find innovative ways to optimize your knowledge in technology and digital systems.


  1. Enroll in professional development classes

This shouldn’t be too difficult to do, especially when you understand why you must do it. Staying at home to work does not in any way take you out of the labor force. The only difference is where you operate from, even though that includes keeping your toddler from punching your computer’s keypad. Staying relevant in your profession is almost synonymous with self-development. Education is a continuous process; this explains why people who look forward to upgrading their skills prioritize further learning.


Fortunately, several universities and colleges in the US have made a significant commitment to moving some courses online. Some examples are:

  • Baylor University (Texas)

  • Simmons University (in Massachusetts)

  • University of Denver (in Colorado)


Courses such as digital marketing, business writing, design, communication, and languages are useful in your career development. Another virtual course currently making waves is the Masters’ in social work program. If you have a passion for helping people and communities, then maybe you can learn more about an online msw program. The universities listed above (and more in the US) offer this program, and you will find it convenient to study at your pace.


  1. Set realistic goals for yourself (daily, weekly, monthly)

Wouldn’t you have set daily targets for yourself if you were working from the office? Then working from home shouldn’t be any different. Targets are meant to guide you and prevent you from losing focus. So, whether you have to hook your tiny tot to the hip and type your work to meet deadlines, that’s what you’ve got to do. Nonetheless, take it easy on yourself by planning your day and setting realistic goals. How can you do this?


First, make a list of every important task you need to complete in a day. Remember to group them in the order of ‘important and urgent’ and ‘important but not urgent.’ This guideline will set the platform to tackle urgent tasks while making time to finish with those that aren’t. Admittedly, this is not easy to do with kids in the home.


However, if your significant other is available, plan with them to help you both fulfill your work and home responsibilities. If it’s just you, you could consider starting your day several hours before the kids wake up in the morning. Whatever works for you, the fundamental principle is to minimize or eliminate non-performance.


  1. Take needed breaks and set flexible schedules into your routines

Not everyone can control their work hours and keep it strictly free from interruptions. For work-from-home moms, you may need a magic wand for that. This is when you should build some flexibility in your work schedules. Without it, you have a higher chance of losing focus on work and affecting your relevance as a professional working from home.


A flexible schedule should include using your breaks to attend to pressing home and childcare responsibilities. For example, feeding the kids, doing the dirty dishes, or other chores you deem necessary. Indeed, taking breaks from work gives your brain a chance to rest and rejuvenate. It creates the needed balance you require to be effective in your professional life.


It is not an easy path to take, but with your tenacity, you will be happy with your achievements. Avoid getting into a routine that downplays your importance and renders you ineffective, especially in your career or side hustle. Hopefully, these points will help you stay relevant as a work-from-home mom.


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