Can workplace skills help parents?

Skills Developed in the Workplace

Sure, there are skills unique to every job -- a carpenter, for instance, brings different abilities to the jobsite than a librarian. But there are some things that apply to everyone, however you bring home the bacon.

The Canadian government has developed a pretty good list of essential skills for working, some practical, some more ephemeral, but all geared toward what you need to know to do a good job in any profession:

  • Reading text
  • Document use
  • Numeracy
  • Writing
  • Oral communication
  • Working with others
  • Continuous learning
  • Thinking skills
  • Computer use

[source: Human Resources and Skills Development Canada]

Some of those are obvious -- reading, writing and math all play a part in daily life. Whether you're building a stone walkway, managing a budget or planning the renovation of an open-office workspace for a staff of 23, those math classes you sat through in school will come back to haunt (and help) you somehow. And let's face it-- from e-mail to databases to AutoCAD, there aren't many professions these days that don't involve computers.

Other skills are more subtle, but no less important.

Working with others, whether the others are clients, co-workers, or bosses, is something that you'll have to get used to, and the same goes for oral communication. The two skills on the list that are hardest to measure are also, in some ways, the most important. Thinking skills, the ability to think on your feet, will come into play whether you're facing a four-alarm fire or a malfunctioning e-mail server. And continuous learning could not only help you advance up the corporate ladder, but it will assist you in getting better at all the other skills.

No matter what your job is, you're using some combination of these skills. The challenge, then, is to apply them to a new job -- parenting. Luckily, they all still apply.