10 Skills every stay at home mom can brag about when going back to work

10 Skills every stay at home mom can brag about when going back to work

During a nice chat with a friend of mine (and fellow mom), she mentioned how after being home for a couple of year with her young children, she feels like she needs some course to get her back into “business mode”. She felt that gave her better chances when going out there to interview for jobs.

That really got me thinking…mfirst of all, do you really ever forget being a working mom? And are there things from your child-raising experience that actually make you better prepared for the workplace? I thought about my own case, although I did go back to work quite soon after having my son, and though about how I really don’t sweat the small stuff anymore or how much more empathy I’ve developed for my fellow colleagues.

If I got those things (and more) after being a mom of one, I figured my friend, who stayed home with her 2 kids for years, must have developed even more skills. So here you go, my anonymous friend….. This is for you!

1. Multitasking

You are making dinner while on the phone with your internet provider to try to get your internet to work again, both activities taking place while you child is screaming that she can’t find her Dora the Explorer book.

Why this is important in the workplace: we live in an age when more responsibilities fall under less employees and organizations are always finding ways to “streamline their workforce” (that’s code for layoffs, usually). Being able to handle multiple tasks / projects is hence a great skill to possess!

2. Timely delivery of results under pressure

In the scenario above, dinner is served, internet works again, and the book is found. Enough said.

Why this is important in the workplace: Businesses today move at an incredibly fast pace, responding to what the market demands. If you have any corporate experience you are well aware of what this feels like, right? Like that time you needed to deliver that very important new action and when you asked “by when do you need this?” your boss said “yesterday”.

3. Build rapport

If you didn’t know any better, you’d probably think your child at the very least has bipolar disorder (in the worst case scenario, you’d think they are psychopathic). They can go through a whole range of emotions: happy, annoyed, moody, esctatic, sad within 2 minutes. And in every single situation, you have the appropriate response that either enforces or diffuses the emotion.

Why this is important in the workplace: no matter what industry you work in and what its core business is, people are still a very big component of what makes (or breaks) a company. Being able to make connections at work creates a pleasant working environment where all parties can get benefits. Like that saying goes, “you catch more flies with honey than vinegar”.

4. Assertiveness

In the end, however; mom’s the boss and she will make sure the kids are well aware of that. Most of the times, you don’t even have to yell. One look, one statement, both are enough to eloquently let your feelings know that if your little bundle of joy keeps up that behavior, there’ll be a whole world of trouble descending upon him!

Why this is important in the workplace: Assertiveness is the classy way you can express displeasement in the workplace and have the situation (in most cases) resolved. Assertive people can get their point across in an appropriate manner without creating tension with colleagues. So it’s a good skill to have for you and for the company!

5. Hierarchichal and non-hierarchichal leadership

As soon as your kids start growing up they become more social and next thing you know you don’t just have your own kids running around the house, but also all the friends they invited over. Your children may know you are the boss here, but the other kids have another boss back at their homes, so you have to have strategies to enforce your authority, without taking away from the role of your little guests’ parents.

Why this is important in the workplace: you already know this the era of more responsibility in the hands of less people. Sometimes that means managing projects that require the help of people who do not report directly to you and companies want to know you’d do this well. Same goes for managers. People management is a complex and tricky business and your experience at home can certainly add value to this!

6. Strong communication and interpersonal skills

Have you noticed how you now interact with a whole new group of people since you had kids? And it’s just not other parents… It’s relatives, healthcare practitioners, teachers, even random strangers amused by your child’s shenanigans at the supermarket. If you did not consider yourself “communicative” or “social” before, you have probably mastered the craft by now. And if you were already good at it, they should probably already give you a PhD.!

Why this is important in the workplace: decision making in business takes place when people articulate a specific point of view (which can be based on a wide variety of sources). The better someone articulates this point, the more a decision will be made in their favor. Plus, isn’t it much better to work with genuingly nice people?

7. Adaptability

You have an important appointment and just before you are about to go out the door, your kid spills chocolate milk on your crisp, clean white shirt. Oh joy! Not only do you have to brave every day situations like a champ, but you are well aware of how fast kids grow up and with that their tastes and needs! Like they love Mickey Mouse one month and the next all the want to do is play with the characters from Cars and Mickey makes them cringe….

Why this is important in the workplace: Everything changes. Nothing stays the same for long and when it comes to the corporate world, the speed of change is supersonic. Businesses today get restructured constantly and with that come new management priorities. And like when dealing with chocolate milk all over your shirt, you put on a brave face and deal with the changes as quickly as they came in! Like a boss!

8. Patience

Have you ever tried dressing a toddler? Then you know the experience is very similar to that of putting pants on a baby octopus. Or a fully-grown one, depending on how feisty your little devil is. Whether it’s putting clothes on, or brushing hair / teeth, you know you need a massive dose of perseverance and patience to get the job done!

Why this is important in the workplace: unfortunately the workplace is not one with only “shiny happy people”. You will always find that insufferable a-hole who will test the limits of your tolerance. It’s like trying to reason with a baby octopus. So indeed, a healthy level of patience will come in very handy!

9. Creative thinking

Raising small children is one of the most interesting times for creative thinking. You may not be creating masterpiece painting or sculptures, but those bedtime stories you make up before bed or the games you invent when your kid is bored (even though she has enough toys to share with the neighborhood) are a true testament of the power of imagination that’s in your head!

Why this is important in the workplace: innovation, a huge growth driver for businesses comes from creative thinking. Think about brands that are currently at the top of their game and you’ll see how innovation is at their core. You think creating silly games for your kid are no big feat, but you never know, you may be sitting on the next highest grossing app in the world!

10. Analytical and Problem solving skills

Every parent carries a lot of baggage. Literally! Gone were the days when you could just travel light. Nowadays your bag carries a wide variety of objects to averts pesky situations your child gets into: falls and scratches, dirt, boredom, hunger…. And when you are ill-equipped? You turn into the best version of MacGyver you can be and construct a temporary diaper entirely of toilet paper (was I the only one who ever did that?)

Why this is important in the workplace: Sometimes it’s not about creating something from scratch, but working with what you have and making it better. Research and development can be expensive, so looking at existing products and processes and identifying ways to maximize efficiencies by increasing sales or reducing costs are skills companies welcome with open arms!

There you have it! Do you have more skills you feel you’ve acquired as you raise your children? Post your thoights in the comments section below!

5 Great Online Retailers to Shop from this Season

5 Great Online Retailers to Shop from this Season

It’s almost that time of the year when the whole spirit of the holidays gets trampled by the rampant comercialism of “gifts giving”. What are you gonna do? Presents are certainly a fun thing to give (and even more to receive). How about this year you avoid the crowds and get your fix online? The experience with these particular 5 retailers will be worth it!

1. Etsy

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Known for: It’s a marketplace for all things handmade and vintage. As a merchant you create your own store within the site and sell your stuff. The site is not only an eCommerce platform, but you a curation tool for all your favorite finds and shops, whilst engaging withother users to see their favorite finds and shops. Merchants offer a wide variety of items with a wide array of customization possibilities. You may be buying online, but sometimes it feels more personalized than with a face to face interaction. This year, a great way to support small businesses and artisans, consider making your holiday purchases on Etsy! You can go even further and filter your items / shops by country, should you wish to support local talent!
Example items for sale:

2. Cult Beauty*

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Known for: Full disclaimer, I have an affiliate marketing partnership with them, but I do because I looooove shopping there! This site stock all the best beauty finds curated by a panel of experts, and instead of finding every single item from a brand there, you are only going to find those considered “cult”. They also have samples and special offers all the time, not to mention the absolutely fabulous customer service team ever! Be sure to try their wishlist functionality which allows you to make lists of your fave items with annotations and easily move them to your shopping cart. Some of my favorite items can be found there, so be sure to check it out!
Example items for sale:

3. Fab

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Known for: started as a private sales site (sites requiring a free membership, which could be obtain with an invite) and offer a selection of products for a specific time frame. Fab focuses on a selection of quirky, artsy finds for the home and office, for the geek and hipster, for women, men, and kids. They have “themed” sales, for example, one day they may open a food-themed sale with a bunch of delicious, edible finds from great (sometimes locally reknowned or innovative) vendors. Another day you may get a Swedish design themed sale (a non-Ikea one) with the best design pieces this country has to offer. Whatever you buy via Fab, it is guarateed to make you smile!
Example items for sale:

4. Polyvore

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Known for: this is not a shop per-se, but a great way to get to the shops that sell your item. This site is actually a social networking site that works around the cncept of creating and sharing fashion, beauty and home decor “sets”. You can, for example, compose a set with a great outfit to wear at that upcoming wedding you’ve been invited, or add a picture of a celebrity with a killer makeup look and add the products you think would help recreate the look. All the pictures used on these sets come from a huge database of retailers that allow you to buy some or all the products in a particular set. Is that store not available in your country?you can also find similar items from shops that do!
Example items for sale:

5. IWOOT*

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Known for: recently rebranded as an acronym, “I Want One Of Those” caters to those who are easily drawn to all sorts of fun and quirky gadgets you don’t really need, but really, really want. This stuff here makes really fun presents for everyone, but especially those with geeky interests will find a great retail outlet in IWOOT. This UK retailer not only offers products, but also what the call “experiences” which are exactly what the name implies: opportunities to do certain unique activities (only available in the UK, though) such as spa days, skydiving, racecar driving, even as outrageous as a “zombie bootcamp”! Whatever you choose is bound to put as smile on your recepient’s face, and you won’t have to break the bank for it! Also one of my affiliate partners.
Example items for sale:

*Contains affiliate links. When you buy products via these links, a commission (2 to 7%) goes to The Paola Campo Report. By purchasing via this links you are supporting the site, and for that, we thank you!

What’s on your wishlist this holiday season?
Happy Shopping!

10 Reasons Belgium is both an Awesome and Horrible Country to Live in

10 Reasons Belgium is both an Awesome and Horrible Country to Live in

A lot of people ask me how I ended up in Belgium, wondering why I would choose the sunny and warm weather of my Colombian hometown over the rainy grey skies of this tiny European country. Most people outside of Europe know very little about Belgium, often confusing it with “Brussels” (not a country) or its more popular neighbors France and the Netherlands. If you want to learn some facts about Belgium this is not the right post for you. You will learn more about Belgium by reading, but this is a far more interesting post, of what it’s like to live here.

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7 City Districts to Live and Breath Culture

7 City Districts to Live and Breath Culture

We are always talking about cities: the top 20 best cities to live in, the top 10 coolest cities… etc… but, what about those conglomerations of similar lifestyles that come together to form a neighborhood, district, arrondesement, or whatever they call it in your city? Let’s go on a tour around some of the most defining, trend-setting, urban shapping districts/neighborhoods/zones of some cities all around and that you really need to visit.

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IMATS London 2013: 5 reasons to love makeup artistry and despise the industry!

IMATS London 2013: 5 reasons to love makeup artistry and despise the industry!

The International Makeup Artists Trade Show took its next London installment to Kensignton Olympia Hall between Friday 21st and Sunday 23rd June. IMATS as it’s known, is held yearly in Los Angeles, Vancouver, Toronto, and New York. This event is the stuff makeup dreams are made of: all the best professional brands at superb prices, reknowned speakers in the industry and a display of beautiful makeup artistry from across the world. Sure, sounds all happy, but there is also plenty to be upset about…

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