I’ve had three pregnancies in my life. Can I use them on my résumé? They certainly were among my greatest achievements and best “product launches.” By common wisdom, all things related to home and children are private, despite the accomplishment you, me, and 60 million moms in America know it to be!
Employers still don’t look at mothering and managing a household with the respect it deserves, but what if everything you learned during pregnancy could help you find your dream job? What if you looked at pregnancy differently -- saw it for its contribution to your career? I call this way of looking at pregnancy “Unpregnancy.” It is a life experience during which you build character, manage limited time and resources, and master an unparalleled method of Change Management.
Unpregnancy is introduced and developed in my new book, Motherhood to Otherhood (Running Press). Even if your last pregnancy was two years or 20 years ago, you can use Unpregnancy to reach Otherhood. Why not? Motivational speakers and bosses use sports metaphors all the time, like “Take one for the team," "Hit it outta the park," "We need a home run” -- and when’s the last time they likely played in a real football or baseball game? Unpregnancy is our metaphor and model for how to succeed.
There are nine lessons of Unpregnancy -- the undeniable revelations of pregnancy -- and they can all be reapplied to everyday life and career advancement!
1.) You’ll never be alone again. Network with playground moms & dads for more than bake sale donations.
2.) Only you can do. Find your mission. Seek to match your career to your mission – if you’re working with passion, you’ll be happier and more successful. If you’re volunteering too much, create a “giving policy” for your money and time. Only say Yes when it supports your mission.
3.) You are great, with child. Let your child help you access your altered moods -- joy, wonder, creativity, awe -- and bring that great mood to the office or to your new business.
4.) You’re gestating. (Everything else can wait.) Take time to just be. Allow yourself time in each day to do nothing and hear yourself think. Don’t do what you don’t have to. Ask for and accept help.
5.) You don’t know what to expect. Expectations of you become your brand -- make sure you’re managing your brand. Consider how your expectations are changing your mood, behavior, and performance. Open your mind to new possibilities.
6.) Napping is not a crime. Leave your guilt at the door. Sometimes the best way to do the job is to phone it in. Spending less time on a task is not the same as underperforming.
7.) Is Mother Nature kidding me? Maternal Instinct brings on naturally occurring ambition. Body convolutions and physical annoyances aside, you have ambitions and dreams.