Negating the Parent Trap: Helping Working Parents Move Up the Career Ladder

Career ambition isn’t just for the childless: parents have career dreams, too. But too many unwritten rules in the workplace keep parents trapped in lower-level positions.

Anaheim  recruiters

We’ll first delineate some of these “rules,” and then we’ll offers some suggestions companies could use to help working parents move high up the career ladder.

Take a look below.

  • Presentism

The number of people working from home has risen greatly in the last few years, up 44 percent over the past five years and increasing by a whopping 91 percent over the last 10 years. People doing all kinds of work and of all ages embrace the concept. Parents especially like the idea due to the work-life balance telecommuting offers.

Yet telecommuters lose out when it comes to job promotions and while many workplaces today say they want their employees – parents or not – to have a good work-life-balance, who tends to get the job promotions? Those workers who work full-time in the office: telecommuters and other remote workers are 50 percent less likely to receive a performance-based promotion than in-house employees.

In other words, if a manager doesn’t see someone doing their job, no matter how great their output and quality of work, it’s much harder for them to receive a promotion than someone who works in the office (and who is regularly seen by a manager).

  • You must not be serious about your career if you ask to take time off to see your child’s basketball game.

This harkens back to presentism and really hits parents where it hurts – in both their hearts (family) and their professional ambitions (many employers expect “that employees devote themselves fully to work.”)

Employers Lose, Too

It’s not just employees that lose when they don’t get a promotion: many workers have left a company – and take their skills, education and corporate knowledge with them – if an employer balks at offering flexible schedules.

Helping Your Company by Helping Working Parents Move Up

How can you help employees who are parents with their career goals? We have some ideas, below:

  • Focus on employees’ output/quality of work rather than how often they’re in the office.

Does it really matter when and where an employee works as much as the fact that the work gets done on time and is of high quality. Does it really?

  • If you don’t do so yet, start offering a telecommuting program and/or flexible schedules.

A telecommuting program is a big perk to many candidates, and can help you attract the best-of-the-best. Just don’t “punish” those of your workers who take advantage of it and doubt their value to you as well as their dedication. Conduct a gut check on whether you – and other managers – have a presentism mindset. If you see it’s there, fight it. HARD.

  • Provide online training opportunities for telecommuters.

Your remote workers want to learn new skills, just as your in-house workers do. But if you offer only on-site workshops and benefits/perks for in-class education, you could be hindering your remote workers’ chance to learn new skills and certifications. Because working parents often opt to telecommute, this can be detrimental when a promotion opportunity requires some type of certification or education level.

  • Have regular “How are you doing?” and “How can I help you with your goals?” conversations.

Ask your working parent employees what they need to help them perform at their best. See if their suggestions are something you could implement.

  • If you’re a working parent yourself, remember the challenges you faced if you wanted a promotion when your children were young(er).

Remember how hard it was to prove yourself as a working parent? The obstacles and challenges that came your way your non-parent colleagues didn’t face. Don’t forget your own beginnings and have compassion and understanding for ambitious employees who just happen to also be parents. You were just like them once; remember that.

When you need high-caliber workers for your temporary, temp-to-hire and direct-hire job opportunities, call upon the experienced recruiters at Helpmates for help. Reach out to the branch office nearest you and learn more.

Enhancing Productivity: Get More Out Of Your Day!

American workers spend 27.3 hours per week doing “non-essential” tasks, according to a study by leading productivity consultants PEPworldwide. The majority of this time is spent handling email.

Keeping yourself on track not only improves your quality of work but will also give your boss the signal that you are ready for the next level of your career. You may even find that you no longer rush to complete tasks before starting your weekend. Here are some simple tips to keep your productivity in gear throughout your day.

  • Manage your email. Email can easily cause the derailment of your daily productivity. Establish an organized workload schedule for each day, and only allow yourself a few periods of time to check and respond to
    emails. When you can, don’t respond immediately by email. A phone call can be more productive and avoid communication errors.
  • Minimize multitasking. A study by the Harvard Review showed that multitasking causes a 40% drop in productivity, more stress, and even a 10% dip in overall IQ. Our minds work best when we can stay focused on one task at a time. Prioritize your day to tackle the most important projects first and devote your full attention, until they are complete and before moving on to the next. If an emergency needs your immediate attention, set aside your current project until the problem is solved.
  • Write your plan. At the end of each day consider all of your tasks and write a detailed work plan for the following day. When you arrive in the morning, review it with a fresh mind and adjust as necessary. Follow your plan strictly throughout your work day.
  • Consider assistance. Regardless of how well you manage your time you may still find you have too much work and too few resources. A temporary specialist can take some of the pressure off your work load and stress level. This may be helpful during high intensity seasonal periods, or you may determine that bringing on additional employees will be a good strategy for long-term success.

Helpmates offers a 100% unconditional guarantee. Contact Helpmates today for a free workflow assessment to determine if contingent staffing support might be right for your department!


Use your Alumni Network | Southern California

Establishing a connection to your university’s alumni association is not only good practice while searching for a job right out of college, but it can also provide great connections throughout your career. Regardless of how long it has been since you graduated, contacting your college’s alumni office and association will lead to better networking and possibly a better career for you! You can improve your career outlook and develop lifelong connections by tapping into the resources available from your college.

  • Contact the career center or online resources. Your university career resource center will maintain a database of the alumni willing to mentor students, which is great for students preparing for graduation or seeking internships.  Online resources are not just for students, though.  Through lists of alumni who have indicated they are willing to support fellow alumni, you may be able to reach out to individuals who share your industry, or live and work in an area of the country that most interests you. Universities take pride in strong support of their alumni and of maintaining connections long after graduation; take advantage of every program available to you.
  • Look for alumni chapters in your city or the city where you want to live. Most people don’t live in their college town for the rest of their lives. Many other graduates will have moved away and established themselves in a new city as well. Alumni, especially from larger schools, will form associations in their towns to network. Reach out to those groups and express your interest in their town. They can offer advice, suggest other networking avenues, and may be able to provide local support to assist in your career goals.  And you might be surprised by the lengths to which people will go to support a fellow graduate of their alma mater!
  • Use LinkedIn to get involved in the alumni groups. LinkedIn is a highly valuable professional internet networking tool. It is easy to research and join informal groups which can connect you to alumni in your city or in your field. People using LinkedIn are there to make connections and thus are often very open to contact, so use that network as much as you can. Ask questions and learn more about job opportunities or industry events. LinkedIn is a free and user-friendly resource.

Through industry, business community, and yes, even alumni group involvement, the team at Helpmates is very well connected and we use those connections each day to bring together the best employees with the best companies in Southern California.  Contact Helpmates today to put our network to work for you!

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