While juggling life and work as a working mum, you may sometimes feel that you owe your employer for his or her patience, particularly when you are functioning at less than your optimal level of dedication and productivity due to family matters. But being a working mum at the place of work does not need to mean that you cannot be the best employee your boss could hope for. Here are seven ways a working mum can be her boss's dream employee.
1. Keep your focus
When at work, be at work. Just as you would not like your boss to intrude on your family time, try not to allow your family affairs to intrude on your work time. Separation anxiety can make this difficult at first, particularly just after returning to work from pregnancy leave, but do not be disheartened. Take the steps necessary to ensure you can feel relaxed and focused at work, while trusting that your child is in good hands. When you give your 100% at work, no matter who you are, your boss will certainly cherish you.
2. Maintain a stable work life balance
Manage and organise your home and family life so that you do not need to leave work unexpectedly, unless in the case of an emergency. Know who is picking up your child from school, where and with whom your child will be until you knock off from work, how your child will get to and from football or dance class, and so on. The less your family life demands your time and attention and interferes with your work, the happier your boss will be.
3. Communicate with your boss
Sometimes, you can expect the unexpected. When this happens, simply communicate clearly with your boss. Although not always evident, bosses are human too and will generally understand when you come to them to sincerely explain an inevitable and unwelcome situation. Unexplained absences or under-performance would certainly be more frustrating to your boss than a clear understanding of a situation, why it could not be avoided and what needs to be done to fix it. Clear communication increases trust between you and your boss.
4. Do not abuse your boss’s kindness
First of all, there are the obvious rules of courtesy whereby you do not incur extra costs to your employer for your personal needs. For example, do not use the work phone to make several daily calls to your childcarer, and do not turn up late at work consistently due to “dropping your child at school” without making up for the lost time. Your boss will generally sympathise with your being a working mum only as long as there is reciprocity in “give and take”.
5. No matter what, stick to your deadlines
Remember that there is absolutely no excuse for not sticking to your deadlines. Your work is your responsibility and must be fulfilled. Your family is your responsibility too, but it is certainly not your boss’s and therefore he or she must never need to suffer from your shortcomings due to family commitments. Dedication, motivation, high productivity and timely delivery are expected of any employee, regardless of whether they are mums or not - give to your boss what you are being paid for.
6 Give your best
Your best will vary from time to time - you are only human and your ability may fluctuate depending on several factors. For example, five sleepless nights in a row would certainly affect your concentration and productivity. No matter what, though, always give your best; you simply can’t do better than that, so at least it keeps you in the safest position available to you. There is nothing worse than knowing that the reason for your trouble at work is your own fault. Keep your boss happy by demonstrating that, in any situation, he or she can always expect the best out of you.
7. Be proactive
You can be the kind of employee that says “Yes!” to all tasks assigned to her and performs them to a tee. This is likely to keep your boss happy and ensure you keep your job. Take it a step further and take ownership of your role within the company: how would you do it if this were your business? Most bosses are particularly happy when employees do not only execute tasks but also bring fresh ideas to the business. New ways to increase sales, reduce costs, improve systems of work and so on are just few of the proactive suggestions you can make to show your boss you care about the business and that you are a valuable member of the organisation.
Mum or not, just be the best employee you can be.