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Caregiving and career: Five skills they bring together

Monday January 3, 2022, By Janani Sampath

Caregiving is a personal commitment and is widely prevalent across social structures. In India, it is essentially a woman who is a caregiver as they cater to the needs of different age groups. Studies show that they outnumber men, but the pandemic has made at least 39% step into the role for the first time, as per a study.

Though a lot has been said about how caregiving can impact the caregiver, it also has benefits. Caregiving is not an isolated task and comprises skill sets that can be applied at a workplace.

Here are five skills that emerge from caregiving.

Time management: Alternating between different tasks cut out, you as a caregiver, is acing time management. From administering medicines on time to cleaning up and arranging the meals round the clock, who else but you would know the importance of using time effectively. At the workplace, the same translates to completing tasks — projects or proposals—on time by aligning goals and timelines for each.

Ownership: What is it like to have the responsibility of a bed-ridden person or an aging person who needs assistance. Or, how is it to take care of a child you always have to watch out for? A mammoth task, right? But when you have done it and are aware of your significant role, owning your task/role is not intimidating at the workplace. Only that ownership here defines knowing that the buck stops with you and what you deliver matters.

Empathy: You do it all the time as a caregiver—put yourself in the other person’s shoes to understand their wants and even feel the agony. At work, collaborating and interacting with different team members and colleagues will make you receptive to their issues or challenges, and be quick at offering solutions. As an empathetic person, you contribute a lot by making the workplace inclusive and welcoming for all.

Stress management: Managing every task and move of another person is not devoid of anxieties and worries. However, as a caregiver, you are adept at pulling yourself together and focusing on what needs to be done. Just replace the scenario with the target date for the project completion, and there you are with the poise and composure to think and execute the sequence of actions to accomplish it.

Poised for challenges: It often happens—you have planned the routine around caregiving needs when there is a medical emergency or a sudden errand for you to attend. And, after having been through such uncertainties, one thing is for sure—you know exactly how to think on your feet. Sudden events or tasks amid a planned day at work can throw a spanner in your plans. But you know how to navigate around them.

With the majority of women discharging caregiving duties and many more across genders joining the group, as shown by Covid, it is essential for you to understand the benefits it can extend to your career and for organizations to consider among candidates. After all, it is about work-life integration today!

Author Profile

Janani Sampath
Janani Sampath
With close to 15 years of experience in journalism across beats in multiple mediums, Janani Sampath is senior content writer and assistant editor, Diversity Digest.
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