Tell me if this sounds familiar…
You dug through the refrigerator and managed to find enough to make “mom’s surprise” for dinner. Baby #2 is crabby because his nap was cut short so you are holding him while trying to cook. Baby #1 wants to play NOW so is hanging off your leg. In an attempt to pacify baby #1, you are singing her favorite preschool song that includes hand motions that you HAVE to include. You forgot to add something to the calendar so you dance and sing your way over to the calendar and jot it down before quickly checking dinner to make sure it doesn’t burn. You get a text from your mom about the family party this weekend and quickly text back that you can bring the buns (hey, whatever I don’t have to cook.) Oh, and you really should serve a vegetable with this, so search for a can of something they will eat and pop that in the microwave. (Have you ever opened a can with one hang juggling a baby and another baby attached to your leg? Of course, you have!)
So, when you go to your job interview and the interviewee asks you if you are able to multi-task, do me a favor and try not to laugh. No really, that will not get you the job.
Yes, moms are generally masters at multi-tasking. And most don’t even realize it. For us, it’s called “everyday life.”
I do know that there is plenty of chatter that talks about multi-tasking being a bad thing. I agree that there are moments that we need singular focus.
A big project you are working on. Auditing numbers on a spreadsheet. Reading a book to your child. Enjoying your massage (one can always hope.)
However, much of the rest of our mom life is spent accomplishing as many thing as possible in as much time as possible. This is necessary to make a dent in the never-ending task list we all have.
So, when you are sitting at the table with the interviewee and you are asked about multi-tasking, just smile and say, “I have proven success, both personally and professionally, in organizing and staying on top of my responsibilities. For example,…”