Four years in college, a couple more in grad school, and a ridiculously long unpaid internship, and you were ready to enter the workplace! Between coursework and hands-on experience, you built up a stockpile of super skills. But school didn’t teach you everything. Sometimes the skills you need to succeed at work are hiding in some not-so-obvious places. As a new mom, you’ve got lots of brand-new, amazing skills — and they can totally help you be a better employee and achieve your career goals. Read on for how you can use them to become a superstar at your office after maternity leave.

1. Time Management: Your baby starts daycare at 7am, but your four-year-old doesn’t go to preschool until 8am. Every morning, you have hair to brush, clothes to put on, lunches to make, shoes to pick out, and that’s not even getting yourself ready. The moment that you added another life to your family, time management took on a whole new meaning. From feedings to bedtimes and everything in between, those time management skills you’re building will serve you well in the workplace. Suddenly, juggling a zillion emails, a morning staff meeting, and three pushy clients won’t be all that bad.

2. Letting It Go: Once upon a time, in a far-off place called pre-baby life, you freaked out over the smallest things. A misplaced Post-It note put you over the edge, and a teeny-tiny disagreement with a coworker made you want to quit. Now that you’re a mom, you’ve learned how to take these life events in stride. If you lost it every single time your baby cried, your two-year-old threw a tantrum, or a diaper leaked all over your leg in the middle of Starbucks, you’d spend 99.9 percent of your day in tears. Bringing to work your new ability to let things go can make life much easier and help you accomplish everything you need to — minus the breakdown.

3. Multitasking: Knocking out your daily mom duties one at a time would take forever. You’re a superwoman in that you can change a diaper single-handedly while going over your toddler’s class schedule and making a doctor’s appointment. Multitasking is a standout skill that’ll be super helpful at the office.

4. Problem-Solving: Mr. Teddy is gone. He’s your toddler’s absolute favorite toy, and he’s definitely missing. She knows it, and she’s hysterical. Instead of panicking, you put on your new-mom/critical-thinking hat and figure out a solution. (Luckily, the toy store at the mall has the exact same bear with the exact same blue ribbon.) Take your new problem-solving skills to the workplace, and watch the magic happen.

5. Communication: Talking to a toddler is kind of like talking to, well, the brick wall that you call “boss.” If you can manage to talk your tot down from a pre-dinner frenzy, you can use your words to effectively navigate and negotiate just about every situation. Now that you’re a mom, you’ve honed your strategic communication skills. Not only are you improving the speaking part of communication, but you’re also building listening skills. Tuning out for as little as two seconds can turn a perfectly fine day into a nightmare of confusion and misunderstanding.

6. Research: There’s grape juice all over your new white couch. (Yeah, you probably should have stuck with hunter green or navy blue, but you went with white.) And now you need to figure out exactly what happened. You’re in mom mode, and your research skills are helping you find an answer in no time. (No surprise: It was your three-year-old.) As a new mom, you’ve mastered gathering the facts, interviewing expert witnesses, and finding answers. Your rad research skills go hand-in-hand with those problem-solving skills when you’re at work. Couple that critical thinking with your analytical ability, and put them to the test when you’re on the job.

Which new mom skill serves you best at work? Share your pick and tweet us @BritandCo!

(Photos via Getty)