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How to land your next nanny job

How land your next nanny job - tips from SmartSitting

Do you love working with children and have great experience doing so? Do you think a job in the childcare field could be just the right way for you to earn a steady income doing what you love? Then the only thing that remains is booking that dream childcare job! In our many years of helping nannies and babysitters find their ideal childcare positions, we’ve picked up a few tips and tricks that we see have direct results in families hiring childcare professionals and that bring long-term satisfaction to both employers and employees. In today’s post, we will go over a few of them in the hopes that they will help you land your next nanny job. 

What kind of nanny job are you looking for?

Before you even start the search, it is super important to nail down what kind of position you are ideally looking for. Are you available for a full-time position? And if so, can you commit at least a year to a family? If you are an actor pursuing auditions, what kind of schedule will work for you so that you can both show up for your family and for your artistic pursuits? Be honest with yourself here. Knowing what you are capable of in terms of commitment, what you are looking to earn, and what you are willing to do will be immensely helpful to your search. It will also ensure that families who meet you will feel that you are just the right candidate.

Where can you find a nanny job?

With the internet, finding a nanny job or babysitting position has never been easier. Facebook groups and local parent sites can help connect you with families looking for childcare help. If you know other sitters or families, direct referrals often give you an instant seal of approval. You can also try listing services like Sitter City or Care.com. Finally, another way of booking your dream position that offers security both for you and the family is via reputable childcare agencies — of which we here at SmartSitting obviously consider ourselves one. Keep an eye out for a future blog post regarding the differences between listing services and nanny agencies!

How do you prepare for a job interview?

Like with any professional job interview, preparation for a nanny interview is key. Make sure your childcare resume is updated and in order. You can even use a site like canva.com to help design your resume and make it stand out from the crowd! 

It isimportant to have a list of references prepared. Make sure the references listed know you are looking for a new position and are prepared to take the call. This is especially important for older references or positions with many employees, like a summer camp or similar. 

At the time of the interview, make sure to arrive early. This ensures that you have found the right address and aren’t running in flustered. This may mean that you pace around the block for a few minutes before it is appropriate to ring the doorbell. That’s okay! If you are meeting for a virtual interview, double check your internet connection and any relevant software so there are no glitches. You can even ask a friend to do a test call shortly before the interview to make sure they can see and hear you fine. Dressing professionally not only shows you take the job seriously; it can also help you get in the right mindset for a job interview, so you perform your very best.  

How can you set yourself apart from other candidates in a nanny interview?

When you meet the family for an interview, it is important to remember that parents will remember not just the details of your relevant experience, but also very much your energy and how the connection felt between you. The childcare profession is a personal one, and parents are usually not professional recruiters. This means that a lot of it comes down to how the connection feels between you. Match their energy, and be genuine. Answer their questions by tying it back to your previous experience, your expertise, and relationships with previous families and kids. Make it clear that you are confident in taking on the requirements of the position, especially by highlighting how you have already handled similar situations. If the children are present at the interview, try to balance connecting with them while still giving thoughtful, professional answers to the parents. 

The interview is also your chance to ask questions. Make sure that the position is right for what you are looking for. Take this opportunity to ask about their parenting and discipline styles, dig into current challenges they are facing and consider how you might be able to assist. Ask about their ideal nanny or babysitter and think about how you can showcase your skill set to match those needs. Keep an eye out for any red flags that may indicate this is not the best position for you. 

Is it appropriate to discuss rate in a nanny interview?

In short, absolutely! Talking about rate is a really important part of the conversation, especially if it has not been covered in a job listing or if the family has presented a range. Income could be a deal breaker for the role, both from your side and the family’s. Make sure that the rate offered is one you are comfortable with, and that it is aligned with the expectations and responsibilities of the position. 

When advocating for yourself in terms of rate, there are a few things to consider: 

  • What is your minimum gross income need to commit to a role? This is a calculation based on what you need to pay your bills, earn a living, and what will make you feel like a valued employee. Make sure it aligns with what is reasonable for the position offered, so that you do not require a full-time income when you can only commit to a part-time position. 
  • What is the market rate and, specifically, a common market rate for a similar position? Research and come prepared with this information in case it is needed. Consider what you were paid in previous positions with similar responsibilities. A childcare agency can also help set your expectations of what is the going rate for such a position for someone with your experience.
  • Help justify the rate you are asking for by connecting your experience to the needs of the position to show that you are qualified for the role and the ideal candidate for this family! 

Helpful notes and setting up the position: 

After your interview, follow up with the family to thank them for their time and for the opportunity to meet. If you are offered the position, make sure the following details are ironed out. This way, both you and the family know what’s expected in the job: 

  • A work agreement or contract, outlining the responsibilities of both parties 
  • Payment on payroll, including overtime when working more than 40 hours per week
  • A guaranteed minimum income if you are working on a regular schedule with a family

Setting up these parameters helps both you and the parents understand the expectations of the job. It gives you something to refer back to in case any issues come up. 

Above all, remember to be yourself in the job search! Be mindful of what it is you are looking for, know yourself and where you will truly shine. Families pick up on this energy. A great connection can help build a working relationship that brings out the best in you and in the job. If you have any questions about your job search, you are always welcome to reach out to the team here at SmartSitting. We’d also love to hear your success stories or any tricks you’d like to share with other sitters and nannies. Drop a line on our Facebook or Instagram and let us know how the job search is going for you! For more helpful information from SmartSitting directly in your inbox, subscribe to our newsletter. Happy hunting!

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