You found a nanny job that fits you to a T. How do you keep it? How do you become the all-star nanny that every parent finds indispensable? We have 10 nanny tips to help you understand how to be a good nanny. Also, if this is your first nanny/babysitter job, we have additional nanny advice about babysitter taxes as well.
- Respect boundaries! You work in a private home, may genuinely love your charges and be quite fond of your employer. That is all well and good. It is important to remember, however, that you are NOT a member of the family, that this is your job. Behaviors, attitudes and issues appropriate for discussion in YOUR private home with YOUR family need to stay there. Don’t bring your fight with your significant other to the workplace, and don’t interfere or in any way comment on the relationship between your boss and his/her significant other. Boundary issues are a two way street. Sometimes it is the employer who is crossing the line. When your mom boss asks “So when are you and X going to start your family?” it is perfectly fine to respond with a non-committal “I’ll be sure to let you know if and when that happens” and then change the subject.
- Not your job? In every job we occasionally need to do something that is “not my job.” If it truly is a once-in-a-while kind of thing, do the task without complaint. When your employer asks you to do something a little out of the ordinary, don’t take offense and never say to your boss that it’s not in your job description to do it. And whatever you do, don’t sigh! (Deep audible exhale) We all know that a sigh communicates “I am so annoyed! Really?” – use your words!
- It’s all about attitude A flexible, “can do” attitude is valued in an employee. Life is not predictable all the time. An employee who is adaptable and capable of adjusting to a last minute change of plans is a treasure.
I have heard many times from nannies that they will “never do such and such even once because then it becomes a permanent part of my job.” Stop and think for a moment. Is taking out the trash really worth creating friction with your boss over? Yes, I realize sometimes an employer will keep adding duties until you cry uncle. This is not the norm though. Remember, nannying is a service profession, and your charges are not your only constituency. Going the extra mile on occasion and being a team player is valued, and creates much good will.