Is it career suicide to become a nanny? - Adventure Nannies

Is it career suicide to become a nanny?

“Help! I have a Master’s degree- is pursuing a nanny position the equivalent to career suicide? My family seems to thinks so!”

Don’t nanny. Adventure Nanny: A nanny service for active families, but more importantly, a service for kick-ass women who want to take over the world.

Answer: No, its not.  

We at Adventure Nannies take great pride in the work we do. We will tell you: we are unlike any other agency in the world. Our clients consist of the most brilliant and innovative families, and our nannies are never “just nannies.” They are tastemakers, adventurers, academics, trailblazers, and athletes. Even as I write this, I think of the amazing opportunities and characters we are afforded to work with, and I get chills.

It makes me beg the question, “Who wouldn’t want to be a nanny?” Alarmingly, becoming a nanny is a difficult choice for many powerful and driven women (and men) out there, which is where I want to start us off.

Nannying as a career

In the past year, we have had some of the most fascinating jobs cross our organizational path. Today, we have an opportunity to travel the world for a period of three years with an incredible family, and another offering opportunities to sail the Mediterranean. We have positions in desirable cities across the United States, all with comprehensive benefits packages including 401k’s, expansive, worldly experiences, the opportunity to work with titans of industry, and a handsome paycheck for a financially stable future. And yet, thinking about pursuing a nanny position feels equivalent to career suicide. Why is this?

 Forbes came out with an article a while ago about what we should really look for when thinking about our next job. It is worth a quick glance, because at its core, it prompts you to see beyond the cultural norms of what a “worthy career” looks like. An important takeaway is how the days of picking a profession, and following a clear path, which leads to an inevitable ladder to be climbed (sometimes higher by some than others) is behind us.

It is a precarious time where the language we use as a society is limited to that particular track, and the voices telling us we could be made for something different are packaged with the rhetoric of “risky business,” and, “alternative choices.” Our lips quiver amongst loved ones and friends when we talk about plans that don’t fall within the traditional pursuit of happiness. To make things worse, the success stories seem too far-fetched. The millionaire college dropout isn’t quite what we are reaching for. We don’t necessarily have the next best invention since Facebook. The days of becoming a specialist don’t flatter the global workplace, which is much better suited for a savvy generalist, who can not only outperform in one area, but many, and with ease.

Take an alternative path

Penelope Trunk wrote in 2012, “I realized that most people in their 20s are worried, at one point or another, that they are messing up their lives. Especially people who take alternative paths. Yet, it’s the alternative paths that give people the most control over their lives as they get older.” I would like to push this concept even further by saying it is your path that will give you the most control over your life. Your path, call it alternative if that works for you, is the path that may or may not follow suit. Your path is deeply rooted in the desire to live authentically. Your path is about making choices that align with the things you want to accomplish in your life. This may be a corporate ladder, and it may be a clearly defined track, but it may not.

Adventure Nannies seeks to re-conceptualize the age-old impressions of “being a nanny,” because it seems to unearth deeply seeded impressions of a woman who has very little to offer this world other than minding children, which she should naturally be good at, (because she is a woman).

The women we usher into the field are not on a dead-end track to a career as a nanny. They are using the trade and its opportunities to help them carve the path they want to walk down. They are brilliant minds with Master’s degrees working for brilliant minds with connections they previously dreamed of having. They are writers chasing time to perfect their tales. They are accomplished teachers who can now focus their efforts on a handful of kids rather than an over-crowded classroom. Adventure Nannies are people who are deeply satisfied by the daily challenges of managing complex households. They relish in supporting the emotional and physical needs of the children in their care.

About the author: 


Kay is a tried and true adventurer who has honed her communication skills through 3 languages, global travel, higher education, and a whole lot of work.  She started off as a nanny abroad for a family of 5 that evolved into 9, and gradually strengthened those skills with a bachelor’s in Communication Studies and a master’s in Conflict Resolution.

Kay is an advocate of proactive personal development and intentional communication.  Her work in community development and engagement has primed her to dig deep into tough issues, which we find to be relevant to the work we do with our families.  Her tenure on the executive board of a large corporation as the Organizational Development Director seasons her to identify and work through tough issues.

Kay is an active listener and an exceptional writer.  We believe her to have the ideal skill-set to serve our nannies and families in working through the dynamic and pressing questions they encounter along the way.