Your Nanny Job is a Smart Career Choice.
So, you are a nanny. Or, you have reached a place where you are seriously thinking about what that means for your future. In Part One, we looked at all of the reasons becoming a nanny can be an amazing stepping-stone on your life and career path. In Part Two we will look at the meaty parts of this argument, and give you some vocabulary to either talk about your skills and accolades to future employers that are not in the nanny industry, or to use as a template during your current or future nanny job. Now remember, it is important to not only recognize the value of these learned skills, but also to exercise them. This is a chance to refine your skills in your position.
Here is a list of skills to consider:
The average employee needs roughly 2-5 years of experience before they are promoted into a project management position. Your experience in project management should take you far. You know how to manage a team, and lead them successfully on a daily basis, and over a long period of time. You observe your charges with an intuitive eye and know how to make slight shifts for the betterment of the over all function of the group. You plan, organize, and make thoughtful decisions on what needs to be done. You are a master of delegation, but also foster autonomy and strength in your charges. Your goal is to promote and cultivate the strongest characters, positive attitudes, and open trust amongst your team. Frequent interruptions and chaotic events don’t derail you, and you know how to get back to your good-natured, focused self. Every day is new, and people-focused.
Working in teams is inevitable, and every industry expects and desires a workforce that can do this effectively. You have fostered an environment where decision-making is based on dialogue, and not dictatorship. There is deeply rooted trust amongst everyone under your charge, and everyone feels like an active member of the team. You engage people to problem-solve and participate together. You set reasonable goals, fair expectations, and open feedback. You encourage cooperation, not competition.
Strong Negotiation Skills:
You can get a toddler to eat their vegetables, a teenager to turn the TV off, and a family to behave well on a 12-hour plane ride. You exude patience, and ask exceptional questions. You are always prepared, and engaged in every conversation. Your listening skills are impeccable and you are able to communicate clearly while, displaying emotional control and reliability. There is no negotiation you can’t handle.
You are able to communicate openly and honestly with your employer and ensure them that you are taking the utmost care of the tasks at hand. You take direction well, but have the ability to interject your own ideas or opinions for the sake of bettering the overall health and environment of your team.
You engage conversations appropriately, with the utmost respect of private and social situations. You communicate openly as you encounter issues on the job, and work to resolve them. You recognize that half the battle is asking good questions, and listening fully for the answers. You value strong communication above all else.
There is no schedule beyond your capacity. You are able to flawlessly manage the lives and tasks of multiple people throughout the day. You value your time with your team, and you value their time to accomplish their goals. You are organized, but flexible.
You have taken the initiative to encourage growth and development in all ways possible. You are caring in times of academic struggle. Respectful of family expectations of achievement, and intuitive in order to foster an empowering educational environment.
Bear in mind, this list is by no means exhaustive. Your unique situation may afford you some extraordinary skills. Don’t forget to capture them and show their true worth. Are you taking extracurricular courses to help you better serve your family? Have you gone above and beyond to be a better educator? Are you particularly advanced in certain areas, because of your job description?
We encourage you to exercise these skills, and dig deeper into what they could mean for your position as a nanny. You are being afforded an opportunity to strengthen them, so take them as far as they can go.
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.
Please send any and all questions or comments regarding nanny life to firstname.lastname@example.org