Many dream of being a nanny from the first time they see Mary Poppins as a child, while others take this career path much later in life. It does not matter if you are 20 or 50-years-old, a nanny is a very rewarding career, and certainly one you can always get into. Not to mention, nannies are higher in demand now than ever before, especially since more women hold powerful positions in companies and have their own businesses that they can’t stay away from for long. As long as you are qualified, it will rarely be a challenge to find a nice long-term job.
Are You a Good Fit?
Being a nanny requires a special type of person. Just because you love kids, does not mean that this is the right career change for you. There are many characteristics that make a person a good nanny, a few of these include:
- Patience – Spending 10 to 12 hours with a child can be pretty wearing on your patience. You have to be able to not let things pile up until you explode. Children will push their boundaries and push your buttons; can you handle it?
- Dependable – A nanny is one of the most important career paths. The parent and child are both depending on you to be there. If you are someone who takes a casual sick day so you can go the beach, or because you were out too late the night before, this is not the right career choice for you.
- Trustworthy – It is hard for a parent tot rust their child with someone else. Some trust may need to be earned, but you must never do anything to lose it. Forgive and forget does not apply when it comes to a child.
- Organized – It does not matter if you are taking care of one child or a few; you have to be organized and able to multitask. There are appointments, schedules, events and allergies to keep track of, and you often have to be in two places at one time.
- Good Listener – This doesn’t only apply to the child, but the parent as well. You have to listen to instructions and respect a parent’s wishes. You also need to be able to listen and understand what a child is telling you, even when at first, all you hear is whining and yelling, accompanied by a lot of tears.
Are You Willing to Be Educated?
Unlike a nurse, there is not an actual licensing program to become a nanny, but there are other ways to make yourself more qualified for the career. Child education and development courses always look exceptional on a resume, as does at least a basic college education. Keep in mind that you will likely be required to help with homework, if caring for older children, so if you haven’t been in school for a long time, a few refresher courses could be beneficial.
Most importantly though, nearly every parent will ask you if you are trained in first-aid and CPR. If you’re not, you better be willing to take this brief workshop somewhere.
Do You Have a Clean Criminal Record?
Put yourself in the parent’s shoes; would you hire someone to spend countless hours with your child without doing a background check? Probably not! If you don’t have a clear record, this is probably not going to be a career choice you should be pursuing, as you will have a hard time getting hire. Most parents will do a county, state and national check, as well as investigate sex offender lists, judgments, tax liens, credit check, college education and driving record. If you think you will just lie really well during the interview process, rest assured that there is little chance that potentially negative findings will just slip by.