A common saying we hear throughout our lives is that there are always two sides to every story. Likely so, there are also two ways to react to the good and bad events in our lives, and this post is about taking the high road.
Advancing in a career is common knowledge, as it is in the nanny world too. Most nannies know that we all start somewhere, and it’s usually far from where we end up ten years later (like INA Nanny of the Year Candi Vajana, where you can read about here!) Situations change, natural transitions occur, some jobs last years, and bad fits happen. However, what you do with the good changes and the bad changes in your nanny career is incredibly important to your advancement in the field.
Learning from your experiences is probably the most valuable free education you can give yourself. Personally interviewing each nanny I work with means that I hear about a lot of really great, and really awful experience. I’ve worked for several families myself and gained an incredible amount of knowledge from each one through positive (and negative!) experiences. One family heightened my love for cooking, while another taught me the importance of communicating by being an aggressive and authoritative communicator (also, bye!), another taught me patience, and I even learned how to run a household from a mico-manager. Each experience allows you to build your knowledge, professionalism, self, career, and skill-set, but it’s up to you to recognize what you can take from it to internalize and apply positively to your future experiences. Having a network of nannies who can help you through good and bad experiences is also important. Look up a local or online nanny group that’s purpose is to help you get through the bad to see the good.
Building your professional nanny resume happens over time, and I see all too often that nannies leave valuable experience from their resume because the job ended badly. Well guess what, it happens! A bad fit with a family doesn’t discount what you did on a daily basis to keep their family thriving. You still had responsibilities, expectations, and needed to love and care for their little gems. Instead of hiding a job and leaving a questionable gap in your resume (yes, agencies check for gaps!), be upfront in the interview that it just didn’t end well. Show us that you learned from it and list some positive outcomes- was it overall bad communication? Uncomfortable micro-management? Let us know that was the position that cemented your understanding of how important communication is and how important that is with a future family, or how a family’s trust in your experience is paramount to your success. Be open, honest, and willing to learn.
One thing I specifically look for in a good nanny is grace and a positive outlook. These two qualities go hand in hand with being an exceptional caregiver. Explaining bad situations is one thing, but tarnishing a person’s choices, way of life, or character is another. If you’ve had a bad experience- just move on! That just means it isn’t the place or family for you. Once you recognize that and are able to let it go, it lets you grow. Handling a bad situation with grace is monumental in building and advancing your career. If you’re with a family that just isn’t working out, always be the bigger person; give your best until you’re done, give them notice, and give them your well wishes as you gracefully move on. Move forward knowing you grew through your experience with them, knowing what works and what doesn’t work for you with a future family.
Bottom line, focus on the good, and KEEP MOVING FORWARD!