Networking for Au Pair and Nanny Employment
As much as agencies have taken over much of the nanny and au pair market, word of mouth referrals are still a great way to find gainful employment in the nanny and au pair industry. Many nannies start off working as babysitters or in day care, developing relationships with the children and parents.
Making an Impression
As a childcare professional, it is important to make an impression on the children, parents and teachers alike. This means more that just playing or helping the child, but also includes things like learning something more about the children (favorite games, how to cheer them up if they are sad, his or her favorite cartoon character) and establishing a relationship. This is even more important if you are looking to transition to a nanny or au pair. Parents of young children will be more likely to hire a nanny that already has a bond with their child, either in the day care classroom or as a babysitter. If you've made a good impression, a family that doesn't necessarily need a nanny might be willing to recommend you to another family.
If you are looking for a new job in any field, potential employers will want to see that you are capable and confident. This is certainly true for nanny jobs as well. While a family that you've worked with can recommend you based on your abilities, it is also important that everyone see you as a confident individual, able to take on any task and handle all kinds of children's issues that might arise. Standing out from the crowd of babysitters is a great first step towards getting a job through word-of-mouth, but having the confidence to ask for the job you want will seal the deal.
The most important part of gaining a nanny job through word-of-mouth referrals is being honest, clear and upfront about your goals. If you are looking for a full-time nanny job with young children that you hope to have for a number of years, say that. Many families will hear that a great nanny is looking for a job and will look to snatch him or her up. But just because the job is available, it doesn't mean it's the right job for you. Set your standards as you put the word out that you are looking for a job, and then stick buy them. The right nanny job will come along if you are patient enough to wait for it.
Sometimes the simplest way is the best way, and finding a nanny job is no exception. Consider word of mouth referrals as you look for your next nanny job and you might be surprised at how quickly you can find a great position with a great family!