Friday

Turning Down a Nanny Position

Received Friday, December 7, 2007-Perspective & Opinion
I recently went on a working interview for a family in Denver. I live in Arkansas and the family flew me out for the weekend. I spent Saturday evening, and all day Sunday with the family and then I flew home on Monday morning. During the time I was there I stayed in their home, I spent time getting to know them and their kids, and I did some childcare while they were in other parts of the house. They were perfectly nice, their home was beautiful and their kids were sweet; but it just didn't feel like a good fit. I just didn't feel right about it. There were no big red flags or huge problems. A few minor issues, but nothing major. The pay was competitive and the benefits were good.

When I left they informed me that they still had a few interviews, but that they'd be in touch. I figured that meant I didn't get the job, but since I didn't feel right about it anyways, I wasn't too upset.

Two days later the mother called and offered me the position, sounding very excited. I still didn't feel right about the position, so I turned her down. I explained that while I appreciated the offer, I just couldn't take the job, it didn't feel like a good fit. She didn't want to take no as an answer. She tried to make me feel guilty, saying that they were very disappointed, the kids really liked me and were still talking about me, etc. I still said no. Then she tried to entice me with a trial basis offer, saying just come for a month or two and try it out. That wouldn't work, I'd have to find a place to store my stuff, I'd have no place to live when I got back, what about rent? etc. I said no again. She seemed very disappointed, and I felt bad, but I can't accept a job just because I feel bad.

The reason I'm telling this story is because I'm new to nannying. That was my very first interview, my first offer. I know I made the right decision in turning the job down, like I've said a few times, it just wasn't right. But I'm wondering if anyone has had a similar experience. Should I feel bad? I'd love to hear what you all think.

29 comments:

Anonymous said...

Moving to a new city, and living in are two big adjustments, even if the job seems perfect. if you have any reservations about it, I think you are wise to turn it down.
I never accept a job offer unless I am really excited about it, and it seems to be a perfect match for me.
Keep looking, and good luck.
A Nanny

Kate in CO said...

First, I commend you for standing firm on saying no if it didn't feel right. Good for you........don't feel bad. I wonder if the nanny market here in Denver is so bad....or what??? Why did they fly you in from Arkansas? Being from NY myself and then moving out here to Denver at 19 was a HUGE adjustment.......I'm sure you made the right decision. I hope you can find just the right position. You sound like a smart girl! :o)

MissDee said...

It can be tough to make the right decision when it comes to this:

I worked at a great job that I left after almost 4 years. The job that I took looked great on the outside and was awful on the inside-the children's behavior was awful and I received no support. There was no discipline and I was constantly talked down to by my boss. I would come home at night exhausted and barely able to move, and I would cry, because of how I was treated. I ended up leaving a few months later....

And the weird thing was, my instinct was telling me to turn down this offer. I wish I would've, then again, leaving a job I loved was a learning experience for me. ALWAYS follow your heart, and nothing else!

Good luck sweetie!

heidi said...

Interesting Jane. I didn't realize you had a secret past as a nanny. I thought you were an artist.

jennifer lecarlo said...

Secret?
More like legendary.

:)

marypoppin'pills said...

No red flags? Or huge problems? Do you think it may have been you just didn't want to work so far away from home? ... by yourself without any close family or friends? If so, I could certainly understand that.
I applaud you for using your gut instinct ... most of us all too often ignore them.
Maybe if you did a little soul searching you could come up with a reason why you weren't comfortable about this job.

sav said...

As a nanny who is always waiting for a call to say I got the job, this kind of pisses me off. I have a friend like this to. Sh einterviewed for 3 nanny jobs and they all wanted her. Meanwhile I can't get my foot in the door. I can't get my foot in the door and she is thinking of the easiest way to say no to all 3 families because none of them met her standards.

Anonymous said...

Then why doesn't she recommend you to work with any of them?

Anonymous said...

1:22, how would someone turning down a job that they didnt feel comfortable piss you off? And its good your friend has standards. Maybe she is getting job offers because she is a great nanny and has good qualifications and references, and you just arent a good nanny who has bad qualifications and references.

NannyL said...

I applaud you! I did sorta the same thing. I got a IM from a family that wanted me to interview with them, after chatting on IM with them, the father called me to do a "phone interview" come to find out mom was down stairs the whole time and during the im interview. he told his wife about me and she wanted to meet with me so we set up a time to meet. I almost instantly fell in love with thier daughter. but i wasnt totally comfortable with them. the mother i was fine with but i didnt really know her. the father he was ok. a week later i was offered the position (over IM) and I accepted it, then 2 nights before I was to start the father IMed me once again and started asking me inappropriate questions about me and my boyfriend (why were we watching a movie and not making out- that sorta type stuff) i didnt like the questions but decided that I would still take the position and feel it out. well after talking with my boyfriend and parents and sister and bosses(this was a 2 day a week side job)and friends about it, everyone said the same basically go and if i still didnt feel comfortable at the end turn down the position. well the day for me to watch the baby came and i was sick to my stomach thinking about what the father said to me, so i made up a excuse and didnt go and blocked him from emailing me and iming me. a week later i get a im from what i think is my alma mater about a school event and it was him i told him i didnt like the way he talked to me it was inappropriate and he tried to guilt me into taking the position, telling me the baby loved me and his wife loved me and i said no sorry, i cant work somewhere where i would feel uncomfortable. i told him i hoped they find the perfect nanny for their daughter and that i was not it. he then told me well we already found her, we just needed you for the day. it was then i realized had i taken the job i would have been dealing with a real pervert asshole of a father.

erics mom said...

Don't feel bad. You did the right thing. She was interviewing others as well. Let her get the next person she may be interested in.

Once, they get someone else they won't think twice about you. And I hope you do the same, move on.
I hope you get a great job that you love.

Anonymous said...

You did the right thing. Nannying should be a team effort. If you are uncomfortable for whatever reason, even if you don't want to move that far away, you should go with your gut instincts. There will be other jobs.

Big Wis Nanny said...

Good for you! So many of us get beat with the "guilty" stick from parents and feel terrible about our decisions. This has happened to me before. If you felt it was not a good fit then you made the right choice!! Don't let her get you down or start to second guess your choice! You will find that right fit somewhere else. Welcome to the Nanny Club!! PS Don't let the bitter nannies get you down either. There is a reason no one wants you SAV...

tree said...

Going with your gut instinct is always the best thing to do. If you didn't feel connected you made the right decision. You seem very strong since you didn't let them talk you into it. Good luck on your search and let us know when you find a good position.

tree said...

Going with your gut instinct is always the best thing to do. If you didn't feel connected you made the right decision. You seem very strong since you didn't let them talk you into it. Good luck on your search and let us know when you find a good position.

Alicia said...

ummmm....IM? That should have been your first red flag, nannyl.

LittlePickyAlothappy said...

Sav, you sound exceptionally jealous, it is no one's fault but your own that you are unable to obtain a job. This is not to say, that at times all of us have struggled finding a job (the economy goes up and down) and sometimes it's difficult, but to say if you have the right personality, attitude, skills and training you WILL be able to at least "get your foot in the door." Maybe go back to school, or get a less jaded mind set? I certainly wouldn't want someone as pessimistic and jealous as you currently sound working around children.

OP, I commend you. I have turned down several seemingly wonderful jobs due to my gut instinct. One of which I later verified was the best decision of my life (long story, but let's just say daddy ended up in jail!) If you have what it takes, you will always be in demand (trust me) and you, as with many other professionals, will have the liberty to be choosy!

Best of luck, and keep trusting your instincts, they are our own personal radar to keep us safe and happy!

OP said...

I just wanted to say thanks to everyone who has commented. I do feel proud that I followed my gut and I know I made the right decision even though it was hard. I haven't found a job yet, but a few people have been in contact so I'm optimistic! Thanks again for all the support!!

Anonymous said...

1:22-I understand how you feel. I lived in a large Midwest city and had a hard time finding a job as a nanny. I have childcare experience, education and good references. Then I would get the parents who would tell me about how immature their nanny was, how she didn't have any experience, and how they wanted to get rid of her, only to end up keeping her. I also get a lot of the "your portfolio is impressive", or "you have a lot of education"...something to that effect. It was frustrating, and I eventually moved away, and now I am putting my name out there as a temporary nanny for days and a weekend babysitter to build up my references. If you still want to be a nanny, try marketing yourself as a "temporary nanny", or work with a WAHM or SAHM. This will give you some experience as nanny, and still allow you to work with children. Good luck honey and keep trying! Don't get discouraged from doing what you want. I still want to nanny, but have decided to be a part time nanny instead, only to build my professional experience, especially since I am new in my city and don't really know anybody. You also might want to try working with an agency-they sometimes have temporary positions available.

2:42-Exactly WHO are you to say that 1:22 is a bad nanny with bad qualifications? You don't know her, so leave her alone!

MissDee said...

1:22-I understand how you feel. I lived in a large Midwest city and had a hard time finding a job as a nanny. I have childcare experience, education and good references. Then I would get the parents who would tell me about how immature their nanny was, how she didn't have any experience, and how they wanted to get rid of her, only to end up keeping her. I also get a lot of the "your portfolio is impressive", or "you have a lot of education"...something to that effect. It was frustrating, and I eventually moved away, and now I am putting my name out there as a temporary nanny for days and a weekend babysitter to build up my references. If you still want to be a nanny, try marketing yourself as a "temporary nanny", or work with a WAHM or SAHM. This will give you some experience as nanny, and still allow you to work with children. Good luck honey and keep trying! Don't get discouraged from doing what you want. I still want to nanny, but have decided to be a part time nanny instead, only to build my professional experience, especially since I am new in my city and don't really know anybody. You also might want to try working with an agency-they sometimes have temporary positions available.

2:42-Exactly WHO are you to say that 1:22 is a bad nanny with bad qualifications? You don't know her, so leave her alone!

Anonymous said...

You absolutely did the right thing. You were professional, courteous, and honest. It's so much better than stringing a family along and working in a situation where you aren't 100 percent happy. A happy nanny = a great childcare experience in my opinion. Good luck on your quest. I also hope that the family finds someone who is truly a good fit for them as well!

Anonymous said...

hey sav... maybe u just suck.

Anonymous said...

You did the right thing! It would have been much harder to leave if you'd accepted out of guilt, and felt the same way a month or so into it.

So many nannies have this horrible guilt when it comes to families-they feel they always have to say yes to extra hours and duties, they are such yes people... always thinking about their families and never themselves.

You need to do what is going to make YOU happy. The family will be fine.

Former Nanny, Now SAHM said...

i think you did the right thing!

I was offered a job in SLC (Sandy) and went out for a week. The place was amazing, they built me my OWN apartment and furnished it (piano and all) and they were nice. When I was there (about the 3rd day) something just didn't sit right with me. Upon returning home and thinking the offer over, I decided it just wasn't the right fit for me. I politely declined. The family was disappointed and tried to sweeten the deal, but I knew I was to stay put where I was.

Good thing I did too! I would have never met and gotten married to my wonderful hubby had I moved!

MissDee said...

10:32-leave sav alone!

Anonymous said...

I had a similar problem just this past year. I had been offered two positions, one closer to home but still in the heart of SF which required all the wonderful parking issues and traffic. And another in a beautiful little town about 40 miles away. When I told the nanny agency representative that I would go with the job further from home, I was called more than once per the city family's request to make me reconsider. The job just wasn't the right fit and didn't fit well with my plans of wanting to move out of the city within the following months. The representative voice how frustrated and betrayed the family felt and made me feel awful for not taking that job. Although both positions were through the agency, I felt very strongly that the reps. got paid commission for booking jobs and voiced this to the rep. that worked for the family in the little town.
I'm so glad of the choice I made because my commute is now only about 20 minutes now that I've moved, things are slower paced, I am making more than I expected and I don't have to cook 4 nights a week for a family and then again for myself! (this is part of what the city family expected)

mimi said...

I worked for a family once that didn't feel right, I was in a bad spot coming out of one job scrambling for another..I needed to pay rent...So I jumped. I was constantly so bad mouthed by mom that I felt stupid and it got to the point where I doubted everything I did, wondering if even I was tying shoes "right" She treated everyone this way...and I mean everyone. Most of her family kept her at an arms distance...she was a bad person. I called it quits when I yelled at my boyfriend one day the same way she yelled at her husband...I knew I had to go...You made the right choice...follow your gut!

commonsense said...

You got a job offer over IM? That was your first red flag right there. Why would you even entertain the notion of going to these people's house after the father was inappropriate with you? Why would you speak to him after? Where is your head?

Anonymous said...

Going with your gut is fine and good, but wouldn't it make a more meaningful experience if you could define what it was in particular that was wrong. Otherwise I have to ask what is the point, do you know what I mean.