Proper Giving Notice Etiquette...

Received Sunday, January 9, 2011
Opinion 4 I am currently working part time for two families. I have been with both families for the last five months, and I have a great working relationship with both.

I was recently shocked to find out that my husband's company is relocating us yet again (we have only lived in our current city for seven months). I just don't know how to breech the subject with the families. Both of my charges have become quite attached to me, as I have to them. Both families have come to really depend on me. I had absolutely no inclination that we might have to move any time in the next few years when I accepted these positions.
I will have to move in late March, but I want to give the families as much notice as possible. They deserve plenty of time to find a replacement. I fully expect that they will start looking for a new nanny right away, but I will stay on as long as they need me.

I guess my question is, what is the best way to tell them? I obviously will want to talk to the parents when the kids are not around, but I am honestly a little afraid of what their reactions might be. One of the families is going through some difficult times right now and I feel like I am really letting them down. Is there any etiquette for this sort of thing? I plan on telling them this week, so any suggestions from either the nanny or parent point of view are welcome.


just do it said...

Just say what you said here...that you just found, you had no idea you would have to move, it's hard to leave the children, you're sorry for inconveniencing them.

Giving them 2 months notice is really generous, so don't feel bad.

Nanny said...

I have been in that same situation... Not too long ago either. Two families, part time, fell in love, left for different reason. I simply told both of the families that with my new car payment I was forced to find another nanny job that can give me more hours as well as a higher pay rate. I gave the families 2 weeks notice once I had another job lined up. They were respectful and unserdtood. I texted the parents that when they get home I would like to sit down and talk before I left for the night. That way they knew we needed to talk and we had to set aside time. Good luck from the Nanny at: FOLLOW PLEASE!

Anonymous said...

I think two weeks notice is appropriate. There are nannies everywhere looking for placement, so I don't think they will have a hard time finding someone.

You need to think about yourself, and how long you wish to be unemployed. If you give two months notice, you could be out of a job next week. Do you want to sit around unemployed until the move? They are likely to let you go as soon as they find a replacement.

It's something to think about.

Breaking Up is Hard To Do said...

I feel for you - I know it's difficult! When I left my previous family after 4 years to move back to my original state I was devastated. At the same time, I wanted to give them the absolute MOST advance notice that I could (out of respect). I sat down with the parents and explained my reasons (and we all definitely teared up!) They understood and were SO supportive! I asked if I could tell the kids myself and they agreed that it would be best. I took all of the kids out to dinner and explained that I was going back to school and back to be near my family. As a way to defer from the sadness, I had them make a list of all the things they wanted in a new nanny...I made it really fun! We came up with a list of 90 things (it was hilarious!) and we ordered all of the desserts we could. I told the kids far enough in advance that we were able to discuss the why's and go through all of the emotions together. They changed their vacation destination to come see me in February and we are all meeting at Disneyland in April. I also did the entire "new nanny" search for my employers and presented my final candidate to them. She was absolutely wonderful and I was honored to be able to present the kids with someone I felt would love and care for them as much as I did.

Ultimately, my employers respected and valued me and we all want what is best for each other in life. We still talk weekly.

My advice is to just be honest. :)

Am I be said...

I have a really similar situation...working part time for 2 families who really depend on me. I had originally told them I could stay until June, but I have just been offered a position that is FT, with a family I have babysat for in the past. They have offered me top pay plus benefits, not to mention they are a really easy going, kind and generous family. I really love my Pt families, and I feel so awful that I am leaving before June, but I know I can't pass this opportunity up... I just can't stop feeling like I am betraying them. :-(

Am I being selfish? said...

** I am the last poster... I was posting from my phone and it sent before I finished the name.

One more thing to add to my post- it is not just that this new family seems like a better situation- I want to accept the position because between the two PT families I work for, I am only getting about 22 hours a week. I really need FT hours. I have been babysitting for several other families (on an as-needed basis) to try to supplement, but I am ready to work for just one family, FT.

Your Not Selfish said...

Am I Being Selfish,

No, I don't think you are being selfish. Even in the corporate world I have had to make decisions that are difficult. I think you have a legitimate and fair reason for moving on. It will simplify your life, give you benefits, pay more, and offer a position for the long term. I would explain that you are grateful for the time you have been with the two families, but at this time you have been offered a full time position that will allow you to meet some goals you have set for yourself.

LovingNanny said...

@breaking up is hard to do
You handled the situation the best way there is. I loved reading your post, since it made me happy that there are nanny's and families who handle those breakups the way you did. I really hope when I have to say good bye to my family for whatever reason, it will work out exactly that way.
I would give my family as much time to find a replacement for me as I can. Even if that means that I am unemployed for 2 or 3 weeks. They tread me with so much respect and I feel the same way for them.

words of reason said...

I think the most important thing to remember is that you are their employee, and your own family comes first.

This is a situation out of your control, and if they hold it against you in any way, they really are jerks. Hopefully they will react in an appropriate, rational way. However, there is the possibility that they will not. Let's face it: parents get pissed when you put anything before their family. The nicest people can turn into the most irrational, hostile people when their nanny has the audacity to give notice.

All you can do is be honest. I would get a letter of recommendation before you give notice so they cannot lie and say you were awful.

Good luck.

be smart about this said...

2 months is way too much notice. Lika nother poster said and as we see on this site all the time- if they find a new nanny you will be out of a job the next day and sometimes that can happen within 48hours!
Ask yourself how long you can afford to not be working. You can always tell them you just found out and you are heartbroken at 2/3 weeks. This is plenty of time to find help. Listen the economy is hurting, they will find a nanny before they can even worry about it. Be smart about this.

oh well said...

OP and am I being selfish, there is no reason why the parents you work for should not understand that you are pursuing better opportunities. If you need the money I would wait a little before giving notice - a month sounds good.

TinyDancer said...

I'm in a similar situation and told my boss as soon as I knew the move was for sure, I mainly did this because she gave me tons of notice once when she almost lost her job (but didn't) I also know that I would be difficult to replace as my job requires special skills so I'm not really concerned about being left without a job really quick! Generally I think 1 month is good notice for nanny work. That really still gives the family a good amount of time to find a replacement but also really lessons your chance of being w/o a job for a long time. Also whenever I've had a contract that included this 1 month was always what was asked on either end due to a change in circumstances! Good luck!

Anonymous said...

I am the OP

Thank you all for your advice. I am going to go with my gut on this one and let them know this week. I want them to have as much time as they need to find the most qualified replacement, and I know full well that there are many great nannies out there waiting for jobs. I know if either of these families were in the same position (having to move out of state), they would let me know right away, so I will show them the same courtesy as they would me.

I am also fully prepared to be replaced quickly, and I think that is probably best for my charges. The sooner they find someone new, the sooner they can form a secure and nurturing relationship with their new nanny. I am fortunate that my husband's relocation comes hand in hand with a promotion, so we can afford for me to be unemployed for a few months, especially since it is just the two of us at this point.

Again, I was/am pleasantly surprised with the supportive feedback I recieved. I have to admit I was a little weary to post anything because I've seen many OPs get ripped to shreds by other people's comments. Thank you for taking it easy on me!

Just My Two Cents Just Now said...

OP, since you can afford to not work for a few months, then the right thing to do is let the families know as soon as you know. Simply tell them what you just old us and I am sure if they are as wonderful as they sound, then they will understand. They will have plenty of time to find a suitable replacement nanny. The economy is (still!) in bad shape and there are nannies looking for work all over. They may wait a few months, but most likely they will want someone soon. Or perhaps they will be lucky enough to find someone who will not need a job for the next few months and you can stay, but I wouldn't count on it. Perhaps OP you can even assist with the hiring process. You can write up an ad, interview candidates both on the phone and in person.
Yes, make sure you get those letters of recommendation too!!!

Am I being selfish? said...

I gave my notice. They were really upset with me. The new family needs me in 3 weeks, so that is all I could give them. I tried to explain that I can't afford to be part time anymore but she kept saying that when they hired me, I told them that I was okay with working PT and could commit until June (which at the time was true.) She doesn't think that they will be able to find someone else. We live in a big city.. I know that she will be able to find someone. I just still feel really guilty and like I am doing something wrong, but I know this is the best thing for me.

repost for anon said...

to "am I being selfish":

honey, you are not being selfish: you are being rational.

Newsflash to that horrible family: this is AMERICA!!!!! people can leave their freaking nanny jobs!

move on, honey. they are jerks!

Moving on... said...

Am I being selfish -

It is a shame that they are not respecting your desire to do what is best for yourself. Their guilt-tripping you is not professional and you should take it with grain of salt. If you haven't yet, you could reach out to them one more time and let them know you are sad to be leaving them and ask if you can help them find a replacement as a kind gesture.

They will be fine. :)

bippityboppityboo said...

I would give your notice immediately. Or at least a months notice. From my point of view two weeks is standard for any run of the mill job not one you care about like these which you seem to like. Good luck I'm sure they will understand.

Nanny M said...

Wow, I asked google for an answer and it provided! Thank you nannys and parents for your imput, i am in the same situation and was wondering what the appropriate amount of time was for putting in notice. I hate having to leave my familys and kids, but this is a job, and just becasue their are children involved dosen't mean that they will be more leanent or helpful than any other employers that ive had (even though i may be). I believe I will give my notice a about 6 weeks before i leave. My thanks again!