Navigating the Nanny Career Path

opinion 1
I have a question for all you nannies, and I'm sure it's one that's been brought up indirectly here before. I am a nanny in my mid/late twenties. I have a college degree (BA), live in Boston, own a car, and have been a full-time nanny since college (including part-time while in college). Now, the reason I continued to nanny after college is because I honestly wasn't really sure what I wanted to do once out of college, as a career. I am at the point where I have now been a full-time nanny for 5 years. I do like being a nanny- it's a fun gig if you are with a good family, the pay is very good (in my area, and again, with the right family), the jobs are usually flexible, and it's a pretty active job. I didn't want to be a nanny as a career though. And i still can't see myself being a nanny past the age of 30 (not that that's a bad thing, I just never saw myself being a career nanny).

I don't want to go back school for a couple different reasons, but I also know if I try to enter in a new job field, I'll have to start at an entry level position, making a VERY low wage. I am making $18/hour as a nanny, so doing that is very unappealing to me. I am not currently on the books, but am finding a new job soon, and plan to find one that is on the books with benefits. What have other nannies done when they are in my situation? Being on the fence about staying in the nanny field. What about when we have a baby/kids of our own? What about when we get older? Or, what have other nannies done when they decided they were done nannying (and didn't want to go the school route). Any suggestions, opinions, advice, and stories would be great. Thanks!


Just My Two Cents Just Now said...

It sounds like you are stuck between a rock and a hard stone. You don't want to be a Nanny anymore, yet the pay is pretty good. If you do something else (which it sounds like you REALLY want to do), then you will have to take a pay cut.

What is your degree major? Since you have your Bachelor's Degree, I think you could get a good job depending on what type of degree it is. Have you tried?

If you are a Nanny, but not really loving it...then yes it is time to switch careers.

CarolinaNanny said...

I am 22 and graduated college last May. My degree is in elementary education, but I knew that I did not want to be a teacher right out of school, so decided to take on the nanny field. Turns out, I love my job and the pay/benefits are great, so I'm going to stay until I am no longer needed here...however long that may be. I juggled with the idea for a while because I thought I was wasting my degree, but the thing is, degrees don't go anywhere and the pay really is great. However if you are not happy with nannying and only doing it for the money maybe you should look into finding a job with your degree would be happier and who knows...maybe you will find a decent paying job or move up on the pay scale quickly. Never know until you try!

MandaJ said...

I am SO glad you've posted this. I have been going through the exact same thing.

I've been a Nanny since being in College as well (I'm 23)- and I adore children (obviously)- so I assumed I would just be a Nanny until I have kids of my own. However, recently I've decided that I need some space for awhile. job is so good. The Family is good to me and the little boy is great. But I just have this unsettling feeling.

Sorry- this was more of a vent than a reply!
But, I agree with "CarolinaNanny"- you could always work out an arrangment where you worked somewhere else part-time, to get a feel for a different environment- and still Nanny part-time as well.

ELam said...

Money is important, but it is not everything. If you are finding that you aren't enjoying the nanny career, maybe just start looking for new job opportunities. You have a degree, so that's a plus. I only have my BA (in psychology) and I landed a job as an ABA therapist making $16.50/hour with lots of opportunities to move up, my degree plus my experience of so many years working with kids as a nanny really helped. There are a lot of different jobs with youth that you could look into, unless that is the part of being a nanny you are getting tired of haha

I don't blame you for not wanting to go back to school, I would go back for my MSW in a heartbeat but I refuse to take out anymore student loans. You can find a job without furthering your education, you just have to look. But, yes, you may have to take a little cut in pay while you get your feet wet.

nannyj said...

Glad you posted this because I'm in the same situation.

I get paid decent, but my employers don't withhold my federal taxes so when I calculate my pay it's less than what I am getting. I'm 25 and finishing up my AS degree but haven't decided what I want to do yet.

I've been with this family for 3 1/2 years and want to get married and have children of my own and feel I need a break as well. The past few months have been frustrating for me because I love my charge but I'm bored at my job. We are together ALL day and his parents don't think school is an option.

Phoenix said...
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Phoenix said...

you need to do whatever makes you happy. If your "dream" job only pays you $12hr then you will learn to live off of $12hr. Money can't be your only motivation for working any specific job or choosing your career. I'm doing the same thing right now. Not a nanny issue, but I went to school and got a masters in acconting just because it was the easy road for me and they do get paid pretty well. But I hate it with every fiber of my being. it just sux. So my husband said I should go back to school and do what I originally started to do. Even though I'm in my mid/late 20's I'm gonig to go back to school for Pharmacy. That is where I will be happy. It is going to suck and be hard and take time, but in the end I will be a happier person all around.

you need to make sacrafices sometimes to be happy. And sometimes you need to just jump feet first and take a risk. Of course you will start from the bottom and work your way up but that is what you will have to do. If you are not willing to do the work it takes then you will not get what you want. And if you are happy being a nanny, then why would you want to change that? You seem content being a nanny now, why wouldn't you be past the age of 30? I think this is a general life decision, not just a nanny decision and you need to think hard about what you want out of life. Happiness or money? Sometimes those don't always come along together in the same package