Career Sphere

opinion 1
A recent post about nanny school and degrees and certificates has me thinking about non-nanny careers that my fellow nannies are interested in. If you attended college what is your degree in? How did you become a nanny? Did you have another career before entering the nanny field? Do you see yourself as a career nanny or do you have other plans? If you have other plans what career are you considering? My degree is in biology. I worked labs for awhile and ended taking a job as a science educator. While working as an educator I discovered I enjoyed working with kids so made the switch to daycare and became a certified teacher. After a few years in I decided to try working as a nanny. I've enjoyed my time as a nanny, but I don't believe I am meant to be a career nanny. However being a nanny has allowed me to discover my true calling (midwifery). I start school in 2013.


Bethany said...

OMG! we could be life twins!

I enjoy being a nanny, but I've always had an interest and birth and wanting to help women and children
Only, I'm not sure about midwifery just yet.
I've been toying with that idea and nursing school for the last year. Though st this point midwifery seems more in line with my beliefs and outlook on life.

I think I'll go for being a doula first.

bostonnanny said...

I had no intention of ever working with children after helping to raise my younger brothers. I thought I would be a photographer after high school but a bruch of random events delayed me from attending college. I worked as a waitress for years then a friend suggested being a nanny. I did it and immediately became obsessed with this career path. I started going to college for early childhood then after taking many ECE courses, I realized what I loved most was the stay at mom aspect of being a nanny. I actually didn't want to be a teacher, I wanted to be a mom. I switched majors and decided to go for child psych then realized I liked being around other adults in business settings. I finally decided on observational behavior psychology which will allow me to get an MBA or MSW depending on whether I decide to be a thearpist or work in HR. Both career paths will hopefully give enough finiancial stability so that one day I can be what I want to be...a stay at home mom.

Tales from the (Nanny)Hood said...

I worked retail both PT and FT for 7 years, starting in high school, and was also in and out of college during the last 5 years of that period of my life. I considered teaching, but realized it wasn't for me.

I was burning out on retail, and when I realized that people would pay me to work FT with their kids and be a "nanny" that was it for me.

That was in 1993, and I haven't looked back career-wise. I did eventually finish college with a BS in Psychology, concentrating on children's issues. I am also a CAPPA trained Postpartum Doula, and I am going to be taking a Newborn Care Specialist class this summer.

My eventual goal is to work as a newborn/new mom caregiver, once I decide to retire from nannying FT.

Bethany said...

Tales .

What Newborn Care Specialist program are you ging through?

I did one last summer. It was helpful if only to be able to call myself a Newborn Care Specialist.

How did you like your doula training with CAPPA?

I've decided to be a doula, but I'm still researching programs.

nycmom said...

Great question. Although I took the more traditional college path straight through, I always supported myself with babysitting since 11yo, pt nannying in college, and was raised basically running a family daycare. I always knew I wanted a family young. However, oddly, I also knew I didn't want my work and family life to overlap so completely to the point that kids at work in any way used up my energy/joy for my own kids at home.

Medicine was a clear choice for me and I was deciding between various fields, especially Ob/Gyn, but ultimately decided on psychiatry for the human interaction and quality of life. I also specifically decided *against* Child & Adol Psych at that point as I had two kids already and realized how much of the field was simply bad parenting.

So for me, childcare was something I did from a very young age and was always very maternal. However, growing up very poor and with lots of financial worries, I wanted a career with stability that would allow me to focus on MY family rather than just kids in general.

I think there are so many paths that lead us to jobs involving the care and raising of children, and for many of us the nurturing drive is strong at a young age. It really is about finding a career that offers the right balance and fit for being with kids and being with YOUR kids without being burned out. Congrats on finding a love in Midwifery!

The one thing I always like about coming here is it renews my faith that many women in childcare really do choose the field because they love kids, not just because it pays well compared to their other options (for many, not for most on ISYN).

Lyn said...

Becoming a Nanny was just a natural fit for me. My mother has MS and has suffered strokes, memory loss, is paralyzed from the waist down, and has been "in the final stages" of the disease since I was about 7 years old. . My brother is autistic and needs constant care as well. My father was in the military for all of my childhood (he recently retired a 2 star general). We had no family in or around the states we lived in and care of my mom and brother were reliant on me. I even dropped out of traditional high school at 16 to be able to stay home FT with them for one of my fathers deployments. I enrolled in a private school by mail to finish my HS degree from home and struggled with trying to plan for my own future. I had no idea what I could do or what I would be good at. I was eventually comfortable leaving my families situation (a very hard thing to do for someone who has deathly ill and mentally handicapped loved ones) and worked my tail off to get accepted to William and Mary. I graduated 3 years later with my teaching degree. I had worked as a Nanny PT while completing my degree and just fell in love with the 1-on-1 (or 1-on-2-3) education and care I was able to provide. I've been a Nanny ever since. I guess for me, it was just continuing what I already knew I was capable of doing.

Michelle said...

I have an elementary education degree. I taught preschool for 4 years, then left because I was tired of the job and fell into a nannying gig which I loved. I worked for one family for 5 years and then left because I moved out of state. Once in my new home I was unable to find a teaching job so I decided I'd rather nanny than be a sub and now I'm "stuck" once again with a family I love.

I am currently trying to find a new job in lieu of teaching because it doesn't seem appealing to me anymore. I will continue to nanny for at least the next 15 months but after that who knows!

Texas Nanny said...

My degree is in English. I originally planned to teach at the secondary level but changed my mind and graduated early at the last minute.

After graduating I continued working retail for a bit when I met a girl who suggested I look into nannying. I got my first nanny position right away, and realized this was pretty much the highest-paying career I could jump into right away.

I'm not a career nanny. Although I work with little ones now, I prefer older kids which isn't conducive to long-term or full-time work in nannying. But dealing with the babies has given me the chance to go back to school for a masters in something totally unrelated to kids. I'll be quitting my FT nanny job in the fall and then moving on to use my new degree after graduation.

robinsparkles said...

(applauds Lyn for being awesome)

Like lots of teenage girls, I babysat throughout high school. However, my first real nannying experience was in college. I call it "nannying" but it wasn't at all what I'd think of as typical (baby-rocking and toddler-coddling)- it was, for lack of a better word, "hanging out".

When I was a freshman, my professor asked me if I'd like to watch the special-needs teenager she was adopting out of foster care that summer. She was hesitant to ask anyone, but S. couldn't be left alone in a house - she had severe PTSD and other mental traumas. At the time, S. was 14, but she'd spent the first ten years of her life in an incredibly abusive biological family, and the next four in and out of different homes.

I said yes, and S. and I spent the next three years "hanging out". We played with horses and went for long walks to the library; we designed costumes on her kitchen table, and talked about boys. There were, of course, low points where she'd relive what she'd been through, where it'd come out in different horrible ways, where the kids at school would mistreat her and she'd take it out on those around her... but ultimately the highs outweighed the lows.

I'd been considering a psychology major, but after being with S., something about it struck me as futile. She'd been through dozens of psychologists and some of them were so utterly unhelpful - I feared being one of them. At the same time, to cope with what was going on, S.'s mother and I - unable to talk in person, where S. might overhear us - were discussing her daughter and the years of terrible things she'd been through via emails and letters.

I'd always scorned the idea of majoring in Engish, but I think that discussing S. really showed me what writing could do, how it could help a person sort things out and react to the terrible things in the world that'd happened four years and counting before.

It was the relationship with S. and her mother that brought me to where I am today. After college, armed with dual degrees in English and German, I moved to Germany. I started off as a nanny and English teacher for another family with teenagers, but it just wasn't my thing. They were polite and unproblematic and utterly didn't need me to begin with - I was just a chauffeur.

So I moved on from nannying and found an office job - and next fall, I'm moving back to America to get an MFA in creative writing. My goal is to be a writing professor just like S.'s mother, which, if you're teaching freshmen, is more or less nannying but with less cleaning and more grading. I'm pumped.

1nanny said...

My BS is in psychology, I'm a credentialed teacher finishing my Masters degree in education (2 more classes.) I'm not a career nanny, I've been a nanny for about 3 yrs. I've been with my current for almost 2 yrs, and once I'm done with them, I'll be done with the nanny career and pursue my life as a teacher. Teaching jobs are scarce right now, I became a nanny because I want to work with kids. I love my kids and my job as a nanny, however, there is a huge difference between working with kids in a classroom and working with kids in a home. Working in a home is great, but the classroom is more my calling.

Chrissy said...

My degree is in English and Secondary Education. I taught high school English for 4 years right after college. I quit teaching when I got married and then had my son. He has special needs and I was constantly missing work to stay home with him (too sick for daycare) and for his many doctor's appointments. I needed an income so I started doing daycare in my home (yes, I was licensed). After 5 years of that, my husband and I divorced and I moved back to my home state. I needed a job right away so I started nannying. That was 3 years ago and I'm still with the same family. When they no longer need me, I'll probably go back into my profession.

Linzy said...

I quit after 4 years to go to nursing school. I miss nannying some days, but I'm much happier in my current position.

ericsmom said...

Good for you Linzy!! I think thats great. Theres always a need for health care providers. Plus, you can always advance.

I think once you hit a certain age, nannying is not the way to go.

Katie said...

What age would that be ericsmom?

anon #1 said...

re-post for anonymous (you need a moniker): I worked with kids for 13 yrs and loved every minute of it. the last of those 5 yrs was spent as a full time live in nanny and I basically became burnt out from all the long hours and being taken advantage of. So i moved back home and got a job working with handicapped adults(LOVED IT) then decided i wanted to move up in the world so i got a job working as a Med tech at an Assisted living facility specializing in alzhimers and dementia( love what i do!) finally after 10 yrs after high school, I decided that the health care field is for me. So I enrolled in college and am going to school for an associates degree in medical assisting. and will work in a hospital with every generation age.

ericsmom said...

What do you guys think?
I just feel like it is very tiring.
Plus, I know alot of workers that do not receive any kind of medical benefits, etc.

Nanny of One said...

A girl can dream...

& that is what i did.
I orginally pictured being 25 years old, a middle school teacher, married with children and a new puppy.

Then reality set in.

I went to University for Linguistics (I wanted to Teach English as a Second Language) and in first year realized I am not good with sciences, so I switched to History.

I took a break from my B.A in History and worked over a two year span on a Cruise Ship as a Youth Staffer, working with children in a fun setting while travelling the world. I loved this but working overseas did not give me the ability to have a Prince Charming or a predictable lifestyle. I kept thinking what happens when I get too old for this? Or how is this securing a foundation for my future?

Around this time I met my current boyfriend, and he suggested that I come back to life on land. I made the move, and have never looked back.

I finished my History Degree, and then moved two-hours to my boyfriends city. Because we met on-line and did not really "know" each other we did not want to live together. Hence, I came up with the idea of NANNYING, as it would allow me to live in the same city as him without living with him as well as provide a source of income.

After working as a live-in Nanny for three months I did not like the family and moved out, taking up residence with my boyfriend and working at an insurance company.

Having to be indoors, in an office setting and around other adults began to drive me crazy, so after nine months I left this position and got back into nannying. Since then going on four years now I have been nannying on a full time basis.

I have worked for quite a few dysfunctional families of which I became interested in their various issues. This has led me to pursue a second degree in Social Work- mainly Child Protection.

In 2010 I began taking the courses online while nannying full time (I have been lucky and have had a family that understands that I need to do my homework while I nanny).

Flash Forward to 2012. I am still with that same boyfriend I met online, we live together still. Education wise, I am finished the online portion and am at a point now where I have to quit my full time nanny gig (I have worked for the same family for three years now) and complete the work term of my education. This would require student loans and having no income after having a solid income for a while now.

It is very scary! And I feel as though what If I don't get hired from my co op then will I have to go back to nannying? I never saw it as a lifetime position.

Oh man!

ericsmom said...

Nanny of One

Thanks for sharing!! Maybe, you can do your internship but still work for this family on the side? Since, you have been with them for three years I am sure they are wiling to work with you. What about working for them on the weekends? Or some evenings?

If you are in a serious relationship with your boyfriend. Can he help support you while you do your internship?

I know its easier said than done, but try saving some money to get your self through this period. Even cutting out dinners, and movies, etc.

If you are not leaving the family for a few months start saving now. I would try and put away at least 1 week of pay a month.

LAK said...

My degree is in psychology. I decided to nanny full time after I graduated college, before I go on to graduate school. I want to go into forensic psych or criminology. I have been with my current family for 2 years. I will most likely switch to part time next year when my charge starts preschool. At that point I would start taking classes.

SLNanny said...

I was a nanny for a year after high school. I originally thought it would be interesting and I had loved taking care of kids. After my son was born, being a nanny wasn't workable. I needed benefits and higher pay.

I worked in child welfare with DCFS and other agencies for several years. I got very burned out on that and decided to do sales and marketing. I was succesful in that but didn't love the hours.

I made my way back to nannying 4 years ago and I am so glad I did. I am currently finishing my BA. My original plan was psych but I decided education is really the best fit for me. I will be getting my BA in ECE. My family life and my health, I have MS but I am very functional, mandate that.I only work part time. ECE is the best fit for me because I will have the flexibilty to work part time.

Nanny of One said...

@ Eric's Mom,

Thank you for the great advice, as I am really going to take into consideration the putting away one weeks pay per month. Right now I already put one away for my Tax Free Savings Account but perhaps trying to put a little extra would be beneficial as well.

I will for sure try to keep working for the family, as they also own a couple of business in the city as well, so even if its not child care related.

When I am doing my co op my boyfriend is going to support our household (rent, food etc) but I will still need to work part time for the extras (hair product, clothing, personal hygiene items etc).

It will be so worth it at the end of the day when I am a social worker with a special talent at helping children!!!

Thanks again for the encouraging post and words of advice.

Nc nanny said...

I am pursing a BSN in order to be some type of pediatric nursing. I am not sure if I want to do ped trauma, or NICU but I am certain I want to be with children. Former nannies have a gift with children that nursing needs. Many nurses are extremely compassionate and caring but lack the skills to truly comfort and relax a child. I would imagine it is similar in midwifery, so congrats to you on finding a way to take your love of children to another profession!! Good luck, keep us posted!