Greener Pastures

Hello, I'm looking for advice on leaving a family to work with another. I've been with my current family for about 15 months now. I originally thought that this would be a long term position as the kids are still little and everything seemed to be working out pretty well. I was never very close with the parents, mostly I think because we have very different personalities. But they are fair employers and I love the kids with all my heart.

Unfortunately, my feelings about this position changed a few weeks ago. There were a few instances where I felt like I was being taken advantage of and treated a bit disrespectfully. Nothing as horrible as some of the situations I've read on here but enough to leave me feeling slightly unhappy. I then approached them about a raise since I did not receive an annual raise or review. I was told that they felt the rate was already high enough and since my job hasn't changed much (their opinion, not so much mine) they would not be raising it anytime soon. Very coincidentally, a week later I was approached by another local family who were looking for a new f/t nanny. After talking, emailing and meeting in person, I have decided that this family will be a better fit for me. I feel more comfortable with the parents and they are willing to offer me benefits and raise my salary 15% from where it is now (for 1/2 the amount of children). I'm very eager to make the change because I feel I would be happier and more comfortable working for this family so I accepted the offer and will start in about a month.

My question is, how have you other nannies handled the situation of leaving one family for another? I want to be professional and gracious but the mother has a tendency to be bitter towards people, and not very empathetic. I don't want my last weeks to be awkward. Also, I think I will have to give my notice via e-mail as she is hardly ever at the house when I am. Most of our communication is through email or texts. Will this be ok? Also, I'm really hoping that she will allow me to continue to babysit/visit this kids occasionally... has this worked for any of you? Also, how much notice should I give? I want to give as much as possible as I know it can take awhile to find a replacement. But I'm nervous about her replacing me before I leave or just telling me not to come in my last weeks. Sorry for the very long, rambling post, I wasn't sure what would be relevant! ANY insight/thoughts from both nannies and parents would be appreciated! - Anonymous


Bethany said...

Have you signed a contract for the new job? Make sure you get that in writing before you do anything.
If you have the proffesional thing to do would be to give your current family notice now. Give them time to look for your replacement. I think it's best to give both verbal and written notice. Arrange a few minutes to speak with her. Tell her you are leaving and give her your letter. Be sure to thank her for the time you spent with the family as it seems you've enjoyed the time overall and offer your babysitting services. A reasonable employer will thank you and give you good wishes especially since you are giving ample notice. Since you think she is the type to lash out do not feel obligated to stay the final weeks should her behavior become abusive. As for staying in touch I keep in touch with some former families and sit for them it is not unusual. But since you say mom is the type to hold a grudge I wouldn't expect to stay in contact. Even in the best scenarios you lose contact with former families. I hope your resignation goes over well and your new job is fantastic.

♥ Amy Darling ♥ said...

I think it would be okay to give notice via e-mail. That way you have a tangible document proving you gave your notice w/a date on it. Doing it via text messaging may not be such a good idea since sometimes texts don't always go through effectively.

I think you should give notice NOW since you already know you have a new job lined up. The sooner the better since finding a replacement may take many weeks. However if you really cannot go w/out money that long, (the holidays are coming up, etc.), then two weeks is okay. From how you describe your boss, it sounds like she may get pissed off and she may let you go ASAP. This happens quite a lot when nannies give their notices so that is why you should plan accordingly financially, etc.

This won't be easy or fun, but remember you are your own best advocate. No one will look out for your best interests but you and don't let anyone make you feel guilty for the decisions you make.

I wish you only the best in your new position.
Congrats! ☺ ☺

RBTC said...

good advice above - let us know what happens !

MissMannah said...

What always worked for me in the past was giving 3-4 weeks' notice. I would say email the mom telling her you want to schedule a meeting outside your working hours (like 20 mins before you arrive for the day) and then give her a letter of resignation. Don't tell her about how you were unhappy, just say a different opportunity came along. She'll probably figure out that you'll be getting paid more, but it does not need to be said. I'll reiterate what Bethany said, make sure you sign a contract with the new family before quitting on this one! I have had multiple jobs fall through at the very last minute. (As in, two days before I was to start work.)

Psyber Chica said...

You and another poster mentioned that she needs to have a signed contract...but I don't understand how that protects OP. The new family can still choose not to hire her. I'm not a lawyer, are you saying the new family would owe her something if the job fell through?

melissa said...

I don't think it's a matter of legality. I don't know many families that would go through writing up and signing a contract if they weren't serious about hiring. I understand things come up, but I think most families who write up contracts are much more reliable than others. My opinion- and it's not aimed at families who don't write up contracts. I've worked for great people without a contract. That's all.

Bethany said...

I'm not sure of the legality of it. She may be able to make a claim.

But many people will say they want to hire you, leading you to believe you have a job, and not follow through.

Most families I've worked are serious when they sign that contract.

NannyAnne said...

Hi All!
Just in case any of you even see this I wanted to give an update: I ended up giving notice VIA email as respectfully and professionally as I could. It got pretty awkward and the mother didn't talk to me for about a week (much less respond to my email). I only knew she received my notice because I saw her posting for a replacement online.

However, it got worked out and I'm now settled into my new position. I love my new family so much, they are a dream to work for and I'm so happy I made the switch! Thanks for all your input!