Taking My Weekends Back Part 2

I posted a few days ago about my once a month position and the lack of communication from the parents, along with inconsistent hours and the fact that they didn't appreciate me. I posted on the original submission that I was going to wait until 9p Friday evening for MB to confirm I was working this weekend. I heard NOTHING. I was blown off for no reason, and I feel completely distanced from the nanny community even more now that I was terminated without a reason.

My midwest college town is full of great nannies, however, the agencies here are very catty, rude and unprofessional. I feel unwelcomed here because I am older, mature, experienced, educated professional with a college degree and a fifteen year career in the field of early childhood ed, having worked with all ages of children.

For most nanny positions (part, full and occasional) the desired background is the same: experience with children, degree, enjoys working with children, reliable, responsible, creative, own transportation and references. I exceed the first one, meet all the other "requirements", and I would think that because I have been in the field this long, I really enjoy working with children, and if I didn't, I would be in another field. In no way am I taking things away from younger nannies, however, I feel that I bring more experience, a stronger work ethic, more of a commitment to the nanny profession, plus a higher level of dedication to children and families.

It's funny. My weekend family was my priority: I literally cleared their weekends, letting friends and family know I was unable to get together considering I had to work that weekend, and I also turned families away for childcare. I am beginning to think I was fired because M and DB didn't want someone with my background and experience, quality care, and didn't appreciate the fact that I took good care of DD. The childcare DD attends is of terrible quality; they are my center's competitors, and from what former employees and parents have said of DD's center, I wonder if the teachers in her infant classroom take care of her the way I did. I feel insulted, because I took this job seriously and got screwed.

Now that I lost this job, I now believe that not one family is interested in hiring me as a nanny, either part, full or even occasional, given my solid career, background, dedication and stellar references. I have had terrible experiences with agencies here, and the last agency I went through blew me off, "losing" me in the pool of applicants. (How does an agency "lose" an applicant who meets all the requirements, exceeds the experience level with a fifteen year career and more experience than most of the college students and young professionals in town?) The second thing I think that because of my look (short, copper red hair, blue eyes and plus size but carries it well) and my background, parents are intimidated by me.

You know how someone enters a room and you instantly get a vibe? I believe I "scare" parents. I could be wrong. Today I started my search for a weekend job to replace the one I lost. How do I explain to families why I was terminated (also for future jobs) and what I am looking for in a family? (I am seeking families who are fun, laid back, down to Earth, sarcastic (I have a sarcastic sense of humor) and those who desire a mature, educated, 40+ nanny with solid career in the field, strong work ethic, a commitment to the profession, their child/family, plus someone who can work as a team with M and DB.) I hope I don't sound too harsh when I say that I will only talk to those families looking for those qualities in a nanny, yet it gets tiresome to read a job description, know you meet the requirements, send your resume only to be blown off or passed over for a younger nanny half your age and 1/8 of your experience.

 I am beginning to think that families here want younger nannies, and that I am not welcomed in the nanny community due to my age and background. Sorry for the vent. I am upset and who in the hell knows if anyone will hire me? PS: Anyone got any ideas why I was fired? I don't even know.


Anonymous said...

The reason you may be getting "blown off or passed over for a younger nanny half your age and 1/8 of your experience" could be because the younger nanny is cheaper and more willing to accept conditions that you wouldn't.

When asked why you left your last position why don't you simply say when I started the position we agreed on set hours, recently MB wanted to change the hours to more causal hours but I needed more fixed hours than this.

You could be scaring parents off. I find most of the nanny positions I get, I click really well with the MB. I understand that you are frustrated that you aren't getting any/ the right positions but if you highlight your experience/ education/ length of time in childcare the wrong way or too much parents may feel like you'll judge them for not having this, or that you won't follow their parenting rules because you know better.

I don't know you personally so its hard for me to tell. If you are having trouble with agencies don't use them. Double check your CV. You say you only speak to families looking for these qualities - maybe some families haven't mentioned these qualities because they think they are a given and you are missing on even meeting these families because you won't have included them in your pool?


novananny81 said...

No offense, but if you live in a college town, you are most likely the priciest option around, and despite your claimed credentials, there ARE college age students and young professionals who are mature, responsible and knowledgeable enough to babysit once a month (sorry, I wouldn't call that type of job "nannying", and I AM a nanny). College or grad students who study childhood development, education, etc need to build experience somewhere. Most parents want someone educated and energetic to care for their kids. Additionally, your attitude towards your "competition" may be coming off in your interactions with potential clients, and that may turn them off.

nenanny said...

Deep breath!

I'm sorry you lost your job, and now that you have vented you can get started looking for a new job.

I don't know why your former employers let you go without notice. If I remember correctly they were young parents, and sometimes first time nanny employers can be shy about the role of being a boss and communicating their needs.

As for why parents aren't hiring you it could be any reason, but I think

1. If you are in a small college town you are the most expensive care available ( not saying you should charge less) but why pay you $15 or more dollars when they can get someone for $8 or $10 some parents don't care about experience or job longeveity.

Also in truth those families, aren't your target market.

2. Your personality. Not saying it's wrong, but I am a witty an somewhat sarcastic, very open person as well, and for some people that can be a turn off. Coming on too strong. You may need to turn it down a bit on the job .

3, Your frustration with the job market may be slipping through in your interviews and coming across as negativity.

Try the care sites if you do not want to work with local agencies. You can also try working with national agencies that place in your area.

Are you willing to commute outside of your town?

You may have better luck finding your ideal family 30 or 40 minutes away.

I hope you are able to find a great job.

cnanny2902 said...

Nenanny has a point regarding your personality. Sarcasm, even light-hearted sarcasm, is really not professional demeanor in any workplace, and I don't think most parents would find it charming. First of all, your employer is just that, not your friend - I find it best to maintain a safe emotional distance, sharing only what personal information is necessary for logistics or background. Secondly, most parents really don't want someone voicing their opinions about - even if they claim to want your input, my experience is they'd rather not discuss their parenting methods with you, so perhaps your brashness triggers a sense that you might start to butt up against them verbally if there are disagreements about the children. Play it safe - dress conservatively and professionally, no wild colors or styles, and keep a calm and pleasant demeanor when dealing with the parents. It's fine to have a sense of humor, but anything too brazen, and you will shoot yourself in the foot.

♥ Amy Darling ♥ said...


I am not sure why your weekend family let you go, but my gut tells me it has NOTHING to do w/you and everything to do w/them. They were a younger family and I used to work for younger families and those families typically were very inconsiderate + flaky. Now I choose to work for families in their late 30's/early 40's, etc. These families just seem more considerate and knowledgeable about how these things work.

I am also in my 40's and I find that certain families prefer a younger nanny.
Primarily it is families w/school~aged children since they want their children to have a mentor/big sister type nanny.
For the families w/younger children {infants + toddlers}, many prefer an older and experienced nanny such as myself and it is a bonus that I have raised my children already!!

I say keep your chin up and keep the faith.
There is a family/job out there and you will find them.
Be patient and keep trying. and might be some good places to set up an online profile.
Perhaps you can print out some flyers and/or business cards to hand out or display around town.
Maybe put an ad in the local newspaper, etc.

Good Luck.

robinsparkles said...

This might not work, but if I were you and I didn't have much tying me to a particular location, I'd go for work overseas. In my experience, some wealthy German / Austrian / Swiss families have been burned by inexperienced au pairs, and can be looking for mature American nannies who'll be able to teach their children English. Check out Felicity Nannies - they're a really kind agency and send out weekly emails with tons of lucrative postings. Good luck!