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100 Tips for Nannies and Families

The advice in this book comes from Candi Wingate, President of Care4hire.com.
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Caregivers Job Seeking While Employed Full-Time

Being a caregiver can be a 24/7 responsibility.  When a caregiver knows his/her job is ending (the youngest child is old enough not to need a nanny anymore or the elderly employer is being placed in a skilled care facility, for example), or when the caregiver otherwise decides it’s time to seek a new job, finding the time to job-seek can be tough.  Here are five tips to help caregivers job-seek while employed full-time (and then some).

  1. Use technology wisely.   Search and apply for positions online (larger employers like major daycare or elder care organizations list their position vacancies on their websites, smaller organizations may use online job boards); tap online resources that match job-seeking caregivers with families looking to hire a caregiver (i.e., www.Nannies4Hire.com, www.Care4Hire.com, etc.); use social networking to let people know that you are job-seeking (be specific about the kind of job that you would like to have); submit resumes and cover letters via e-mail; Skype long-distance interviews; use your cellular telephone to be available (as best as possible) to take calls from prospective employers regardless of where you are at the moment; and send post-interview thank-you notes via e-mail.
  2. Tap your real-life social network (not just your digital social network).  For example, when you drop the children off at school, you have an opportunity to visit with parents of younger children who have not yet outgrown the need for a nanny.  Let those parents know you are job-seeking and would be grateful for any referrals of prospective employers that they may send your way.
  3. Use your time wisely.  E-mail your resume and cover letter while you wait in the lobby for your elderly employer who is receiving his check-up at the doctor’s office.  Skype your interview while the children take their afternoon nap.  Schedule your in-person local interview while the children are at school during the day.  Return a call to your prospective employer while you watch the children play in the park.
  4. If your current employer is aware that you are job-seeking (i.e., if your position is ending), work with your current employer and family to schedule job-seeking activities at times that work well for them.  For example, if you need to travel long-distance for an in-person interview, perhaps the family of your elderly employer can take time off work to spend a full day or two with him while you travel for and receive your interview.  What days are they best able to take time off work at their jobs?  Can you schedule your interview in that timeframe?
  5. Be mindful that your prospective employer will be watching how you handle your current job responsibilities.  For example, if your prospective employer understands that you are going to let the toddlers who are currently in your care have some unsupervised time while you Skype your interview, it’s reasonable for that prospective employer to assume that you are comfortable leaving young children unsupervised when it benefits you.  That will not reflect well on you.  Instead, you should professionally negotiate timing.  For example, you may say, “I can’t Skype the interview at that time because the children and I will be in a pottery class together then, and it’s important to me to honor my commitments to the children.  However, I’m very interested in the job with you and would very much like to Skype the interview at a different time.  Could we do it when the children take their naps that afternoon?”.

By following the five tips above, you can successfully engage in job-seeking while employed full-time (and then some) as a caregiver.

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