I have had many jobs throughout my high school and college career. However, the most lucrative one that I have landed has not been with a brick and mortar company. After working in retail for years, employed at Starbucks as a Barista, and then working in accounting at an air charter company I decided to work for myself. Let me tell you, it was the best decision I have ever made.
I not only made the most money from my decision, but I was able to structure my own schedule according to my needs. I am sure by now you are wondering what this job is and where you can get one. It is simple! I was a nanny. If you love kids, want something more than minimum wage, want to create your own hours, and are a responsible person, then I suggest you go for it.
I grew up with a large family and was an Aunt by the time I reached five. I have had tremendous experience with kids and love being around them. This job enabled me to hone in on my parenting skills without being a parent. Jon and I want a big family in the future and being a nanny was a great patience builder!
Another aspect of nannying that I loved, perhaps my favorite part, was that I got to spend quality time with the kids. They became a second family and in one specific family the Mom became like a best friend and older sister to me. It was truly a ministry. I often brought Christian children books and read to them. I felt honored to be able to instill in them Bible verses and be an instrument used by Christ. I also loved being able to kneel beside them in bed and pray for them. I hope and pray that the Lord uses those times to show them His love.
I found most of my nannying/babysitting positions by either word of mouth or through an amazing website I discovered a few years back called www.sittercity.com. It has been an incredible asset to me. However, I have a few tips regarding the use of this website:
1. While using this website, or one similar, invest in a background check. It makes you more credible to the families seeking to hire you. I was fortunate enough to have had people pay for my background checks in the past. However, they are only around $10.00 per year and in order to get more jobs, I suggest investing in one!
2. ALWAYS make sure you are comfortable with the family. I set up a face-to-face interview prior to accepting any position. I also requested to meet the father as well. I did not want to be faced with any surprises. I once babysat for a couple who seemed nice enough at first until the dad started flirting with me. Needless to say, you don’t want to be placed in such an uncomfortable and possibly dangerous position.
3. Don’t be afraid to negotiate your price! Be competitive, but don’t cheat yourself or the family. Also, be sure and charge according to how many youngsters you are watching.
4. Tell someone close to you where you will be and the address and phone number where they can reach you. My parents always knew the house I would be at and in case of emergency they are always available. Remember: these people are strangers, and until you get to know them, you need to keep them at arm’s length.
Last but not least:
5. Have references handy for the family. This, along with your background check, adds to your credibility and helps secure a job quicker. Also, it is okay to ask THEM for references! Don’t be afraid. It is always better to be safe than sorry.
Maybe nannying isn’t the job for you. However, there are other jobs available that may fit you perfectly! Sittercity.com isn’t just for babysitting and nannying positions. You can find people who need housekeepers, house-sitting, pet sitting, elderly care and a myriad of other positions!
Don’t be afraid to branch out and find a job that isn’t with a corporation. Pave your own path; I know I was glad I did. After all, this is STILL the home of the free….
Photo By: Peter