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Using a Nanny Job to Launch Another Career

Posted on by Erin | in Nannies

Working as a nanny can be a fulfilling career, and many caregivers work as nannies until they retire. Others only stay in the field for a few years and use that experience to launch themselves into a new career. Being a nanny can offer you lots of advantages and opportunities that you wouldn’t get in other jobs. Here are few that can be helpful if you’re moving in a new career direction.

You’ll gain valuable, hands-on childcare experience. The most obvious benefit of working as a nanny is the experience you gain as a hands-on childcare provider. This professional experience can help you move into any other childcare related field, such as working in a daycare, becoming a preschool teacher or starting your own family care center. Because nannies are in full charge of the children they care for, you’ll gain experience doing things you wouldn’t do in other settings. This expanded experience can be helpful when you transition into another type of position.

You’ll learn many skills that transfer to other household positions. Being a nanny isn’t just about caring for kids. If you work for a family that doesn’t have a full staff, you often take on some of the tasks usually done by a housekeeper, household manager, personal assistant or personal chef. You might vacuum at the end of each day, do weekly grocery shopping, cook family meals or oversee a small household repair project. This expanded role gives you a way to expand and hone your skill set and provides the hands-on experience you need to move into another household position. It also gives you a taste of the different career opportunities available in household staffing, so you can decide firsthand if one of them is a good match for you.

You could make important connections through your employers. Many nanny employers are influential people in their line of work. Their connections can be a powerful tool to launch you into your next career. If you have a burning desire to break into a field but have no idea how, working for someone in that field can be your golden pass. Because these people are generally at the top of their industries, you can often by-pass many of the dead end efforts normally associated with working your way up the ladder. If you’re working on the next great American novel, landing a nanny job with a well-known publisher could be your big break. If you dream of designing clothes, caring for the kids of a hot designer can get your foot in the door. Of course, you still have to be a quality caregiver while you’re in that role and you never want to take advantage of your employer in any way. However, after establishing a good working relationship with your nanny boss, it’s very possible that he will do whatever he can to make your post nanny career dreams come true.

You could get an idea for your own company. Many nannies leave their nanny career to open their own small business. It’s not unusual to see a need for a service while on the job that sparks the entrepreneurial bug. You may decide to open your own nanny placement agency, family concierge agency or Newborn Care Specialist agency. Or you may discover a talent that will take you in a direction completely unrelated to household staffing. You may want to start a bakery, an organizing service or a training service. Even after you decide to become a small business owner, working as a nanny is a great pre-launch position. You can use your time to save the startup funds, get the necessary training or do a lot of the foot work needed to get off the ground. This ensures that when you do leave, you have all the pieces in place for success.

You could finish the education you need to make the transition. If your next career requires an advanced degree but you still need to work full-time while you’re in school, staying in a nanny position is a smart move. Many nanny jobs have a lot of downtime during the day where you can finish up homework or study. Infants and toddlers nap one or two times a day, preschoolers are in school two or three mornings or afternoons a week and school-aged kids are out of the house for most of the day. Your job may require you to do some tasks during these child-free times, but you will still have plenty of free time for school work. This downtime can be the difference between success and failure.

Transitioning from one career to another is never an easy task. However, working as a nanny can be a great role to jumpstart this transition.

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