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When to Quit Your Job – 12 Signs You Should Resign

Only 54% of Americans are happy in their current position. That means 46% of us are out there, spending 40+ hours a week of our waking lives doing work we don’t want to do. Of course even dream jobs have their ups and downs, and sometimes a dream job on paper turns out to be a nightmare in the home. How can you know whether to stick it out or throw in the towel? Here are 10 signs you need to quit your job.

Your Gut Wants Out

Your body communicates with you through emotions and physical sensations. If you get a knot in your stomach every time you hop in the car to go to work, or you are filled with a sense of doom when you enter the home, it’s time to leave your job. No one should feel daily dread at a position. Same goes for if you’re bored at work. If you find yourself watching the seconds tick by on the clock, scrolling through social media and the kids are driving you crazy, your job is no longer bringing you joy and that means it’s time for a change. Yes, you’re making money and supporting your life financially, but you shouldn’t trade your emotional and physical wellbeing for a job that inherently stresses you out.

If you start experiencing job creep, aren’t being appreciated for your efforts, and are constantly being overlooked or disrespected no matter how hard you work and how much you accomplish, it’s time to leave.

The Family’s Values Don’t Match Your Own

If your morals, ethics or core values are not in alignment with those of the family, it may be time to move on. If you’re working 40+ hours a week, contributing your energy and talents towards something you don’t believe in, that can be detrimental to your mental health. Think about what inspires you, what you want to contribute to the world and start searching for something that you believe in whole heartedly.

The Position Lacks Job Security

At the earliest signs that you may be let go, jump ship and start looking. Some telltale signs of job insecurity are if your hours constantly change, if other employees are being let go or if the family let you leave earlier and ask you to come in later everyday. Usually changes like this mean the family may be gearing up to clean house. It’s imperative that you start looking for new opportunities and keep your options open.

The Culture is Toxic

Toxic workplace environments can be caused by any number of factors; manipulative managers, difficult coworkers, or systemic flaws. Many times a toxic environment can be difficult to explain or even pinpoint the cause as there is usually gaslighting present. Complaints are ignored, voices are suppressed and the family lacks any sense of connection to you. If your work environment makes you feel unsafe or uncomfortable for any reason, it’s time to leave. 

There’s No Room to Grow

Besides paying your bills, a huge reason for choosing a specific position is for opportunity for growth both in the job and as an individual. Most people take lower paid positions because they may get something out of it like a skill or experience in certain specific areas that they can take to their next family. Others choose jobs because they offer a clear chance to move up with the family. If you are done learning all you can from a position and there’s no room for promotion, you’re staying stagnant. No one is going to come hand you a raise and promotion from thin air. Add your new skills and experiences to your resume and look for your next family elsewhere.

You’re Being Taken Advantage Of

If you start experiencing job creep, aren’t being appreciated for your efforts, and are constantly being overlooked or disrespected no matter how hard you work and how much you accomplish, it’s time to leave. If your planned reviews keep getting pushed off or you feel like you don’t have a voice, quit sacrificing your integrity for a family that doesn’t care about you and move on to where you are valued and appreciated.

The Cons Outweigh the Pros

If you’re experiencing any of the above but are still thinking “but wait…” practice the oldest trick in the book and make a list of pros and cons. If the cons outweigh the pros, or some of the cons carry more weight than those in the pros list, it’s time to move on. There is no sense in wasting your time, talents and efforts on a negative experience. 

Quitting your job should not be taken likely. However, if you’re reading this, that may be sign enough that it’s time for you to make a change. If you feel comfortable, speak to your employer about the feelings you have regarding your job. Perhaps something can be done to make your position more satisfying. If not, or if your supervisor is one of the toxic ones, it’s time to quit your job. Reach out to us for any transitional assistance you may need. 

Nanny Burnout

There comes a point in every career when you wake up, drink your coffee, get ready for the day and think to yourself, “I just can’t do it.” Burnout is an issue in any profession, and is especially common in positions where large amounts of emotional labor is needed. Nannies are notably prone to burn out, as their job as caregivers is to care. The extra emotional work that nannies put in on a daily basis drives them to an early case of burn out. So if you’re a nanny feeling like you just can’t do it anymore, what do you do?

The first step to managing the burn out is to identify it and recognize it for what it is. Burnout can look like many different things, but the general symptoms are:

“Burning out as a nanny is a common affair and is not something to be ashamed of or to stress out about even further, but it also shouldn’t be the new normal.”

Burn out is generally accepted as occurring when a nanny doesn’t have enough time for themselves to recharge, decompress and de-stress in-between shifts. This type of burn out is temporary and can be relieved simply by relaxing over the weekend or taking quality time for oneself. For more chronic burnout, however, there are many factors that can add up. Nannies who are at risk for burn out are:

  • Nannies who have a sense of personal responsibility. This type of burn out is especially present in nannies who do more emotional care giving, usually for children with special needs or in homes where there is turmoil or neglect.
  • Nannies who are not being paid enough. If one’s needs aren’t being met financially, it can be very difficult to be present for the job that is supposed to be paying your rent and feeding you.
  • Nannies who work without boundaries. If a nanny is without a work agreement and their role in unclear, they may end up being asked to take on additional roles outside of care giving.
  • Nannies who work long hours without time to recharge in-between shifts.

What can I do?

Many nannies work long hours and become emotionally invested in order to provide children with the proper care that they need and deserve, and to scale back on that care would be against their beliefs and be damaging for the child. So, as a nanny, how can you take care of yourself and the child?

Engage in Self Care

Self care is a major buzzword these days, but it looks different for everyone. Self care can be manipulated into marketing schemes, so it’s important to recognize what acts are actually beneficial to your rejuvenation between stressful care giving shifts. Shopping as self care may be good for some people, but if the cause of your burn out is due to financial stressors, it probably won’t do you any good. Self care is whatever you need to do to shake off the day. Exercise is a proven method of de-stressing and releasing endorphins, the chemicals in your brain that are responsible for happiness. Exercising every day also helps you manage stress and deal with whatever is coming up for you. Taking a bath, reading a good book, watching a movie or engaging in a creative activity are also wonderful ways of engaging in self care for nannies.

Practice Mindfulness

Change your perspective while you’re at work. Instead of focusing on the negatives, “I’m not being paid enough for this”, “I am giving so much to this family”, or “I’m not getting enough help” think about all of the positives that are present, like “I am making a wonderful connection and a difference in this child’s life” and “I am capable and strong and can handle any adversity that is thrown at me.” Many caregivers get disheartened when their work goes unnoticed. Often, it is those types of families that the work is needed most.
Visualize the fact that connecting with and nurturing their child is making a huge impact in their life. Think about how doing the laundry or cleaning the kitchen is creating a safe environment for the child. Changing the way you look at your role can have a huge impact on your mental health and your burn out. Take control of your days by engaging the child in fun activities that are also fun for you. Have a dance party, make a silly craft or just get a change of scenery. If it makes you smile, it will also make the child smile.

Draw Clear Boundaries

It is ideal for all nannies to have a close connection with their charges and with their families, but that closeness can often lead to feelings of guilt and obligation. If you are asked to do something you know will tire you out or leave you cranky and irritable, it’s okay to say no. Your job as a caregiver first and foremost is to care for the child, and anything that impedes on your ability to do so is outside of your job description and therefore not your responsibility. If you set expectations with the family, they can understand what you need and how better to allow you to assist the family.

Reach Out

If burnout is not managed, it can lead to more severe mental illnesses. Ask for help if you are having symptoms of depression or anxiety that you can’t manage yourself. Nannies are hard workers and often work alone, but there is no shame in asking for help when it is needed. If you are getting the help that you need in order to do your job correctly, then all parties benefit. Tell your nanny family that you are having difficulties performing, and have an open and honest conversation about how you can work together to make things better.

Accept Your Situation

Burning out as a nanny is a common affair and is not something to be ashamed of or to stress out about even further, but it also shouldn’t be the new normal. Once you accept that you are burned out, you can start taking steps to make your work-life balance healthy again.
 
If you are a nanny experiencing burn out, reach out to us! We can offer a number of solutions from drafting nanny work agreements to advice on how to set boundaries. Remember that you are not alone, all caregivers have felt this way at one point, but there is no reason that you need to continue feeling stressed.
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Nanny Savings - How To Plan For Your Future

Childcare is a business like any other. We pay taxes and social security, we network, we attend workshops and take classes that better us and expand our knowledge. We invest time and money in our business, so why not use our business to invest in our financial health and start nanny savings for retirement?

For those 9-5ers out there, stocks and trading are easily accessible through water cooler talk and employee bonuses, but for those of us who work in childcare, the only investments we discuss with our co-workers are juice boxes and LOL Surprise. However, these tips and apps make saving money and investing both simple and easy. If you can get your kids to do their homework and eat their greens, trading and investing will be a walk in the park (without the stroller). Here is our top ten list of ways nannies can start preparing for retirement.

Robinhood

Robinhood is an app that allows you to buy and trade stock without having to shell out any of your hard earned date night cash on commissions or fees, making it a great option to invest more of your nanny money for retirement!

Acorns

Acorns is the best app if investing has you feeling stumped. Acorns links to your bank account, rounding up everything you spend to the nearest dollar and transferring them to your Acorns account to be invested automatically. An awesome option for nannies to plan ahead for retirement with minimal effort.

A live-in nanny has great responsibilities, and opportunities for great savings. In a place like Los Angeles where rents are exorbitant, being a live-in nanny can allow you to put all of the money you would spend on rent and commuting to work to your retirement fund instead

Switch to a Cheaper Cell Phone Plan

Do you really need that unlimited data plan? Yes it’s nice to be able to hand your kids an iPad with Baby Shark queued up for those desperate moments, but cutting back on your screen time in general will help you lead by example, and save you lots of cash for your retirement!

Skip the Gym Membership

Who needs a trainer when you are surrounded by elementary-aged kids? Skip the monthly gym membership that you’re too tired to use after a long day of nannying, and schedule workout activities with your kids while on the clock. Kicking the soccer ball or shooting hoops gets your steps in while tiring them out for bed time. It’s a way to bond during play time, and, instead of spending money to keep healthy, you’re making it!

Stash

Stash is a great tool for beginner investors and especially for nannies looking to put away money. It lets you invest as little as $5 and teaches you as you go. It also has articles and tips loaded with a wealth of information on investing.

IRA's

IRA’s are a great option for nannies saving for retirement. Contributing to one of these accounts cuts your tax bill and gives you options to invest. While you’re meal prepping and picking kids up from school, your IRA is growing until you’re ready to retire.

Calculate by Hours

If you’re questioning whether or not something is worth buying, think about how many hours you have spent corralling kindergartners and changing diapers. Would you trade 4 hours of disinfecting high chairs for that new jacket? If not, don’t buy it! Instead, put away that cash for when you’ve changed the last diaper of your nanny career.

Nanny Share

Nanny shares are a great way for nannies to generate extra income for retirement without working extra hours. Team up with two families at a time and watch your nanny retirement fund grow! Not sure how nanny shares work? Reach out to us with any questions.

Consider Live-In

A live-in nanny has great responsibilities, and opportunities for great savings. In a place like Los Angeles where rents are exorbitant, being a live-in nanny can allow you to put all of the money you would spend on rent and commuting to work to your retirement fund instead. Interested in a live-in situation? Check out our job page or let us know! We would be more than happy to help you find your live-in family.

Meal Prep

Dining out can be the biggest drain on your bank account. A meal eaten out now is money taken from your nanny retirement fund. Take your meal prep skills out of your family’s house and into your home! Ask your nanny family if you could cook your own meals while cooking theirs, this way you don’t have to feel like you’re working when you’re off the clock. You can save money by eating home cooked meals and save time by utilizing their kitchen (which, let’s face it, probably has a veggie spiralizer).

Still confused as to how you can get a head start on your nanny retirement? Reach out to us with any questions or concerns and we’ll help you formulate a plan. Nannying is a rewarding and sometimes taxing career, you deserve to feel prepared for your retirement.

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Childcare Philosophies

When looking for a nanny for your child you may find yourself more concerned with scheduling and transportation than with child rearing philosophies. However, understanding the philosophy that would best work for your family can greatly assist in finding the right nanny, and for ensuring that your child has consistent care. Once you understand which philosophy works best for your family, you can skew your nanny search based on this philosophy, creating consistent and optimized care for your child. Below are the top early developmental child care philosophies.

Montessori

Montessori is one of the most popular childcare systems. Founded in 1907 by Maria Montessori, the idea is that children are in control of their own education, with teachers acting as aids or guides. On a daily basis, children participate in hands-on activities in which toys are tools designed for specific purposes to guide their learning about a specific subject. Montessori also encourages children to take personal responsibility for their wellbeing, fostering independence by making their own snacks, taking care of their own belongings and cleaning up after themselves. Children learn at their own pace, focusing on individual learning and creating a healthy atmosphere.

RIE

Resources for Infant Educarers or RIE is the philosophy that the most important education in a child’s early life is the care and connection that they feel with their caregivers. The idea is that the foundation of a child’s learning is based off of how safe and respected they feel. Educating a child through caring allows them to learn about themselves, to feel seen and understood, and feel like they matter in the world. RIE is not only designed to educate children but parents and caregivers as well. Through caring for the child, parents learn to trust themselves and their child, creating a strong bond between the two.

“Are your kids high energy? Does the candidate mention they love to work out, swim or go on hikes in their free time? These are hints that you could be a great fit for each other. We have a long list of extra questions available in our on-boarding packet for new families, just ask to see more!”

Waldorf

The Waldorf method focuses on dependable routine. Teachers are often with the same group of children for up to eight years, creating and nurturing trusting and secure relationships. Through comfortable furnishings and play areas, the Waldorf atmosphere is intended to feel like home. There is also a heavy emphasis on creative learning, such as arts, crafts, music, theater and cooking. The idea is that children thrive in comfort, and the Waldorf method uses the home-like atmosphere and dependable routine to allow children to thrive.

Reggio Emilia

Similar to Montessori, children are their own agents in learning with Reggio Emilia. Children are encouraged to explore their interests while teachers guide them to create projects based on their enthusiasms. The focus is also on creativity and the arts, with projects and daily play documented so that parents and caregivers can remain on the same page and monitor their child’s development.

High/Scope

High/Scope is the inverse of Waldorf where the emphasis is placed not on social or emotional development but academic success. Instead of creative pursuits, children are directed more towards mathematics and linguistics. Children learn collaboratively with teachers and it is an excellent route for children who work best one on one and for children with special needs.

Bank Street

Bank Street was founded in 1916 based off of the philosophies of Lucy Sprague Mitchell and is great for children who learn best in an environment lacking structure. In Bank Street teaching, the classroom is the world around us and is considered to be the biggest tool in a child’s learning. Children are regarded as active learners as lessons are focused on the social sciences; history, geography and anthropology. Artistic and scientific lessons are taught within the context of cultural applications, creating an integrated curriculum. Children are encouraged to exercise their imaginations, and have the opportunity to choose to work alone or in groups, with teachers acting as guides rather than leaders. 

Religious

If faith-based learning is right for your family, many churches and religious schools offer preschool programs. The philosophy followed in any given religious school may differ, and the religious content taught may vary. Be sure to speak to the school about the program offered, as well as details on their curriculum and philosophy.

At Los Angeles Nannies we source and vet a wide range of nannies with differing backgrounds who have extensive experience in early childhood education. Let us know which childcare philosophy works best for you and we can find a nanny who is an expert and a perfect match for your family.

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NANNIES - HOW TO ASK FOR A RAISE

Being a nanny is a job, and depending on your commitment to the craft, it’s a profession.  It’s a demanding, exhausting, mentally and physically taxing job with an immense moral reward – shouldn’t the financial reward match the effort? Most businesses have in place quarterly and / or annual reviews with the opportunity to discuss a raise, your nanny position should be no different. If you have been with a family over a year, you deserve a review and very possibly a raise. Below are some important points to consider when asking for a raise.

Nobody will hand you a raise out of the blue.

Asking for a raise is tricky business in any career path, and can be especially difficult to do as a nanny. You work and sometimes live in their home, you’re part of the family! It can feel awkward asking for more. A great place to start is by making a mental decision that you WILL ask for a sit down with the parent/s to discuss the possibility of a raise. Tell a few people close to you that can hold you accountable to it.

Be prepared and have supporting documents.

Next is to start preparing. Once you begin to write a list of all of the things you’ve done with the family, the more motivated you will be to ask and the more confident you will feel. Write down all of your new job tasks, how you’ve taken classes and bettered your skill-set, how you started to drive more, how you now cook for the family, how you’ve helped with the new baby, any additional duties that has been added since you began working should be used as a justification for a wage increase. Have these handy when you ask for your raise, it will be apparent that you are deserving!

Do your research.

Consider the natural rate of inflation in your economy. Gas prices increase and suddenly your pickups and drop offs are beginning to cost you more. Rent rises and your hourly rate isn’t going as far as it used to. These are important factors to take into account when bringing up your raise with your employer.

“It also helps to plant the seed and give them some time to think about your request before catching them off guard. Depending on your relationship with the parents, you might say something like: “Would you happen to have some time this week to sit down together to discuss how things have gone this past year with my position, and the prospect of a raise in my pay?””

Timing is everything!

In addition to preparing your points, choosing the right time to bring it up to them is crucial. Most parents are excessively busy, hence the need for a nanny! It’s imperative that you find a slice of downtime to approach them face to face. Around the year mark is a great opportunity to ‘raise’ the topic, as it’s a common practice in most industries to negotiate compensation after one year. Additionally, asking for a raise after you’ve completed a major accomplishment is also a good time to present your expectations.

Bite the bullet - ask!

It also helps to plant the seed and give them some time to think about your request before catching them off guard. Depending on your relationship with the parents, you might say something like: “Would you happen to have some time this week to sit down together to discuss how things have gone this past year with my position, and the prospect of a raise in my pay?”

Be confident!

Know your worth, know that you give your all and you work hard for this family. Know that if you have been with them a year, you are continually doing the right thing day in day out and they want to keep you around. You have formed a strong bond with their children. You are irreplaceable – there is no other you! They respect your hard work and know that a raise is more than deserved. Chances are your employers are no strangers to a corporate or business structure – they know you deserve a raise and it’s expected of you to ask! If you think you may have difficulties articulating your needs and would feel more comfortable reaching out via email, that’s okay too. Have a close friend or family member write the first draft of the email for you, it removes any anxiety, provides a great starting point, and your friend has far less hesitation about describing your value than you do. Los Angeles Nannies has composed many ‘Raise Request’ emails and we would be happy to do the same for you. Drop us an email with a few details on your situation and we’ll reply with something you can forward directly to your nanny family!

Make your intentions clear.

Know exactly how much you’re asking for, but also be realistic. Don’t set your hopes too high and don’t ask for $0.25 per hour raise. We’ve seen increases range from 5-40% after the 1st year, so decide where you would like to be on that scale. If you currently earn $15 per hour and want to make $18, that’s a 20% wage increase ($3); $16.50 is 10% wage increase. Ask other nannies in your area to get a feel for what they make, and check if your experience and responsibilities line up with theirs; Los Angeles Nannies can also help with this.

I asked, they said no… now what?

Even if you got your courage up and did all the work and they said no, ask why. Without letting emotions get the best of you, listen to their reasons; ask them if it would be possible to set up another review in a couple of months to approach the topic again after you make adjustments per their feedback (within reason of course). Check if there are other responsibilities to take on that could see your hourly wage increase accordingly. Remember that there are many reasons why a family won’t or can’t offer a raise, and it’s important to understand what they want moving forward. Perhaps providing an increase is not within their financial capability, which means you may want to reconsider working with this family for the long term. For parents that possibly cannot afford a raise, an alternative could be to ask if they would consider paying for courses specific to your job or sending you off to a nanny conference (INA) and assisting with hotels and airfare. There are many alternatives to a financial raise to consider that can help save you money and demonstrate to the family your dedication to your job.

If you have prepared your reasoning well, presented yourself professionally and with confidence, there is no reason why you won’t be treated as a professional and receive the raise you ask for. We’re here to help so drop us a line!