Beginning a new role with a family is exciting. You are ready to take on fresh challenges and conquer the world along the way. However, often, this enthusiasm can be accompanied by nerves and uncertainty as to what you may expect to find when you arrive on your first day. Questions about the children, family, routines and expectations can flood the mind and force you to feel unprepared. How do you manage starting a new job and what should you bear in mind?
What should you expect?
At the beginning of any new job role, current members of staff or your employer are there watching and supporting you as you take on your various responsibilities. They may ask more questions about why you are doing something in a particular way or instruct you as to how you should do something differently. This is also the case in any new nanny role, especially as you will be working with children. Do not see this as a negative response but use it to your advantage and ask questions. Find out how a family works and what strategies they use with their children to help you develop your own. Learning what they expect of you at an early stage will be extremely beneficial in the long run.
Your start date can have a huge impact on the sorts of things you will have to manage and consider as you begin your first few weeks. It may be the start of a holiday with tired children; it could be the start of term requiring organisation and adjustment; you may be the fifth nanny they have had in the last year or you may be replacing a much-loved nanny who was with the family for a long time. Finding this information out before you begin is essential as it will allow you to be sensitive towards certain adjustments, creating a positive environment for all.
Beginning in September means that there will be school routines to follow and possible transitions to support. Parents may have had time off during the summer and their returning to work will have an impact on their children and the house. Whilst everyone will feel refreshed and ready to regain some routine, expect there to be a couple of weeks of tiredness as the demands of school life increase. Due to the fact that routines will have been relaxed over the summer, you will now have to revive or instil these, thinking carefully about getting up and ready, packing school bags, making lunches etc. A pinch of Mary Poppins’ enthusiasm, perhaps with a military-style logistical plan, may help.
Top Tips For A Smooth Transition:
☑ Take detailed notes during initial handovers and make sure to ask as many relevant questions as you can.
☑ Try to allow a good couple of months for transition when starting a new role, especially if joining a family during a new term or school holiday or when daily routine may be in a period of flux.
☑ Be open minded and respectful of the information given and current routines in place. Politely discuss any possible changes after assessment/observation and work on building a good rapport with your new employers.
☑ Most importantly, be kind to yourself and give yourself time to adjust!