Starting a new job as a domestic helper or nanny can be both exciting and nerve-wracking. The first day is an important one as it sets the tone for your working relationship with your employer and the family. Here are some tips to help you make a positive first impression and smoothly transition into your new role.
1. Arrive on Time
Punctuality is a sign of professionalism. Make sure to arrive on time, or even a bit early, to show your commitment to the job and respect for the family's schedule.
2. Dress Appropriately
First impressions matter, and your appearance contributes to that. Dress in clean, neat, and modest attire that is suitable for the tasks you'll be performing. If there's a uniform, ensure it's well-kept and worn correctly.
3. Familiarize Yourself with the House Rules
Every home operates differently. Nannies in Dubai should ask for the house rules or a handbook, if available. This may include routines, meal times, do's and don'ts, emergency contacts, and other relevant information. Ask parents in advance whether the child has any allergies or medications that might be relevant, physical or mental impairments to understand, and anything else that might help a nanny and the children have a great day.
In any field, exceeding expectations is the aim. This becomes challenging when objectives are unclear
Request specific details from the parents about how they envision the day unfolding, such as meal times, snacks, playtime, naps, and bathing routines. Parents should establish the main priorities, and the nanny can then organize the day accordingly. However, it's important to infuse some of the fun and exciting activities you had in mind to ensure it's an enjoyable day for the children as well.
4. Clarify Your Duties
Be clear on your duties and responsibilities. If you have any doubts or if something isn't clear, don't hesitate to ask your employer. It's better to get clarification at the beginning rather than make mistakes later on.
Some families want 100% of your time dedicated to watching the children, others want housework done only when the children are sleeping. Others want you to include the children in the housework. You will never know unless you ask
5. Show Initiative
Be proactive in your work. If you see something that needs to be done and it's within your purview, take the initiative to do it. This demonstrates a keen work ethic and a high level of responsibility.
Exceptional nannies, carefully structure their days, much like school teachers. When you approach your role thoughtfully, incorporating educational and well-prepared activities, such as exploring different animals, countries, or cultures, both parents and children are naturally drawn to your caregiving. For more tips on Mastering Toddler Care, check out our article here.
6. Maintain Open Communication
Establishing open communication lines with your employer is critical. Discuss the preferred method and times for communication. Is there a daily catch-up session, or is it a weekly sit-down? Would they prefer you text or call for quick questions?
7 Be Observant
Take mental notes of the family's routines, their preferred way of doing things, and any particular needs they might have. Every family is unique, so being observant will help you tailor your approach accordingly.
8. Keep a Positive Attitude
Your attitude can significantly impact your working relationship with your employer and the family. Stay positive, be polite, and show eagerness to perform your tasks to the best of your abilities.
9. Bond with the child
If you're a nanny, take the time to interact with the children. Show interest in their likes, dislikes, routines, and habits. Building a rapport with them from the start can help establish a trusting relationship.
It takes time for a young child to build a connection with a new person
Engaging in various activities, games, and icebreakers that encourage interaction can be incredibly enjoyable and highly effective in fostering that bond.
Age-appropriate activities, tailored to individual temperaments and skill levels, are always appreciated. Even simple activities like coloring or a trip to the local park offer low-pressure yet enjoyable ways to establish a connection. "At times, we need to embrace our inner child, just like them," suggests an experienced nanny, whose young charge has a fondness for superheroes. "If he wants me to become Iron Man or Wonder Woman, I can step into the role of a superhero if it brings him joy."
10. Remember Self-Care
Caring for others is hard work, and it can be easy to neglect your own needs. Remember to take breaks when possible, stay hydrated, eat healthy, and ensure you get enough rest.
11. Debrief the Parents
Parents often appreciate receiving occasional texts with a picture or two of their children during the day. However, nannies should plan for a comprehensive debrief at the end of the day. Nannies can demonstrate their proactive approach by providing a thorough summary of the day's events to the parents.
Offer a high-level overview that includes both the highlights and challenges of the day
Ask questions regarding tomorrow's plans and provide updates on the household's status. For instance, inform them if the dishwasher has been loaded or if bottles have been prepared for the evening. Always strive to leave the house in better condition than when you arrived. You can tidy up, load the dishwasher, and put away toys throughout the day to make their lives a bit easier. This also showcases your organizational skills if they happen to return home early.
Starting a new job as a domestic helper or nanny comes with its challenges, but with the right approach, you can ensure your first day and those following are successful. Remember, patience is key as everyone adjusts to new dynamics, and you're learning the ropes.