Do you have a professional network? Do you network with others in the nanny profession? Do you remember the first time you networked with someone in the nanny world? I can remember my first professional nanny networking experience. I had just graduated from college and found in my college library the phone numbers for the National Association of Nannies (NAN) and the International Nanny Association (INA). I called the NAN number because it was a North Carolina number and local to me. I was on the phone for about two hours with one of the founders of NAN. NAN folded in 2005 after a very successful life. From that first call I was now involved in the nanny network! The value of my professional nanny network has grown from a zero balance! I was thrilled!
I have experienced so many different types of networking in my 16 years as a professional nanny. I have met and talked to so many nannies in person and online from all of the networking and circles I have been involved in. It is amazing how many people I have been connected with over the years. With starting with the World Wide Nannies and Parents with Nannies yahoogroups, AOL NannyChat room to 4nannytaxes.com’s Nanny Network nanny forum. With the addition Facebook and Twitter, I sometimes feel like the “Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon” at times. The nanny world can be so small yet so big.
Where does one gain a professional nanny network? There are so many ways to build and develop a network. They can be based on in person, internet and educational avenues. I have included all of these in my networking over the years. Some have a higher value then others and that fluctuates over time as well.
Various Nanny Networking Opportunities
Conferences: Nannypalooza (November 5 &6, 2011, Ellicott City, MD outside of Baltimore) and International Nanny Association (May 3-6, 2012, Las Vegas)
Nanny Support Groups: Nanny Groups
Yahoogroups: World Wide Nannies
Professional Organizations: International Nanny Association (INA), local nanny groups, National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC)
These are just some of the many opportunities available for networking. The best thing about networking is there is an endless amount of chances for you to expand your circles of knowledge. I enjoy adding to my networks all the time. I place a strong value on in person networking through my local support group, ADCAN, and the conferences of NAN, INA and Nannypalooza. Each of these conferences has something to offer to any level of nanny, nanny agency or other industry company. I can’t begin to describe the value I have for being in the same room with 10, 15, 34 even 140 other people in the same career as myself. To see the excitement on each person’s face as we all learn from one another. To be able to truly feel the “energy” in a room over the excitement of the conferences and meetings is priceless. The conferences are held once a year, thankfully one in the spring and one in the fall. Yes the internet and social media provide a large part in my networking with others, but the value to me is not the same as the in person. I do enjoy being able to reach out via the internet at any hour of the day with other nannies across the world. For some it might be flip flopped or equal. You are the one to figure out the value of networking for yourself. The value on these network connections really is priceless.
As we wrap up the 13th year of National Nanny Recognition Week (NNRW), I have truly seen on Facebook the power of networking! Just by the nannies and agencies sharing the NNRW Facebook page, there were national agencies who were sharing wonderful shout outs to nannies from their employers, sharing NNRW events for the nannies and families to attend, to the sharing of the Sisterhood of Nannies series and celebration of the professional nanny with our scholarship to Nannypalooza. This week has been about “coming together and networking.” Just as the definition of networking states: the exchange of information or services among individuals, groups, or institutions; specifically: the cultivation of productive relationships for employment or business. Everyone has come together in celebration.
What is the value of your professional network? Mine is priceless and irreplaceable. Thank you for being a part of my professional nanny network. I truly appreciate each one of your role in it.
Please share with us some of your networking circles and what they have meant to you.