Are You Prepared if Your Job Ends ?
by Glenda Propst
I hear this story a lot these days.
My job just ended and I don’t know what to do.
When your job ends unexpectedly, or even if you have an ample amount of notice, it is still a difficult thing to go through and it’s human nature to panic. So here are some ongoing things you can do to be sure that if the inevitable happens, you can rest assured in knowing you have a plan.
- Is your resume up to date? Once a year, update your resume. Be sure that your references are current with accurate information.
- Each year at your annual review ask your employers for an updated reference letter for your files. Often times nannies will tell you that this is one of the hardest things to secure from their employers once they give their notice or their employers need to let them go.
- Maintain a list of your connections with other nannies and nanny related businesses so you will have a network of connections instead of just 1 or 2. When I say maintain a list, I really mean keep a list and keep it updated as you meet new people. When your job is ending, you are often in panic mode and no matter how well you think you will remember, you will forget some of those connections.
- Set aside a certain amount of money from your paycheck to live on in case you lose your job. You should have at least 3 months worth of living expenses put away so that if you lose your job, you won’t have to panic or take a job that you don’t really want.
- If you are a live in nanny, do you have a plan? If you are a live in nanny and your job ends, not only do you need a new job, you need a new place to live. Do you know where you would go if you received a 2 week notice? Or heaven forbid, if something happened and you had 24 hours to be out of your employers home? If you don’t, it’s something you need to think about. Ideally you have a long term plan and a short term plan, so you might even have a list of different options in case the unexpected happens. Because again…..when you are in panic mode, you forget.
- Never lull yourself into a false sense of security by thinking they can’t live without you or your job is secure because your employers are living the high life. Neither of these things mean anything. Anyone can live the high life on credit cards, the problem is that at some point in time the money might run out and if it does, the nanny is often the first to go.
- If you are unhappy in your job, the chances are greater that your employers are unhappy with you. Know what the signs are that a job is coming to an end and be on the watch for them.
- Use good judgement when you use the internet. Good judgement means be wary of what you post on nanny boards online, on yahoogroups or on Facebook. Be especially careful of this if you use the computer at work. Always be sure that you sign out of your accounts.
- It’s a good idea not to put anything on the internet about your employer that you wouldn’t tell them to their face, because the nanny world is a small place and you never truly know who is reading what you write.
- Develop a support system. As nannies, we all need someone to vent to but we need someone to vent to that we can really trust. Someone that we know is not going to tell and someone who truly understands. We also need a professional network of people that we can talk to and reach out to for support as we go through a tough time. Even though venting online seems like a good idea in the heat of the moment, it’s always best to talk to a trusted friend.