The Nanny Podcast Episode 4, The Celebrity Nanny

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Hi, welcome to the nanny podcast, I am so happy you are listening 🙂

I want to talk about something that might make some of you nod in agreement, some of you irritated and some of you not know about. The celebrity nanny, or rather the person who has been a nanny to a celebrity family.

There are so many famous people in the world, and many of them have kids and I would guess that the vast majority of them have nannies. It’s actors, singers, artists, athletes, politicians, royals, people that are famous because they are famous and so on. So many nannies have worked for someone famous as some point and are not affected by it at all, and don’t feel the need to brag about it, after all, they are just people and it is just another job, perhaps demanding in an unusual way, but still, it is taking care of and educating children whether they have famous parents or not. In my experience these families value discretion and professionalism even more than us mere mortals and would rather hire a nanny who is less star struck and more focused on the job.

When it happens it makes me giggle, we sometimes get nannies who have worked for celebrities and come to us with the attitude that their former employer’s fame and success is somehow theirs and expect some kind of special treatment. Let me say one thing straight, we treat everyone equally. Whether you are a client who is a celebrity or royalty, or a middle class family, we treat you the same. Whether you are a nanny with thirty years experience or a junior nanny just starting out, we treat you the same. Let me elaborate. The same service, has the same price and the same time requirement whether you are famous or a normal family. The requirements for you as a nanny to register with us are the same whether you are just starting out or have been working for many years for very famous people. If you are rude to us, we will not work with you, I don’t care how famous your former boss is. If you have lots of experience, an impressive CV and a professional and great personality, we will be very happy to help you find work. If you have an impressive CV with celebrity names on it and a crappy attitude, we will be much less excited to work with you. If you have nothing to show on your CV but are willing to listen and build it, we are happy to work with you. If you have no nanny experience and just want to come and work in Monaco, we don’t really think nannying is for you and we do not want to work with you.

I understand, it’s easy to get star struck. When I was in university I lived in cities where lots of famous people live, and would see famous people all the time in the grocery store, and honestly, I almost peed in my pants every time I saw Vincent Gallo, who was very cool at the time, or Ethan Hawke who lived around the corner from my school. It’s exciting, I get it. But don’t be a jerk, their fame is theirs, and in the end they are just people and because you know details about their personal lives because you have taken care of their kids does not mean that you are entitled to different treatment than others (I’m not even sure what kind of treatment is desired, maybe it is just a level of awe these nannies are after) and it definitely doesn’t mean that you should use that information to try to impress us or your next family. You are awesome, you have experience and merit, you don’t need to leverage your former boss’ fame to impress, you are impressive as you are.

Your CV will get you the interview, your personality will get you the job. That is just how it is.

Thank you for listening and spending time with me, see you next time 🙂

The Nanny Podcast Episode 3, “I want an exotic nanny”

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“I want an exotic nanny”

Welcome to the Nanny Podcast. I want to tell you about a kind of situation that surprises me every time and I want to share how we handle and advise in a possibly tricky situation.

There have been times when clients ask for “exotic” nannies and it doesn’t necessarily mean what you might think, we have had families say to us that they just want something different from everyone else. Here the nanny becomes a commodity, it is not longer about getting the best care for the child but rather about the image you project. A keeping up with the Jones’ if you want. Hiring a nanny is a really great thing for your family, you have another adult who is professionally trained to raise babies and children. When picking the perfect person for your family there are many things to consider. What language the nanny speaks is of course important. If you want your kid to speak a foreign language fluently and understand a foreign culture, hiring a nanny who can give you that is a great idea, but realistically he or she would have to spend years with you for it to have a benefit.

A client might tell us that they want a Chinese nanny to teach their child chinese. In some cases, this is a very regular request, we understand the logic. Then we ask, are you looking for Mandarin or Cantonese? There are times when we don’t get a response here and it gets really tricky for us to know how to help. The benefits of a foreign nanny can be huge, but the decision should be taken consciously. In one particular case when the family lives in a place where there is no chinese community to find local nannies in we would find them a qualified Chinese nanny who is willing to move for the job. That is also normal and quite common, but of course, this kind of job is not going to be a minimum wage one, if a nanny moves for a job, it will be for a good job with good terms and a good salary. In one particular case we explained this and that they would have to sponsor a visa for the nanny, at an additional cost. All this is ok until they see the numbers. That is when it starts to get strange. We show them a good solution, they don’t like it and come back saying, maybe we will take a Greek nanny then. Another pause from us. Ok. Chinese and Greek language and culture are not exactly interchangeable. We find a Greek nanny, same conversation happens again. They don’t want to pay what it costs. We suggest they hire a local nanny for fewer hours per week at a price they can afford. At this point they admit to us that they just want “something exotic” and “something nobody else has”. In my mind I think they should get a pet snake that they walk around with and a proper nanny who can take care of the needs of their baby. Your nanny is not a status symbol, or shouldn’t be. He or she is not a handbag or a car, they are the person helping raise your children. If it is necessary to brag about having a nanny, brag about how qualified they are. Brag about how they help you solve problems you didn’t know how to solve on your own. Brag about the relationship you have with them, how you respect each other. Brag about what they bring to your family. Brag about how you work together and about how you have provided your children with a loving and professional adult who helps educate them. Brag about the content, not the format. That’s worth telling your friends about.

Thank you for listening, join us again next time.

The Nanny Podcast Episode 2, Confidence, how does it affect your career as a nanny?

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Hi everyone, welcome to the Nanny Podcast.

Today we are going to talk about confidence, and more specifically about women’s confidence. This is important for nannies, and for everyone because it relates very closely with the hiring process and when you are working with people, whether it is getting grown ups to hire you or children to listen to you, your confidence plays a part.

Women are often less confident than men and to have success in most things, you need confidence. I can’t tell you how much this matters to me, I have been apologizing to demons and ghosts in my head, making excuses not to pursue something I know I would be good at and like, but didn’t because I didn’t have the self assuredness I needed. So many of us are such hard workers and have qualifications beyond what we say, we don’t let the world know what we are great at, and sometimes when we do we are read as cocky or overconfident, which will not get us what we want most of the time. In studies men overestimate their abilities and performance and women underestimate theirs while the performance quality is the same. It is worth thinking about.

Even in our agency, when men contact us, both clients and mannies, they are so much more confident than their female counterparts and most of the time the male clients know less what they need and the mannies have similar or less qualifications compared to most of our nannies and the moms who write us. But you wouldn’t think it the way they present themselves 🙂 Mannies who contact us have no problem telling us how much money they want to earn, not always realistic, but much fewer of our nannies do. Our male clients know everything about nannies (even when they don’t) and know exactly what they are looking for, even though  just as often as with our female clients they might need something different.

We know that women in general are as competent, that companies that hire a lot of women outperform those that don’t and so on.

Why is women acting confident sometimes frowned on? Do you sometimes think or hear that a woman is described as cocky, aggressive or other negative words describing her behavior? Are we participating in the image by judging ourselves? To me, a really confident person, regardless of gender, that I tend to admire and look up to has a calm about them that tells me that they are comfortable with themselves and what they know and also with what they don’t know. Being assertive is not necessarily being confident, I think it also relates very closely to charisma which is very often described as being fully present and attentive to a person. Do you think that maybe when we pay attention, really pay attention, look people in the eye when talking and listening, showing our ability to be present, that we are able to show our confidence without being aggressive? I think so.

What is the difference between being confident and over confident and what does it have to do with nannying?

Confidence is being comfortable in your own skin and expressing yourself without feeling insecure or nervous. It comes when one knows one’s strengths as well as faults, and accepts them to improve oneself.

Overconfidence is when a person ‘believes’ that they are right every single time and that there’s nothing the others ‘need’ do, but follow them happily.

It has to do with nannying what it has to do with most employment, when you look at someone’s presentation of themselves and they are nuanced and balanced they are probably more likely to get and keep a job. Your CV will get you an interview, but your personality will get you a job.

John Charles Hewitt says it nicely on Quora: “A little bit of delusional, narcissistic overconfidence is useful in propelling you towards improvement. It’s like giving yourself an emotional loan without a security deposit. Confidence based on experience is stiffer stuff that tends to be more reliable. I’d rather have a surgeon who is confident based on years of experience operating on me in place of an enthusiast of hospital dramas who can put on a good doctor impression.”

I have both clients and nannies contact us every day and it is often interesting what approach they take. I am not going to get into the unprofessional ways people send me files and information without introducing themselves and explaining what they want, that is for another episode and doesn’t really have a lot to with confidence I think, but rather the attitude that comes across. As a generalization, most people who have had some experience and talk from that place show their strengths and weaknesses beautifully, which tells me that they are confident and comfortable with who they are and what their goals are, personally or professionally, as well as competent. I have lots of nannies like this and it is wonderful working with them. Then you have some that might have worked for some famous people and without the knowledge and humbleness that experience gives you act over confident and aggressive, often being rude to our agents and act inappropriately, which always makes me wonder, if you are so accomplished and want the world to serve you, why are you contacting us to get work with us? In the same way the clients that contact us to help them get the best childcare for their family shows their confidence, or lack of it in how they communicate.

How can you own your confidence? In my research it seems like confidence and charisma are very closely related. Here are some tips to communicate confidence:

Make eye contact with the person you talk to both when you talk and when they talk. Don’t seem distracted by scanning the room or checking your phone.

Position your body so that you are facing the person you are talking to. Again this shows that you are giving them your full attention. Use open gestures like showing the palm of your hands when you talk, don’t cross your arms since it is a closed off gesture.

Embrace your imperfections. This is so important. Nobody is going to look up to or even trust a person who thinks they know it all. Being aware of your flaws will not only open you up to improvement, but it also tells the person you are talking to that you know yourself, good and bad and that you are comfortable with who you are because you know what you know and also what you don’t know.

Take responsibility for your own actions. Insecure people tend to make excuses or cover up mistakes. If you’re confident, you know that a mistake or error is not the defining factor of who you are. Work on taking responsibility for your decisions, both good and bad. This will make you read as more confident to those around you. If you make a mistake, don’t minimize it. Instead, think to yourself, “That was a mistake. It was poor judgment on my part. I should try to do better next time.”

Prioritize self care. Self-care is not self-indulgent. If you want to maintain a confident attitude, you need to care for yourself. You need rest and relaxation in order to maintain your confidence.

Give yourself small rewards. This can be as simple as a warm bath at the end of each day, or a long walk to clear your head after work. It is also setting boundaries, which we will talk more about in another episode because it is so important.

Make time for the basics. Get enough sleep, eat well, and give yourself some downtime.

Make sure you get your exercise, moving your body every day is both important for your health and your confidence.

I found a nice list of tips from successful women on how to be confident from elle.com http://www.elle.com/culture/career-politics/news/a19684/powerful-women-on-how-to-be-confident/

Thank you so much for listening to the Nanny Podcast, be confident and always be kind and we will see you next time 🙂

Hey :)

We are getting ready to post our first podcast, (yay :)) and just figuring out all the technical stuff to get our first recording to you. You can follow this blog and I will link to the places where you can sign up for it as soon as it is up. I have been in touch with really awesome people who are going to be on our podcast, I really think you are going to like it 🙂