No matter what industry you are in, job searching is hard to do. Between researching job duties, meeting minimum requirements, and updating your resume, it seems like getting a job- can be its own full-time job! So when your job history read a little more like “for the time being” than “for the long term”, you may need some help making all those short-lived positions seem like an asset rather than a liability. Here are 5 good ways to persuade a future employer that your short-term positions are of high value:
- Acknowledge that you have a resume of short-term positions. Position yourself to professionally answer questions about your job history; being able to explain this over the phone, or in-person, is even better, so be proactive in making connections and seeking face-to-face contact. Whether you quit under good or bad circumstances, or were fired, “let go” or simply not needed anymore, you need to own this part of your individual professional package. Presenting a positive, optimistic attitude can go a long way in showing an agency or potential employer what kind of demeanor you have when going through a difficult situation. Staying honest when questioned about the amount of turnover in your positions, will show trustworthiness and transparency- traits that are highly favored by employers.
- Realize that working with many different families provides you with a set of highly unique combination of skills. A nanny who has worked with one family consistently for 5 years may show that he or she is loyal through life’s ups and downs, committed, and can persevere in relationships. But, a nanny who has worked for seven families in those same five years can quickly adjust to the temperaments of many different children. They have a more comprehensive arsenal of discipline techniques, experience with communication styles, and even menu items for picky eaters!
- Understand that you have a high level of cultural competence. All families have a culture: Conservative or Progressive. Southern or Yankee. Globally-inspired or locally-motivated. Maybe they sit down together for a plated, multi-course dinner promptly at 6, or maybe they use paper plates on the living room floor whenever they find the time. They may value a full schedule, having their children involved in several activities each day, or they may value a lighter daily lineup, with more time doing crafts at home or playing in the neighborhood park. Either way, you can adjust to the individual needs of each family quite easily! Even when it comes to different ethnic cultures, you likely have a great deal of experience working in homes with their own unique practices.
- Show that you come with a commitment to making it work. You have seen the highs and lows of working relationships. You know when to stay, and you know when to gracefully exit. But now you are looking at the long arc of your career, not caught up in minor hiccups of the past. You long for a life full of meaningful impact, and you will stand up and work for that each day. Reiterate your optimistic attitude and positive approach to each new position.
- Demonstrate your flexible schedule and willingness to adjust to the families’ needs. The ability to work a non-traditional work schedule is a huge selling point for busy families. Those with older children may need their nanny to stay later at night or work weekends. Medical practitioners may need someone who can work more “on-call” hours. The ability to work overnight is always a plus. Those seeking a nanny see this extreme flexibility as an added-value, and you may even be able to request a higher hourly wage for this convenience to the family.
Rachael Lubin is a classically trained and highly educated Certified Professional Governess. She is an INA Credentialed Nanny, and a graduate of the English Nanny and Governess School. After earning her Bachelor’s degree, she worked for Big Brothers Big Sisters, before moving to China to teach English for 15 months. She has been in professional childcare for 5 years and has worked with families across the United States and Canada. Rachael’s specialty is working with families going through transitions- from bringing home new babies into established homes, to divorce and child custody changes, to cross-country moves. Her desire is to learn a family’s culture and customs before the major life change, and then be able to replicate it as much as possible during and after the family’s transition.