February 12, 2018
Tags: Annual Conference, Annual INA Conference, Board of Directors, Conference, INA, INA Board, INA Board of Directors, INA Conference, INA Nanny of the Year, International Nanny Association, Nanny, Nanny Agencies, nanny agency, nanny agency best practices, nanny career, nanny education, Nanny of the Year, nanny resources, nanny training, NCS, newborn care specialists, Small Business
While I have been a nanny most of my life now, I am a relative newcomer to the nanny community. In 2015 I received an email from a local nanny agency I had been registered with in the past telling me about a workshop they’d be presenting at the International Nanny Association Annual Conference in Cancun. It was a topic that resonated with me and also…. um…. Cancun?! Yes, please!! I was off to Cancun. I could not have guessed the impact this would have on my life. It was my first INA Conference and I haven’t looked back since.
Why haven’t I looked back? Here are just a few reasons:
The workshops are varied and informative. If you are looking to learn more and boost or maintain your resume, you will always find new info here. Employers will respect that you are putting effort into keeping current with our industry. Pre-school and School teachers take professional enrichment, it only makes sense for us to as well. After all, we are likely the longest term educator our littles will have in their early years.
The peers and agencies you connect with during conference become invaluable. Whether you are searching for a new job or just working to maintain your standing in the nanny community, the connections you make here are lasting. This is because establishing yourself as a professional invested enough in your career to attend professional enrichment events… that earns you a certain standing with agencies. When you take yourself seriously other around you do the same.
This is what I call all the non-job related connections you will make at Conference. The folks who present the workshops are seasoned and I’ve always found them very approachable. Often times these are folks who believe enough in what they are sharing that they donate their time to the INA. Just this past year I came across a family integration issue at work that I had never encountered before. With permission from my employers I reached out to a doctor I had met at Conference in the past to ask advice about how to best help my Nanny Kid and Nanny Family through this transition. Not only did this person share their knowledge with me, they referred me a parenting coach that they felt had more experience with this circumstance, who then took time out while driving their oldest child to college to have an extensive conversation with me! These are the kind and the quality of folks that speak at Conference.
I think we all know that this can be a lonely job. We often do not have co-workers. We have to make choices about how “friendly” we are with our bosses (they are our bosses after all) And because we work to protect the privacy of our Nanny Family, we can not decompress after work by “talking it out” as extensively as most other professions. The cool thing about Conference is that everyone there gets that. They have often had the same frustration as you and can commiserate or give advice. They understand the intentional vagueness you use to talk out work problems because they are vague too. They understand how exhausting, invigorating, and wholly encompassing it is to give our hearts and our minds to our Nanny Kids and our Nanny Families. They understand the joys of this job and the sorrows … The Nanny Community is the best place to turn when you are going through the heartache of saying “so long” to our kids when they age out of needing a nanny or having to say goodbye even before that. These folks are our community.
Taking a Break:
I use Conference to work in a little mini-vacay. I like to come a couple days early and take a day to just rest and relax, day to reconnect with folks I may not have seen in a year, and since Conference is in a different city each year, day to explore whatever location we are at that year. I’m the sort of person that recharges by having time on my own, but if you recharge with other folks, that works too. You’ll never need to have a meal on your own. There are always folks around get to know. There is a Facebook Page set up for registered attendees only and you’ll always find someone that way if you haven’t already made plans.
This will be my fourth consecutive year at Conference and I can not wait to go! I can’t speak highly enough of the support I feel going to Conference and I truly hope to never need to miss a year!
Lisa Dozier is an INA credentialed Nanny from Los Angeles, CA with more than 25 years experience. She is the recipient of the Harriet Grant Service Pin for her years in this industry. She has a background in Montessori and when working with her Littles leans toward a focus on independence and good citizenship. Lisa is an active member of the INA and does volunteer work for them. When she is not working Lisa likes to travel or just chill at home with her 3 rescued dogs.