Tips on Working With High Net Worth Families
By Candi Vajana
Do you ever feel alone working as a Nanny?
Do you ever feel completely isolated?
Have you ever felt invisible?
Have you ever felt like you are somewhere but you are not really there?
Working with a High Profile Family sometimes feels like this. Yes, I know, you have all read the articles about Nannies making lots of money, traveling on private jets, and wearing miniskirts and high heels, but working for High Net Worth Families (HNW) isn’t always as glamorous as the rest of the world wants you to believe.
Yes, it is true that most High Net Worth nannies make six figures, but they are also required to deal with a lot on a daily basis. It is not your average 9 -5 job. Don’t get me wrong, I love my job but there are so many misconceptions about what this kind of work entails. HNW Nannies work very long days and often work nights. We often work rotation shifts, meaning 4 days on and 4 days off. This often means there is another Nanny who works on opposite shifts as you, and hopefully is on the same page with regards to routine, consistency, and approaches. We deal with the ever changing dynamics of the family we work with and most likely the ever changing dynamics of a whole team of outside contractors (security, cooks, housekeepers, drivers, etc). We take care of our charges, their schedules, their diets, and their playdates. I have in the past also been responsible for Doctor’s visits, school choices, Parent Teacher Conferences, clothes shopping, vacations, immunizations and a whole lot more. When I say I was responsible for, I mean the parents were not involved.
Working as a Nanny is isolating and lonely at the best of times, if we don’t make the effort to meet others, we spend our entire day talking to our charges. This is all fine and dandy but we need some adult interactions in our lives. Even if you do befriend another Nanny or any adult, you cannot talk about your job so the conversation becomes very stiff and one-sided. If you do work with a team you are still not allowed to speak to others about your job, which can make for a very interesting conversation.
I have been so invisible that I have entered foreign countries and my passport hasn’t been stamped, I have been to remote and beautiful locations and nobody has known that I have been there, and I have attended very important events but my name is not on the guest list. Why? Because as a Nanny to HNW Families, I am invisible. I am here to help make my charges’ lives run smoothly. I am here to ensure that the children are seen at their best. I am here to support, plan and deliver the best possible care to my charges and their extended family.
● Met Presidents of nations? Yes
● Had dinner with Princes and Princesses and other foreign dignitaries? Yes
● Stayed in celebrities’ homes? Yes
● Been invited to celebrities’ homes to ring in the New Year? Yes
● Been interviewed for articles by magazines? Yes
● Conducted such interviews in the bathroom of my hotel room because my charges were sleeping in my bed in my room? Yes ( sounds glamorous, right?)
Can I discuss the specifics of this information with anyone? No. As the Nanny of HNW Families, you are not allowed to discuss what happens within the household. You are bound to strict confidentiality rules, you are being paid to respect the privacy of your clients. I truly believe this is for the best, but it is very difficult to form relationships.
So, if you are applying for a position working with an HNW Family, keep in mind the following:
● You will be compensated well (in most cases)
● You will have to give up your personal life (in most cases)
● The more you are paid, the more you will have to deal with
● You will be exposed to exciting experiences you would never have imagined you would be part of (flying in helicopters and private jets, having breakfast in one state, lunch in another and dinner in yet another, etc. etc.)
● You will be expected to do more than childcare (in most cases)
● Your compensation covers the family’s need for privacy and confidentiality, respecting this is not debatable.
● Most HNW Families are very formal, so the transition may not be an easy one
My advice to anyone entering the HNW world is:
● Be organized
● Be prepared for anything
● Don’t take things personally, you need to be thick skinned!
● Be assertive
● Have FUN!
Do you feel the same way? Do you have opposing views or want to add something you feel I missed? Please leave a comment here or on our Facebook Page or on Instagram to Twitter, while maintaining family confidentiality.
Candi Vajana is a Professional Career Nanny with over 25 years of experience. She is an N.N.E.B. trained and qualified Nanny and has lived and worked across Europe, the US and the Middle East. She possesses a degree in Business Management from Anglia Ruskin University in the U.K. and is a trained and qualified Montessori Teacher. Candi was a Nationally Credentialed Child Care Center Director and the INA’s 2017 Nanny of the Year. She has extensive experience working with High Profile and High Net Worth employers as well as working in fully staffed homes.