Searching for the right family to provide in-home child care for can be a daunting task, but it doesn’t have to be. Here are five tips that you can use when navigating the job market as a sitter or a nanny.

Establish Your Ideal Job

You should know exactly what you want before you start your job search. There are so many different job opportunities on the market, and it’s up to you to decide exactly what your ideal job looks like. A lot of times, sitters and nannies take the first job that comes to them and find out later that it wasn’t a good fit. Now, a job not being a good fit can happen for many reasons but it shouldn’t be because of things you know ahead of time.

Before applying, spend some time writing down what you’re looking for. Here are some questions to ask yourself:

  • How many children am I comfortable caring for at one time?
  • How many hours do I want to work per day/week?
  • What age groups do I want to care for?
  • What will my hourly rate be?
  • What duties are you willing to do?
  • Are you comfortable with pets? Which pets?

These are just a few questions to start with. Get as detailed as you can—finding the right family is important for not only you, but them as well.

Make Sure Your Sittercity Profile Reflects Your Ideal Job

In many cases, families will reach out to you. When they come across your profile, they should know exactly what you do and what you’re looking for. Having this clearly defined in your profile can bring your ideal family to your front door (inbox). From the questions you answered above, create a profile that lets them know that you are who they have been searching for.

  • Be sure that your profile flows, is clear, and doesn’t cause confusion.
  • Make sure that you have a nice professional picture.
  • Check your grammar.

Remember the first impression means a lot—who will they meet on your profile?

Apply To Numerous Jobs That Fit Your Ideal Job Profile

When searching for jobs don’t limit your opportunities by only applying for 1-2 jobs at a time. Instead, apply to as many as you can. Applying to as many as 5-10 or more per week helps to increase the odds of getting a reply from families.

For example, if you are to apply for 10 jobs a week you may hear back from 1-3 families versus only applying to 1 job and potentially not getting a reply back. Put yourself out there, but try not to take it personally if parents don’t reply—it typically doesn’t have anything to do with you. At times, families get so many responses that they may not have seen it or they found someone before you applied, and that’s okay. Keep applying, you never know when your ideal family is coming.

Interview the Interviewer

When you start getting interviews, don’t forget that you’re also interviewing the interviewer (families). It’s important for you to feel as though they’re aligned with what you’re looking for. Don’t be afraid to ask questions and lead the conversation at times. You know what you want (because you established your ideal job!), so don’t feel like you have to settle. If something feels off during the interview or you don’t think it will be a good fit, know that you don’t have to accept the job if it’s offered to you. This is about finding the right family, not just any family.

Put a Trial Period Within Your Contract

Once you and a family have expressed interest in working together, it’s good to have a trial period in your contract. This trial period will help you to see how it would be to work with the family without making a full commitment. This trial period can last for 3 months with nanny families or could be a trial day or week for sitters. During this time, you’re able to see if they really are your ideal client or not. This is a time to get to know your prospective clients, get adjusted to the duties you agreed to do, and ultimately see if it’s still a good fit.

Finding the right family for you can take time, but when you trust the process, are decisive, and when you don’t settle you can truly find yourself in a job you love. Good luck in your search to find the right family!

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