Have you ever started a nanny or sitter job and thought, “this would be so much easier if my boss understood me better?” You’re not alone. Many caregivers have signed on with a new family only to find that expectations are unclear, it’s not a good personality fit, or their work style is different than what the family is looking for.

So how can you avoid awkward conversations or early turnover at a new job? Here are a few tips for finding the right fit before you’re hired.

Know yourself.

There are no right or wrong personalities. People are just different, and some personalities work better together than others. Knowing who you are and how you work can help you express your needs and personality during interviews. Are you a calm, nurturing sitter who will follow the family’s lead when it comes to house rules, bedtimes and homework schedules? Or are you a bubbly, outgoing nanny who wants to take charge of creative playtime activities and craft projects? Having an idea of your own skills, personality and work style helps you find the roles that are best for you.

Understand what families are looking for.

When you meet a potential new employer, listen carefully when they describe their needs. One family might be looking for someone to motivate their children who swim competitively, make meal plans without support, and help the kids with homework. Another might have two toddlers with a set daily schedule, and ask that you follow a strict feeding plan and list of activities. Take note of the details and decide which opportunities fit best with your own personality.

Come prepared.

Having a physical document that outlines your personality gives families objective insight into who you are as a caregiver. Our partners at Knowing Nanny offer a personality assessment that helps you learn more about yourself and your unique strengths, growth areas and preferences. Bringing their report to interviews shows that you want the job, you’re transparent, and you’re looking for a role that fits the family’s needs as well as your own needs and skills.

Know when to say no.

Sometimes, you’ll encounter families that just don’t seem like a good fit for your personality and needs. And that’s ok! Don’t feel like you have to commit just because it’s a job. There are plenty of other families who are looking for a sitter like you. Waiting to meet the right one can save you a lot of time in the long run—you could be looking for another job in six months if it’s not a good fit anyway. Don’t be afraid to turn down offers that don’t seem like the right role for you.

This post was published in partnership with Knowing Nanny. Knowing Nanny offers personality assessments that give you insight into your caregiver strengths, growth areas and work style. 

Ready to find child care jobs near you?

Sign Up