Monday, March 7, 2011

Nannies and Au Pairs: What Do You Complain About?

Would You Hire a Complainer or Gossiper?

We all think our complaints are valid. But, if you want to keep your job you need to monitor what you say and who you complain to about your job. If you're a chronic complainer, you are sabotaging yourself and your success at work.

The first thing you need to do is get in touch with reality.

Reality is that listening to a chronic complainer is a bummer. We prefer to associate with people that make us feel good. Consider if you are always complaining about something, people will start to ignore you.

Leave your personal drama at home. If you complain to your boss about your personal problems consider the fact that they have enough problems of their own. They want a caregiver that can come enthusiastically to work and get their job done, without bringing their personal drama to work.

Reality is that nine-percent of Americans are unemployed. While you complain about your job, there are dozens of other people that would be more than happy to replace you, that would love to have your job, even for less money.

You work to make money, not to enjoy yourself. Work is never fun all the time. Everyone is asked to do things they don't want to do at work. If the parents loved doing all of your job duties, they wouldn't pay you to do it.

No one, and no job, is perfect. You can't expect anyone (or any job) to be perfect all the time.

You can only change yourself, not other people. There are many problems that you can't do anything about. You must learn to work around the things you can't change. For the things you can change, instead of whining and complaining about them, take responsibility for the problems you can solve.

Why would a parent continue to hire a caregiver who complains or gossips about them to their friends? Complaining about your boss to others is very dangerous. In the nanny and au pair industry if you are gossiping or complaining about your boss it's likely your boss will get wind-of-it. Imagine how embarrassing that would be for a mother or father? Why wouldn't they fire you?

Never, ever complain about parents in front of their children. Even worse than complaining about your boss to other caregivers and parents is complaining about the mother or father you work for in front of their children! Put yourself in the parent's shoes! You are hired to support the parents wishes, not hurt them in the eyes of their precious children!

Look for the positive side in every problem. Approach all problems with a sense of humor. If you can find the positives or the humor in a problem, you will greatly improve your prospects for success at work.

Know when it's time to move-on. If you are spending most of your time griping about your job, then it's time to find a new job. Be professional until the last day, and leave on good terms. Good references from your employers are important in finding new nanny jobs. We also recommend having a new job lined-up before leaving your current job.

Is complaining your pattern? Have you complained about other jobs too? It may be hard to admit but, do you complain too much? Maybe you are the one finding fault in others and it's not really just your boss's problem after all.

Reference: Article Source

Do you have examples of problems you have solved at work, in which you turned a negative into a positive?


AuPairDebbie said...

This is not gossip since I am open about this with the parents. Au pairs aren't supposed to do any housework for parents just focus on children and I always do the entire family's dishes and no one helps clean up the playroom but me. Not gossip we have discussed it! :)

Tobago Nanny said...

I have an issue when the kids mess up my ironed clothes! Ugh, they are kids, what can you do?

Michelle said...

I changed a negative into a positive at work. I don't get any help from anyone with the getting ready for school in the morning routine. I have tried to get the kids to help get ready night before and everything I could think of....

FINALLY I just asked if I can get paid to come in to work 15 minutes earlier each day. Those 15 minutes was all I needed!!! I hate waking up earlier BUT the trade off is breakfast is ready when the kids come done for breakfast and I'm no longer a raging, angry, lunatic!! I still have to move like lightening in the morning but at least I have a little bit of a head start now.

I do love being a nanny and I have chosen to be a nanny. I have a LONG list of gripes but none large enough to want me to ever quit or change professions.

I have had much worse jobs and the parents and kids I work for are only human. We have to give the parents some slack. If they didn't work and have busy lives we wouldn't have a job so we've got to be thankful we are working.

Anonymous said...

It is often said in the nanny industry that you should never start doing a task you don't want to become your job duty. Like, if you bring out the garbage one day, the parents will expect you to do it everyday.

I think in the future I will follow that advice.

Does that paint the picture of my job well enough? It would be nice to hear a thank you for all I do without being asked, just assume I'm going to do it.

Even adults need to be complimented. We need to be positively reinforced too: by words and money!

Anonymous said...

I am shocked at the nannies on FB admitting their complaints in public! Anyway, everyone complains occasionally and that's fine. It's just knowing who to complain to and not to drown in negativity.

My biggest pet peeve is when people don't clean up their own messes. Found butter on the floor today!?? How can you drop butter and not clean it up? That's the sort of thing left for me. As is any chore the parents might not like.

But, got to let it roll off my back. Got to pick my battles. At least they pay me well, they are nice and mean well, and we are all just doing the best we can.

Anonymous said...

OMG what about when your boss lays off another service provider because they have you do the job without raising my salary.

Yep, they fired the dog pooper scooper upper, snow shoveler, even the chef for the parents and asked me to do it and they haven't raised my salary.

Eva said...

I don't know if my example is a problem I turned into a positive but when kids moved onto school I took on more responsibilities around the house so I could keep my job plus a raise!

For the last (most recent) comment above: Sometimes the best solution is to leave the job.

Asha said...

3 points I want to make.

1. is we have a job description. Although I want to help out the best I can I am only one person. Besides being a childcare provider I am a personal assistant, housekeeper and chef. I do many things that aren't in my contract pulling me in too many directions.

2. There are only so many hours in a day and it's sometimes too much to do in such a short time span.

3. when employers criticize you it's hard to be motivated and want to do the best job. Bosses need to remember how hard we are trying.

Imani said...

Safety issues are my biggest pet peeve. So I just went ahead and installed all the safety measures myself. It was driving me nuts running around keeping the crawler safe. I just went ahead and did what I needed done. BUT...they keep knives out on the counter still! Oh boy, that's not safe in any home with kids of any age.

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