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The Power of the Nanny Reference: Your Ticket to your next dream job.

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In the world of nannying, references are akin to gold and your ticket to your next dream job. They're the key to opening doors to exciting job opportunities, building trust with new families, and showcasing your professionalism. Whether you're a seasoned nanny or just starting your career, understanding the significance of references and how to maintain them is essential.

Why References Matter References, both written and verbal, are powerful tools that can speak volumes about your qualifications, character, and work ethic. They help you stand out from the crowd. Here's why they're so important:

  1. Building Trust: When prospective employers ask for references, they are seeking assurance that you are a reliable and trustworthy caregiver. Positive references can go a long way in establishing this trust.

  2. Verifying Experience: References provide employers with insight into your previous roles, the responsibilities you've handled, and the children you've cared for. This information helps them gauge your suitability for their specific needs.

  3. Professionalism: Maintaining a list of solid references demonstrates your professionalism. It shows that you've left previous positions on good terms and are prepared to uphold your reputation.

  4. Employer/employee dynamics: A crucial aspect of any reference, as they shed light on your working relationship and ease of communication and cooperation.

Ending the Relationship on Good Terms

Maintaining references begins with ending your current job on a positive note, even if you feel let down by your employer. Here's how to do it:

  1. Request a Written Reference: When giving notice or discussing your departure, ask your current employer for a written reference to add to your portfolio.

  2. Express Gratitude: Thank your employer for the opportunity to work with their family. Express your appreciation for the experiences you've had and the knowledge you've gained while caring for their children.

  3. Offer to Assist in Transition: If possible, offer to help with the transition by assisting in providing guidance to the new nanny.

Proper Reference Etiquette Aside from ending your job on good terms, it's essential to follow proper etiquette when it comes to references:

  1. Seek Permission: Always ask your previous employers for permission before providing their contact information as a reference. It's courteous and respectful to request their consent.

  2. Be Selective: Don't hand out your reference details to everyone. Share them only with serious potential employers who are genuinely interested in offering you a role.

  3. Avoid Reference Fatigue: While it's tempting to join multiple nanny agencies, be mindful of reference requests, or your previous employers will soon get fed up.

  4. Stay in touch: This is the most important element of all - keep in touch, even if its a card on the children's birthdays or at Christmas - employers will be more willing to provide a reference if you have kept in contact. You never know when you might need it,

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The Right Kind of Written Reference When requesting a written reference, remember that a brief email or a screenshot of an app review won't suffice. A proper written reference should include the following:

  • Name: The full name of the person providing the reference.

  • Address: The address of the person or family.

  • Employment dates: Month and years

  • Reason for leaving: This is so important, especially if driven by employer

  • Ages of children: At the start OR at the finish of employment, make sure its clear

  • Details of the role: responsibilities and achievements

  • Signature: A handwritten or digital signature.

These elements provide authenticity and credibility to the reference. Employers often value tangible, official references more than digital reviews or casual emails. They are the keys to your career progression and can set you apart from the crowd. (Particularly when being sent through with your CV for an application) Building trust with past employers, requesting written references, and maintaining proper reference etiquette are all essential steps to ensure your nanny career thrives. References are not just pieces of paper or phone calls; they represent the trust and professionalism you bring to the role of being a great Nanny.

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Handling a Bad Reference: Transparency is Key

In the world of nannying, sometimes things don't go as smoothly as we'd like. Occasionally, you may find yourself in a situation where you have a less-than-glowing reference from a previous employer. While it might be tempting to omit it from your CV or reference list, it's often wiser to address it proactively. Here's why transparency is key when dealing with a bad reference: 5. Honesty Builds Trust: When you're open about a less-than-perfect reference, it demonstrates honesty and integrity. Potential employers appreciate candor and your willingness to discuss past challenges. 6. Context Matters: Sometimes, a bad reference might be due to a misunderstanding or a specific issue that can be explained. By providing context, you can help potential employers understand the circumstances and your efforts to address any concerns. 7. Opportunity for Growth: Discussing a bad reference allows you to show personal growth and development. Explain how you've learned from the experience and taken steps to improve your skills or address any issues mentioned.

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Choosing References Wisely:

If you've had a rocky work relationship with a previous employer, make sure your reference list also includes others who can provide a more balanced view of your capabilities and character. This way, the bad reference won't be the sole representation of your skills and professionalism.

If your relationship has broken down and your previous employers won't provide a reference, be upfront with the agency or family and offer alternatives.

Offering Alternative References: If you're concerned about a bad reference, consider providing alternative references who can speak to your strengths and abilities. Ensure that these alternative references can attest to your qualities as a caregiver and support your job application.

Remember, transparency and the ability to handle a difficult reference situation with professionalism can sometimes turn a negative into a positive. Instead of trying to hide a bad reference, use it as an opportunity to showcase your growth, learning, and adaptability as a nanny. Ultimately, employers value honesty and your commitment to self-improvement. The world of nannying is small - you never know when that bad reference may come knocking - being upfront and honest is always best.

If you are looking for a new nanny role or seeking a new nanny, please do not hesitate to get in touch:


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