So you finally get the ideal job and everything is in place. But as we all know (because we have all been there!) starting any new job is a mix of emotions, including excitement, anxiety, expectation and usually an abundance of nervous energy. Any new role in an unfamiliar environment will present a number of challenges, but here are some words of advice from Greycoat Lumleys to help you along the way in those potentially difficult initial stages.
First day nerves
Inevitably there will be the 'first day nerves' and associated stress - just remember, you got the job, so your employers clearly felt that your personality, skills and experience were the best fit for them. You deserve this job! Make a point of reminding yourself of this, and try to reassure yourself that any feelings of anxiety are normal in the first few days, and they will pass.
Even if you are the most confident candidate, and able to assimilate easily into any situation with grace and positivity, try to remember that every household and every employer is different. No two jobs you do will ever be the same. If you were fond of your old employers, then hard though it is, try not to compare your new employers with those past.
Give your current employers a chance to prove themselves as equally great bosses, whilst remembering they may well want things done very differently to your last position and meeting their (reasonable!) expectations is all part of the job. Help yourself with this issue by getting a thorough job description at the outset of a new role (this should ideally happen during the recruitment process via your Greycoat Lumleys Consultant) and by agreeing a contract with your new employer as soon as possible. Then the likelihood of misconceptions about the role or misunderstandings about the tasks at hand should be avoided. If you feel you can genuinely make improvements to the way things can be achieved in your new household, then do it sensitively – perhaps wait a while before suggesting changes and then make sure you can justify them and prove their effectiveness and value. It is probably not advisable to make change for change sake in a household entrenched in tradition and proven, unalterable systems!
Discretion and decorum are key at all times
It is a highly emotive situation working within someone else’s home, particularly if you are living in. You can suddenly become party to the relationships and personal ways of your new employers and their families. Confidentiality must be maintained at all times and a special clause regarding confidentiality may well be included in your employment contract. Setting boundaries for yourself and your employers is essential – yes, it does work both ways! It may be a good idea to bring this up in discussion early on; your employer would probably appreciate the opportunity to go over ‘do’s and don’ts’ and their expectations, as would you.
Setting your own personal standards of behaviour creates a good benchmark for the future. One suggestion from a Nanny was to have a comprehensive list of personal ‘no-no’s’ and then vowed if any are broken, you would know it was time to leave childcare and move onto another career. She is still a Nanny and still growing in experience and respected in the eyes of all her former employers.
Keep the lines of communication open
One of her personal maxims was to keep the channels of communication open at all times. Talking regularly with your employers and setting aside time properly to do this is invaluable and can often dispel problems before they become major issues. Don’t sit on grievances until they become insurmountable – address any problems as soon as possible and remain cool and professional about them and all should be well. If you feel you need an intermediary or some good advice beforehand, remember your Greycoat Lumleys Consultant is always here to listen and to help whenever possible.
So, best of luck! Do allow yourself and your employer a reasonable settling in period; any misgivings about a job could simply be teething problems, so don’t rush to conclusions. You could be replacing a long standing, much loved member of staff and it can be hard to step into well-worn shoes and make your own mark, but with a positive, open attitude, some hard work and a good measure of professionalism, you can get there.
If you're looking for a new household role, please don't hesitate to get in touch - one of our friendly Consultants would be pleased to help you take the first step towards finding a fantastic new job!