There was a movie years ago about a woman that didn’t understand why a man she went out with didn’t call her back. Especially since she thought their first date went so well. Finally a male friend gave her the simple yet painful truth: the guy just wasn’t that into her.
Unfortunately that lesson also applies to many situations in the nanny world. I often speak to nannies who are dumbfounded as to why they didn’t get a position. They fit the job requirements perfectly, they nailed the interview, and often were willing to accept less money or fewer benefits to better match what the family was offering. So why did the parents go with someone else?
Although I don’t know the exact reason a particular nanny doesn’t get a particular job, I do know that often the hard truth is that sometimes the family simply doesn’t connect with the nanny. Sometimes it’s something that shouldn’t matter but it does. Like the way they speak or that they talk while chewing their food or that they share too much personal information way too soon. (I’ve heard all of those reason surprisingly often.) Sometimes It’s not anything in particular, there’s just no chemistry. And like in dating, chemistry matters.
The point is sometimes even when you’ve done your best, it’s not going to get you the job. Not every parent is going to connect with you. Not every family is going to be a good personality match. It’s not a reflection on you as a nanny or as a person. It’s not something to feel guilty about, to obsess over, to be defeated by. It’s just how it is. (And it happens in the other direction just as often. Sometimes a nanny just isn’t into a family even though on paper they’re amazing.)
It’s important to get feedback after every job interview. It’s important to honestly evaluate how you did and work on what you can do better the next time. But it’s equally important to not take on other people’s stuff. One family’s opinion doesn’t reflect everyone’s opinion. So when you hear a no, reframe it as “Thank you for telling me now this wouldn’t work out” and put your energies into finding a family that wholeheartedly is into you.
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