One of the most stressful parts of looking for a job is the financial hardship that often comes with being unemployed. Nannies who are on the hunt for a new job have the option to earn extra money while they search by babysitting or temp nannying. Taking on temp jobs brings in a steady stream of income while still allowing you time to interview for a full-time position. Here are some tips for successfully temping during your search. In fact, many nannies love it so much they keep it up even after they land a job.
Get your CPR/First Aid certification up to date. When you’re looking for a full time job, you generally have four to six weeks from your hire date to get your certification up to date. When you’re temping, it needs to be up to date before you go out on any jobs. You can usually attend a class any weekend at your neighborhood hospital, fire station or community center.
Create a resume just for temp work. The experience and skills you emphasize when trying to find temporary assignments are different than when you’re looking for a full-time job. Review your current resume and tweak it so it’s appealing to temp clients. Emphasize your varied babysitting experience and your ability to easily adjust to new situations, put both parents and kids at ease and work with a wide variety of ages and temperaments. With an up-to-date resume, your chances of landing a temp job greatly increases.
Register with online job sites. There are several online job sites that specialize in connecting babysitters with parents. You can use these sites to find parents looking for a one-time commitment or parents looking to lock into an ongoing arrangement. The parents may need a date night sitter, a backup provider for their sick or vacationing nanny, a hotel caregiver or just a nanny to care for the kids while Mom or Dad are at work or out running errands. Once you get a few clients under your belt, you can add reviews and recommendations that will boost the appeal of your profile. Creating and maintaining an online profile is an easy way to keep adding clients to your roster. A good sitter who actively searches for assignments on online sites can usually stay as busy as she wants.
Register with temp nanny agencies. Like online sites, temp agencies specialize in connecting nannies and parents. The big difference in using a temp agency is the agency does all the legwork for you. They find and screen the families, present your information to them and take the job information. This is another great way to stay busy. Often you’ll make a little less working for a temp agency because the family must also pay the agency fees on top of the caregiver fees. But for many nannies, the time and energy you save by having the agency set up the jobs is well worth it.
Take out money for taxes. Even though your temp clients won’t have to pay taxes on the money they pay you in most cases, you’re still obligated to report and pay taxes on the money you earn. By saving an appropriate amount from each payment, you’ll be prepared for your tax bill at the end of the year. Online calculators can help you determine how much you should save each week.
Collect reference letters as you go. References from current clients are one of the best ways to woo new clients. Once you’ve established a good working relationship with a parent, ask for a letter of reference that outlines how frequently you babysit, the ages of the children you care for, the things you are responsible for and the type of relationship you have with the children. Stories and examples are wonderful ways to showcase your personality, caregiving experience and unique skills.
Develop a temp agreement. If you’re finding clients outside of a temp agency, you’ll be responsible for setting rates and guidelines for your clients. Clearly detail your rates and any special circumstances that would make them change, such as a higher rate for multiple children or for children with special needs. Also, define your cancelation policy so parents will know what they’ll owe you if they cancel or need to reschedule. Make your policies fair to parents while also providing financial protection for yourself. Give parents a copy of your policies before you take on your first job with them to avoid any miscommunications. You can make it available through your online profile or you can email it to the parents.
Temping is a great way to make money during your job search. With a little organization and planning, you don’t have to go without a steady income while you look for your next full-time position.