Becoming an au pair is not always easy. It can be quite daunting stepping into a family, building a relationship with the children and parents in a foreign place, and finding your feet in terms of your new found independence and responsibilities. However, if you’re the right person for the job, you could find it incredibly rewarding, often both in terms of the relationships you forge and the money you can earn.
We’re dedicated to finding the right family to fit you – your happiness and wellbeing is our priority, and so, before you leave for your adventure, we want you to be sure that au pairing is something that you’ll find fulfilling. Here’s a list of some of the traits we think make for a good au pair – if you identify with most of them, then it’s probably a good profession for you to venture into.
- You need to care about kids: You’ll be looking after little ones so it’s essential that you feel comfortable around children and can build a rapport with them. You need to have an interest in helping them develop in terms of their emotional and fine motor skills, and you must be able to simply spend time with them, whether that involves reading a story or playing a game. It’s important you show an interest in the kids you’re looking after right from the start – if the family can see the children warming to you when you arrive it’s a good sign for everyone.
- You should be proactive: Sometime kids can be shy so be prepared to draw them out with games, stories and an interest in their lives. Make sure you’re creative and assertive and have plenty of fun ideas up your sleeve to keep the kiddies entertained, particularly on rainy days. During your working hours, it’s essential that you take care of the children without the family having to ask you to – change the baby’s nappy, help with the homework, etc.
- You must be patient: Working with kids all day can be tiring, so you need to be someone with plenty of patience for tears, toys everywhere and sticky fingers – it won’t always be easy! You also need to be able to stay calm when babies cry and kids are unhappy; take charge, stay patient and make sure you listen to what the problem is so you can try to fix it. Remember, part of your job is to be a good role model, which means you need to provide discipline and routine for the kids.
- You need to try to slot into the family: Obviously, all families are different, but most of them will want you to feel welcome and part of the family. Make sure you’re interested in the family as well as the kids – chat to the adults and build relationships with them, and try to learn as much as you can about the culture of the country you’re in. If you’re invited to go on family trips or to join the supper table, then take the opportunity to learn more about the people you’re with and to enjoy their company.
- You need to be independent and mature: Make sure you take responsibility for your own needs and look after yourself as well as the family. If there’s an issue, address it with the family in a diplomatic and mature way. When you’re looking after older children, make sure you’re the adult in the relationship and they look up to you.
If you think au pairing sounds like a good match for you then get in touch with us so we can kick-start your career. We’d love to find the right job for you au pairing overseas.