How to Quit a Nanny Job
This week has been crazy busy, so instead of formatting a beautiful blog article to match the video like I usually do, I added a literal transcript below. The audio is also up on my podcast if you’d prefer to play it there. I hope you enjoy it!
Hey everyone! It’s Rainey from Oh So Simply. I hope you’re having a great day. As you can hear, maybe, there is like a torrential downpour, so fair warning: I might be a little bit distracted. Our tiny home makes it so that we can hear the rain like super loud.
Well, now that I think about it, it’s kind of appropriate because today’s topic is a little dreary. Just kidding. Today’s topic is termination! We’re going to talk about leaving the job – what that feels like and looks like.
1. Follow the contract
When it comes to ending a job, you should follow the contract. So, you should give them enough notice according to what’s in your contract or they should be giving you enough notice according to what’s in your contract. Or, the pay in lieu of that amount of time. So, remember to follow that for yourself and make sure they follow that as well. It’s only fair and that’s just part of life. You move on from jobs sometimes.
2. Don’t feel guilty
If you’re the one ending the contract – whether you’re ending it early or not – don’t feel guilty. If you’re genuinely doing it for yourself and a good reason, like maybe this job has too many hours and you’ve tried working with them and it’s not working out. Or, maybe you’re just not getting paid enough and they just don’t understand and they’re not willing to give you a raise. Or, maybe you’re moving out of the country and it’s for something you really wanted and you have this great opportunity.
But, if it’s for one of those reasons, or something similar, don’t feel guilty about leaving the job. The kid will be fine. The kid will be absolutely fine with a new nanny or if they’re going to a daycare, they’re going to make new friends, so don’t worry about that and try hard not to make yourself feel guilty about that because it’s okay to leave a job.
This also goes for vacations. If you are leaving on vacation and you’re having a nanny come in and cover you, don’t feel guilty for that. It’s okay to do that occasionally. The kid is not going to be hurt or feel abandoned. The kid is going to be fine and they’re probably going to have a lot of fun with whoever is coming because they’re only going to have them for a short time, which is going to make it super special. So, they’re going to be fine.
3. Leave on a good note
Try your best to make the time that you’re leaving the best time of your entire job. You don’t want to leave on a sour note. You don’t want to leave bitter or have them mad at you for slacking off at the end.
Once you’ve given your two week notice or month’s notice (whatever you have in your contract) don’t slack off. Don’t fall into “senioritis”. You know, where kids in school (their senior year) would just start putting off work and they just wouldn’t care – don’t start being like that.
You want to leave on a super high note (super positive note) because you’re going to ask them for reviews (as references) and you can always call them again later. I feel like a lot of nannies don’t think about that when they’re quitting their jobs. Don’t burn bridges because you might be able to come back to this family in the future or they might be able to refer to one of their friends.
So, you always want to leave your jobs on a good note. Also, if you know that you’re quitting, that they really love you, and that they might not be super happy when you tell them you’re leaving, you can always ask for a review/reference.
Example: “Hey, I was thinking about this the other day and I realized I haven’t gotten a written review from you. Do you mind doing that?”
They might start picking up the hint that you’re leaving soon, but it’s better to get them in a really great mood rather than wait until they’re already upset. So, just that pro tip in there.
4. Keep in touch
It’s okay to keep in touch with a family after you leave, especially if it’s on a good note. So, I still keep in touch with one of my favorite families. It’s now been, I think 3 years since I’ve been with these kids, but I still get pictures of them. They are so cute! Their baby sister is giant now (basically a toddler!). So, I still keep in touch with them. On occasion, I’ll still go over there and babysit for them on the weekends.
It’s fine to keep in touch with your families, so definitely don’t be weird about being like, “Hey, I want to keep in touch”. Or, I have one of the moms following my Instagram, just because she likes to know what I’m doing, so that’s cool. I follow her back, and I see the baby, so that’s great.
5. Don’t forget to ask about the business side of things
When you leave the job, especially when you’re self-employed, you need to make sure that you have clarified that you’re still going to need a 1099 at the end of the tax year. And, that would be when I would say, “If you need me to send you a reminder, that’s fine. I can do that”. I usually send reminders anyways, but definitely don’t forget the business side of things because you don’t want, later when you’re filing your taxes, to realize that you don’t have any of that information.
Pro Tip: Don’t delete their contact information, out of frustration, at the end of a job. You may need that later.
6. Explain it to the kids
So, usually when I leave a family, I will tell the parents (obviously). Usually the parents will talk to the kids first, but even if they have, I like to talk to the kids. It’s important for them to know… now that I say this, I’m like thinking about what I’m going to say out loud, and it almost sounds kind of like a divorce story… like you want to make sure they know it’s not them. It’s not their fault that you’re leaving. They didn’t do anything wrong. You still love them. You still love their parents. Their parents still love you. It’s not anything that they did. You want to make sure that they know, they’re not the reason you left.
A lot of times, kids aren’t super effected by their nannies leaving. But, sometimes it’s hard, especially in the beginning when they’re really little and you’ve had them their whole lives. There was a little one I had for 2 years (2-4 years old). She didn’t understand. As far as she was concerned, I was always going to be there as her aunty. So, I just had to tell her, “we’ll still have time together”, which kind of bleeds into number seven…
7. You can have an anniversary date with your kids
So, what I did with that little girl, is I told her, “once a year, we’re going to have a super cool party and it’s going to be me and you and it’s going to be super fun”. And we did that for two years after I left and by then she was okay with me leaving and just knowing that occasionally I’d send her mom a text, so we could chat. So, I did that and you can too.
Bonus point: Have a going away party!
It sounds kind of weird, but it’s kind of therapeutic for you and the little one if you have a “going away party” for yourself. I called it our anniversary party because I usually leave at the end of our contract (usually one year) if we decide not to add on to it.
So, for one of the families that I nannied for (the family with the 3 kids), I remember telling them at the end of the year:
“We’re going to have an anniversary party because it’s been one year and it was going to be super awesome. Then, after that, you’re going to get a new nanny!”
They were stoked about it! So, we had an anniversary party! We hung streamers and banners and it was so much fun. We had a little dance party with their karaoke machine and strobe light up in their playroom. It was just me and them. It was honestly a great way to end our friendship. I got a lot of pictures from that day that I can look back on.
Doing that even made things easier on me. It kind of helped solidify for myself that it was the end of our relationship. So, it’s good for the kids and you!
8. Don’t put off quitting
You may be saying, “What the heck Rainey?! I watched this whole video because my job did NOT end on a good note and now I’m trying to navigate through this awkwardness of my last two weeks. Ok, so for you guys that have jobs that did not end on a good note (been there, done that)…
When something looks like it isn’t going to end well, the cleaner the cut, the quicker it will heal. Don’t prolong it. You shouldn’t wait for them to fire you because then it looks like you did something wrong. So, if you know the relationship just isn’t going to work out, it’s okay to just leave.
“What if I only worked with them for one week? What if I only worked with them for one month? It’s going to look bad on my resume.”
- No, it’s not. Not if you just explain that’s what was best for everyone.
- You should’ve had a trial period in your contract, so that short time could’ve been covered with your trial period (it looks better to leave during a trial).
- Even if it’s right after the trial period ends, it’s okay. Other families will understand.
Don’t prolong ending the relationship if you know that’s what’s best. End things on a positive note by taking responsibility for things and just stating facts and being professional, it won’t end horribly.
If it already did end bad, like it’s already blown up, make those last weeks, some of the best weeks they’ve ever seen you, so you can end things on a somewhat positive note. That’s my advice for if it’s not going to end on a good note.
So, I hope this helped. That’s everything that I have on termination. If you have any questions about ending your job or losing your job, leave them in the comments if you’re comfortable with that. If you’re not, that’s totally fine, I get it. You can send me a message through the ‘Contact Me’ page. But, otherwise, I’ll see you next week for a more upbeat topic on Friday! Bye guys!