The Many Wonders of Being an Au Pair

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Looking for a change of scenery? Want to travel outside of your comfort zone and gain some life experience after college? An au pair job might just be what you’re looking for.


Right after studies end, whether it be high school or a post secondary education, many young people begin to feel the intense pressure of expectations placed on them by family, society, friends and peers to move forward with life, and pony up to the next income bracket.


After all that time invested in your education, you might feel overwhelmed to take on the next step in your career path –because you might not feel confident about what that next step should be.


Generation after generation, there are countless people who scurry from one phase to another in life, and miss out on a wide variety of opportunities that they simply didn’t see because they weren’t open to them.


In order to move through life purposefully, we need to spend more time reflecting on what that purpose might involve. Exposing ourselves to brand new experiences is often the best way to truly figure out who we are, and what’s really important.


It Might Be Time to Consider Au Pair


The benefits of acquiring an au pair job for a young adult are only as limited as your thirst for experience.


What is an Au Pair job?


An “au pair” is a term for a caregiver who lives on site, and takes care of a family much like Jeffrey from the Fresh Prince of Bel Air, or Alice from the Brady Bunch.


In real life, celebrities like Bruce Willis and Demi Moore (before Ashton Kutcher) had four au pairs for their three daughters, and Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt have up to 25 personal staff, including four nurses and a doctor!


With demanding schedules and a generation of career-focused parents-to-be, the au pair industry is sure to expand dramatically over the next few years.


Au pair job descriptions typically come in the following categories; Mother’s Help, Nanny, Junior Nanny, Holiday Nanny, Maternity nanny, Special Needs Nanny, Emergency Nanny, and Night or Proxy Nanny.


Each specific category comes with it a range of different responsibilities and expectations, and it’s important to get a feeling of which you’re best suited for.


What are the Benefits of Being an Au Pair?


An au pair job provides a stage for you to travel, make new friends, improve your language skills in another country, gain valuable work experience and visa sponsorship, receive training, and build life long relationships with your host family.


You get a free place to crash, some spending money, and experience that could serve as a launch-pad for a life of travel, and more.


Would You Make a Great Au Pair?


If you’re worried about a lack of experience as an au pair, you’re in luck.


An accredited au pair agency in London provides au pair training which you must take prior to your placement. It’s much similar to taking a course before teaching English over seas, only its family and safety focused.


Since no two families are the same, don’t stress yourself out worrying about whether you’re capable of being an au pair until after you ask yourself the following questions;


  1. Do you enjoy the company of children?


No matter which type of au pair job category you pursue, the goal is always to provide excellent care for the children placed in your trust –no matter who the parents are. Whether they’re regular folks just like yourself, or they’re of another culture, or they’re a public figure.


In addition to loving kids, you’re going to have to love entertaining them, and cleaning up after them for extended periods of time. The best au pairs are able to seamlessly integrate themselves into their host family, while not sharing too much of their own personal life.


  1. Do you have time to trade for experience?


An au pair is a full-time job, and you never know what’s going to come up. There is little room to plan for having additional time to pursue other activities while maintaining an au pair job.


  1. Can you maintain confidentiality at all times?


When you’re around any family for extended periods of time, things get personal to some degree. You get to know one another well; schedules, life patterns, behaviours, and so on. It is important that a) you always remain professional and b) you don’t talk about what happens in private.


Setting personal boundaries is important as well. Your host family will respect you more for it, and it will ensure that you don’t put yourself into a volatile situation.


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Angela Parker
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