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5 things nannies should know before their first day

Your first day as a nanny can be stressful and scary if you don't go into it prepared, but with a handful of tips you can start your new career on the right foot. Nannying is an unusual industry, because it doesn't function like any other job and will have you filling multiple roles, from nurse to mattress.

Caring for a child can be one of the most fulfilling careers in the world, but you need to enter it knowing what you're getting into, and what the job demands. Below are five things that anyone entering a new nanny job should know and keep in mind as they begin this career path and forge ahead into what Nanny Magazine calls "one of the most fulfilling things [you] could ever do."

There will be emotional roller coasters – Emotions can change like the weather in New England when caring for a child. One minute you'll be laughing, the next crying. The child you take care of might frustrate you to your wit's end one minute, but fall asleep in your arms and win your heart 100 times over the next, and you'll need to be prepared for these changes and understand that no two days will be the same.

You're a professional like anyone else – It can be easy to view nannying as a "part-time" job or "something to do until you move into your real career," but nannies are professionals like any business person or doctor. Working with children may feel less structured, but you still have to be on time, put in extra hours some days, cater to the whims of a boss — and so do the parents of your charge. One of the most important things to do as a nanny is to work under a contract, and refer back to it in times of difficulty to ensure you are being treated fairly.

You'll be lonely at times – Nannies do not work in the world of adults. You'll be surrounded by children, diapers, toys and cartoons all day, and it can be easy to feel lonely. The easiest way around this is to become friends with other nannies. While your college friends may no longer be able to converse on the same topics, the nanny of your charge's playmate will fit right in.

You'll feel under-appreciated at times – Parents might run late without telling you, ask you to work extra hours and not notice when you've helped their child through a particularly difficult day, because they aren't there to witness the stress and struggle that you go through. More so than nearly any other career it can be easy to feel under-appreciated by your employer. Just remember that you're an employee, not an actual member of their family. This can help ease these feelings and remain professional.

Your job is more important than you may realize – While you might feel like all your job entails is sitting around watching cartoons, playing games or helping with homework, you're actually a vital part of your charge's upbringing and development. Nannying is an incredibly important job, helping to shape a young child into the adult they will grow up to be, and you should never forget it.

If you're considering this incredible fulfilling and rewarding career path, contact Colonial Domestic Agency. Our expert job placement services can help connect you with a family in need of a nanny with your particular skills and talents.