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Monday, April 19, 2010

Monday Moxie: To Be Or Not Be A Celebrity Nanny

To Be Or Not Be A Celebrity Nanny
by Katie Vaughan

So…you want to be a celebrity nanny. Let’s start with what a year in the life of a celebrity nanny would look like. I apologize, I must have mistyped…life? Let me break it to you gently - it’s highly likely you won’t have much of a life. Celebrity families often demand a minimum schedule of 60+ hours per week and around-the-clock flexibility. And speaking of flexibility, prepare to have your definition of the word expanded. It is not unusual for celebrity families to change their schedule frequently and you must be willing to adapt, even if it means cancelling the plans you’ve had lined up for months. In addition to long hours and flexibility, you must be prepared for extensive travel, have a thick skin, commit to complete confidentiality, be extremely detail-oriented, and always have a positive and cheerful attitude.

If you feel you meet the bill and are comfortable with the lifestyle outlined above, let’s look at the qualifications you should have. A celebrity nanny will need at least five years of full-time experience in a highly demanding nanny position, have experience traveling with your previous employers, be a pro at packing and keeping children entertained on long-flights, have amazing references, a spotless background, and be up for a challenge. Additionally, you should not be star-struck and should not have any personal aspirations in the entertainment industry. Apart from this, celebrity moms and dads are just like anyone else – they want a loving, professional nanny who is passionate about working with children.

The next step is to work on your presentation. In order to be placed with a celebrity family, you will want to work with the top agency in your respective city. You must understand that a top agency likely receives hundreds of resumes each week from qualified nannies just like you – so how do you make yourself stand out? Put together a professional nanny portfolio. Your portfolio should include a cover letter, professional nanny resume, in-depth reference letters from all of your previous employers, any diplomas and/or certifications, proof of current CPR and First Aid certification, pictures of you with past families/charges, and any additional information you feel represents you as a nanny. When you interview with the agent, make sure you are well groomed and appropriately dressed. Be on time and bring your “A” game. First impressions are priceless and in the fast-paced agency world, they matter. Big time!

Now that we’ve covered the lifestyle, what it takes, and how to get started, it’s time for the good news. What are the benefits of being a celebrity nanny? Let’s start with salary – celebrity nannies typically earn between $1,000-$2,000/week plus benefits. You likely will have the opportunity to travel and see the world in a way most don’t – first class. It is also not unheard of for celebrity nannies to receive perks that the average nanny doesn’t, including gifts, clothing, vacations, etc. And in this troubled economy, it’s also important to note that being employed by a celebrity is much more recession-proof than working with families employed in other industries, and will also bolster your resume the next time you are job hunting.

As you can see, working as a celebrity nanny definitely has its perks, but it is by no means easy. Hollywood is not for the faint of heart.

Katie Vaughan is the founder of Beverly Hills-based nanny agency, Westside Nannies. Westside Nannies has been featured on The Insider, Entertainment Tonight, Inside Edition, and the Dr. Phil Show, as well as profiled in inTouch Magazine, The Daily News, and the LA Times for their work placing nannies with high profile and celebrity families.


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