Get a Babysitting Job During the Holidays
Find a babysitting job and make some extra money during the holiday season with these helpful tips.
The holidays are here! And while the Norman Rockwell idea of Christmas is very nice, homes are often more about chaos than cheer. There are presents to wrap, social functions to attend, lists to double check and houses to scrub before in-laws invade. Families are busier than usual, with more obligations and even less time to fulfill them. Adding to the stress is the ever-present hum -- or roar -- of kids who are off from school and underfoot.
But babysitters can benefit from this chaos! This is a great time of year for sitters to land last-minute jobs. Families need the extra support to get through the holidays, as their regular nanny may be on vacation or their regular college sitter may be home with her own family. If you're looking for part-time work to bring in some extra cash or if you are hoping to find a full-time position with a new family, this is a perfect time to start your search.
In fact, more jobs are posted on Care.com during the months of December and January than most other times of the year! Lots of new families and lots of new job opportunities for you. Here is a quick collection of things to consider so you get noticed and hired.
Think About What You Bring to the (Holiday) Table
"Remember that people are incredibly busy this time of year. And, stressed out!" says Katie Bugbee, managing editor of Care.com.
When looking for babysitting jobs during the holidays, think about ways you can make parents' lives easier, she suggests. "Can you watch their kids while they go shopping? Host a cooking and baking party for the kids -- and take the cooking and baking off a parent's to-do list?"
Let parents know that you can decorate the tree with the kids. Offer to grab the grocery list and turn shopping with the kids into a math lesson. Consider addressing holiday cards, while simultaneously working with children on their penmanship.
Bring your own creative talents to the table and see what you can do to engage the children, while simultaneously eliminating a task from their parents.
Read this article for more ideas about you can help out a busy family: 10 Ways Your Nanny Can Help during the Holidays ť
Fold in Other Skills
"I look for short-term babysitting jobs during school breaks every year," says Allison Sheff, a middle school teacher from Montclair, N.J. "I've found that many families are looking for double duty -- someone who can tutor their kids in math or science, as well as babysit while they get their shopping done or have grown-ups night out."
Bugbee agrees. "At Care.com we see a lot of demand for tutoring services this time of year," she says. "And that makes sense. Report cards just came out. Family is coming. The holidays are here. And your kid just got a bad report card? Let's fix this fast. Parents can go right to an online resource like Care.com and figure out if they want a tutoring center or an in-home tutor to help their child, especially while school is on break until January."
Think about the subjects you excel in or the hobbies you enjoy. Being able to help kids achieve excellence in creative writing, Spanish or algebra -- or learn a new skill such as knitting or crafting -- can add to your hireability during the holiday season and beyond.
Think About Who is Doing the Hiring
Many families travel to be with their relatives or friends during the holidays, and find themselves looking for child care in unfamiliar territory. Sometimes grandparents need to seek out babysitters without much recent experience about how to go about it. People who are entertaining out-of-town guests have a lot on their plates and are grateful to find babysitters they can count on and trust.
While the teenager next door might be the easiest choice, a sitter's flexibility and trustworthiness will prove even more important.
"My niece was a new mother and I wanted to make things easy on her for the holidays when she came to visit," says Ellen Jastane of Burlington, Vt. "I was so happy to have a part-time babysitter in place for her when she arrived with the baby. I know it made her holiday away from home much less stressful. And I was able to concentrate on entertaining without being distracted by a crying baby."
Remember that it's not just parents who are looking for child care support this time of year and tailor your search accordingly. "Families are busy and stress makes people decide to lean on others for support," says Bugbee.
Find a Job and Get Hired
If you're looking for a job during the holidays, get the word out.Let people, such as your neighbors and friends, know that you're looking for babysitting jobs.
Post a new profile on Care.com to get noticed by families looking for help. Already have a profile? Update it with your latest information. Make sure your profile mentions when you are free during the holiday season, update the availability section, talk about how you can help families this time of year (use the ideas we suggested above) and upload a festive holiday picture of yourself.
Go to Care.com/jobs and learn how to make the most of your profile, as well as get ideas for connecting with families, interviewing and writing resumes.
It's the busiest time of the year,so families really need your help caring for their children. And a little extra money will certainly help your holiday shopping budget! So make your profile stand out, highlight your skills and let your personality shine through. The next thing you know, you'll be landing a terrific job.
Corey Whelan is a freelance writer in New York. Her work can be found here.