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There are many jobs that allow you to work and travel at the same time, but sometimes finding the one that you won’t hate can be tricky…
I have been travelling on and off for the last few years, and I get asked a lot when I was living in the UK, “but how can you afford to travel all the time?” You could probably get a corporate job and save a whole lot of money in a few years, and then go on a wicked adventure, but if you’re not qualified in anything and don’t mind babysitting, then maybe you should try this out.
When I was 19 I made the big decision to leave behind all my worries in New Zealand and move to London. I decided to try out a job I never thought I would end up doing, Au Pairing. If you’re lucky then the family can sometimes pay for you to come with them on holiday too so you can help babysit the kids for them! It was the perfect job for me to try because I could work 20 hours a week and have loads of spare time to actually get to know and enjoy the UK. If I needed more money I would clean for local families (not glamorous I know but good money!), and I would babysit occasionally.
If you really wanted to get into the full-time working life you could always be a Nanny instead. They earn a lot more money but work full time hours. What I love about Au pairing is you can find a job pretty much anywhere in the world. It is especially popular in the UK, but also across Europe, Asia (Malaysia, Singapore etc.), Australia, New Zealand and Dubai. It’s a great way to explore a country while getting to know the culture and religion of the local people. If it is your first time travelling you may find it comforting to live with a family too.
Most of the jobs require you to live in the same house (rent free of course) so that you are on hand when needed. This is where you need to have a talk with the family, set ground rules with the parents, and discuss what you are allowed to do in your free time. If you pick the perfect family chances are this will never be much of a problem as I found out, because I had an amazing family who adopted me as one of their own. Of course you want spare time away from the family to do your own thing, but you too have to make an effort to get to know their habits, what they don’t like, what they love to do, all of that sort of stuff.
Here are some questions that you should ask your potential family before working for them:
-Do I have set hours or is it roughly 20 hours plus a nights babysitting?
-If it is a nights babysitting, will that mostly be on the weekends and is that every week?
-Do you mind if I go away for the long weekend occasionally? Will that be a problem if I want to go explore?
-Do you have strict rules about technology with your children?
-Have you had an Au Pair before?
-Do you expect me to clean and do little tasks around the house on top of looking after the kids?
I think a great way to get a parents perspective on an Au Pairs expectations is to put yourself in their shoes. Would you want them coming in at 3am drunk and waking up your kids? Would you want him/her to spend every night with you and your partner watching your favourite TV shows while you’re cuddling up to each other?
Just use your common sense, set boundaries or at least talk about them, and most importantly have some fun! Think of yourself as part of the family and you will be treated like one!
The best way to get an Au Pair job in the UK is by word of mouth, but if you don’t know anyone then make sure you search for ‘Au Pairs in ….(Location you are going to)’ on Facebook. You can post on these groups that you are looking for a job and 80% of the time you will get a reply from someone! I highly recommend that over a site like GumTree.
A few Au Pair Facebook groups I’m joined to in the UK:
- Au Pair in Hertfordshire
- Au Pairs in St Albans
- Au Pair in LondonThink this job isn’t for you? Then read my post on 5 other jobs you could try overseas! While you’re looking at that, don’t forget to sign up to my monthly newsletter!