The most beautiful job you can do when you are eighteen years old is working as an Au-Pair. In this article I decided to talk about how you can become an Au-Pair and what basic steps you should take in order to make it happen.
The experience you gain while working as an au-pair is unbelievable. To experience a cultural exchange at such a young age is a big advantage in your life. To get to know a new country, culture and to learn how to work with children is something that you will not learn from books. International friendships, which are completely unique and sincere are something that you will not get while sitting at home. This is one of the many ways how to describe feelings of a young au-pair during her stay abroad or after the return. How can you experience something like this? How to embrace the opportunity while there is still time? I will answer to all of these questions you might have in the upcoming article and the upcoming series about being an au-pair.
The first thing that you should do is to ask yourself a few basic questions. The first one is, if you have the basic traits to do this job. It is true, that you can find a family easier if you are a female around the age of 18 and 25 years, even easier if you have a driving license (although it is not necessary) and even more easier if you have had a previous Au-Pair experience in for at least three months.
So what? Did you answer yes to at least one of those questions? Great! That’s a good start. It is worth for sure trying to find a family. For the start, you need to decide for what period of time you are able to work. Is it three months? Or is it six months? For how long are you able to leave your family, friends and go for an adventure? The minimum is three months and maximum is around a year and a half. But in some cases it can be more if the family needs it.
Also, it is very important to decide in which country you want to work. Every country has different rules about the Au-Pair work. For example, in The Netherlands there is a rule from the government, that an Au-Pair needs to be registered with an Au-Pair agency. In England, apart from registering with an agency, you can either sign an agreement or a contract with the host family. Most of the decisions you make are based on which country you choose to find a family in.
After considering and deciding which country you want to find a family from, the next step is to think about the details of the family itself. What would be your ideal host family? You need to understand, that you will spend more than three months with this people, you will talk together, eat together and also spend a part of the free time together. So that’s why it is very important to set your standards before you start searching for the host family. For example, for me it is very important that the family likes to travel, meeting new cultures and people and that the family has a previous experience with Au-Pairs. It is nice when the family has a previous experience with Au-Pairs, because they know how to sign a contract and work with agency if needed. What are your expectations from a host family?
Next thing that is very important is, to consider how many children you are able to to take care of. And consider the age also. Children of what age are you able to take care of? What is your minimum (the youngest age) and vice versa? Write down all of these information about the family, preferences and your competences with children. It will come in handy later, trust me.
Later, when you finished with writing down all the important info, you can start with the actual searching. I recommend to start the search for the family preferably about two to three months before the date of your arrival. You can search in many different ways. This can be done even through Facebook, but also through various Au-Pair agencies or websites. For me, the least save way of searching a family worked, through Facebook. Also, I really enjoyed searching through AuPairWorld. I created a profile very easily, filled in the important data about myself and published it. In the next article, I will for sure show you how to properly fill AuPairWorld profile. A few weeks after creating my profile I was contacted by several families and I believe that If I had not find a family on Facebook before, I would definitely find one on AuPairWorld.com, for one hundred percent. I highly recommend that you will choose to register on AuPairWorld.com as the first step, and if it does not work at all, then go with other options as well.
What to do if you have already contacted a potential host family? First of all, it’s great news! Congratulations! Secondly, it is important to arrange a video call on Skype with the family. In the next article I will tell you about how to prepare for an interview with them. What do the families typically ask Au-Pairs and what should you ask the family? I will bring this topic closer to you in the next article of this series. In addition to have a Skype with family, it is also very important to have a resumé prepared in English and also I highly recommend to have a cover letter about why you want to work as an Au-Pair. I will discuss all of these issues in one of the following articles of this series.
So I think that we already fulfilled this article on how to find a family. I hope that I helped, in some way, in your process of deciding whether to go or not to go to work as an Au-pair. If you have any questions about this topic, don’t hesitate to ask me in the comments section below. See you in the next part! Meanwhile, you can search for your dream host family!