WORKING AS A NANNY OR HOUSEKEEPER IN SPAIN… EASY?
Recently we did a post about moving to Spain for those who want to retire here. However, work immigration to Spain is no less popular. One of the seemingly easiest jobs you can find here is babysitting or housekeeping. But is it really that easy?
Working as a caretaker of children or house usually doesn’t require any special qualifications. Some potential employers ask for recommendations but likely this will be the only requirement. This work is also appealing because of accommodation, which is often provided to the employee. For these reasons, many of those looking for a way to move to Spain the opportunity to work in a family seems the easiest solution.
Yet, there are many pitfalls in this profession. The biggest problem faced by a recently arrived employee is the workload. Working as a housekeeper and especially nanny is often related to extra hours and undefined timetable. Nanny’s schedule can imply working from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. with one day off per week. Besides, as one can imagine, working with kids is not that easy. If a nanny position is combined with housekeeping, then such an employee will be in charge of kids, cooking, cleaning, walking dogs, and so on. Not everybody who agrees to this job realises how hard it actually is.
Another frequent issue is the misunderstanding of professional relationships. This is particularly relevant to those who come to Spain from the former CIS. The Spanish are polite people and it is a norm here to respect everybody. Which is why nannies and housekeepers get invited to have a cup of tea after work or have a conversation about something not work-related. Many newcomers take such treatment as almost an invitation to feel like home or at least as a sign of equality between the employer and employee. This impression is false. Being polite to staff does not indicate that the wonder of the house will gladly listen to your problems or stories about your past. Unfortunately, having been taken by this false impression, many employees feel disappointed when the status difference reminds them where one belongs. As a result, people feel offended, betrayed, there is tension between the employer and employee, and sometimes it even results in some very upsetting stories.
So if you decide to try yourself at this profession, you should be ready to work a lot and do remember that your relationship with the house’s owner should be polite but remaining within professional.