Asking For A Review

 The anniversary of my hiring is in January, so I thought this would be a great time to write about how to ask for a review. It can feel daunting to ask for a raise or a review.

Did you reach your one-year anniversary with your nanny family, and they said nothing about it? Before assuming they’re disrespecting you or don’t care about you, there is a chance they may have just forgotten. Especially when you’re working with new parents, they were probably in a new-baby fog and had no concept of what date they officially hired you. If you’ve been a nanny for a few years, remember: your employers might be rookies, while you are the seasoned veteran.

So, here’s a few steps that have helped me:

  1. Decide for yourself if you want to wait until after your “nannyversary” or if you want to contact your employers a week or so beforehand. I personally wait until after, so my employers have a chance to acknowledge the date.

  2. Write a list of topics you would like to discuss with your employers. Any major milestones on the horizon? Are they going on vacation in the future? Are there toys or clothes the children have grown out of? Any major changes you would like to address?

  3. Contact your employers in the way that works best for you. Do you usually text them? Do you leave written notes on the fridge? Would you prefer to speak in person? Is email easiest? I like to keep it casual, writing something along the lines of “hi, can you believe I’ve been your nanny for a year now? The time has flown! I would love to sit down with you for a review soon. When would be a good time for you?”

  4. Once we’ve figured out a time, I text my employers (since that’s how we usually communicate) saying “here’s a few things I’d like to discuss:” and I list some of the items I’ve thought up from step 2. But the first item on the list is “how am I doing?” In the middle, I put in a cost-of-living and/or a performance dependent wage increase. That way my employers know I will be asking for constructive criticism but also for a small raise. I also know a lot of parents have no idea what to expect when I ask for a review, so they can prepare.

  5. Next, I do a quick Google search to see what a cost-of-living increase in my state is.

  6. The meeting! This is the point where my stomach is full of butterflies, and I start to panic. But I keep in mind that my employers might be feeling super awkward, too. Many parents haven’t had family employees before. I start with asking them how I’m doing. I keep an open mind on any points they may have, but I keep the lines of communication open during the year, so I know if it’s anything major, they probably would have brought it up earlier.

  7. After speaking about other things on the list, we finally get to the point where I say “so… the cost-of-living increase…” and I give them the floor. Usually, the parents will take the lead from there and either offer me a raise or ask me how much I am requesting (this is where I bring up what I learned in step 5). Then we move on to any other topics, or I end the conversation with thanking them for sitting down with me.

  8. If the parents don’t want to give me a bump in pay (or can’t afford to) still thank them for the meeting. I try to keep any disappointment in check, until I can get home and take time to think things through. Is this a big enough deal to start looking for a new job?

Just remember this is probably super awkward for everyone! But now you know where you stand with your employers, and they know how seriously you take this career. Years ago, I shied away from asking for a review, so I never received a raise, or knew what they thought about my performance. It’s one of my biggest professional regrets.

Good luck!