As was foretold, we've added advertisements to the forums! If you have questions, or if you encounter any bugs, please visit this thread: https://forums.penny-arcade.com/discussion/240191/forum-advertisement-faq-and-reports-thread/
Options

Asking for a raise

AnomeAnome Registered User regular
I have been working as a nanny for 6 year old twins (almost 7 now) for almost a year. When I took the job, I was desperate and $12/hr sounded a lot better than the 0 I had been making for the past 7 months. Now, after doing some research, I realize I'm being screwed. Looking online showed that the going rate for non live-in nannies is about $15-18/hr where I live. Add to that the fact that they've got me doing housekeeping (usually about $20/hr as far as I can see online) as well after the kids have gone to sleep, I feel I deserve more. There are a couple problems. First, I've never asked for a raise before and don't know how to do it effectively. Second, the standards of clean the mom wants are so high I don't feel I can ever reach them. Every time I successfully integrate another little detail I would never have thought of, she adds 2 more. How do I justify asking for a raise when I can't meet her ever changing standards? I can't even fold sheets properly for this woman.

Things are better on the nanny side, aka the job I actually thought I was being hired to do. I get along with the kids and we have fun. I take them out on bikes, go to parks and festivals, and generally keep them entertained. They can be difficult at times, as young children will be, but we've gotten pretty close over the past year. I would hate to leave them as they've had many nannies come and go over the years and I can tell they sometimes feel like no one cares enough to stick around, but I can't live on what I'm making. I know that the parents could easily afford to pay me more so how do I ask them in a way the has the best odds of success?

Posts

  • Options
    FiggyFiggy Fighter of the night man Champion of the sunRegistered User regular
    Perhaps the reason so many nannies have come and gone is their boss's out-of-reach standards and low rate of pay?

    The typical "how to ask for a raise" advice you can find through Google applies, but from what you describe you might want to start looking for another job in the meantime.

    Seems like the Mom thinks that when the kids are asleep you should be working for your hourly rate somehow. That's her not understanding why a nanny would typically make x per hour--the fact that down time is factored in. Take away that down time and your hourly should go up.

    XBL : Figment3 · SteamID : Figment
  • Options
    FireflashFireflash Montreal, QCRegistered User regular
    Yes you should start looking for something else. These people are having you do 2 services for the price of not even one. And complaining about your housework is a great strategy to make you feel unworthy of a better pay rate.

    PSN: PatParadize
    Battle.net: Fireflash#1425
    Steam Friend code: 45386507
  • Options
    GnomeTankGnomeTank What the what? Portland, OregonRegistered User regular
    edited July 2014
    The fact that she's always adding two new items to your "You didn't do this to my standards" list is incredibly telling. As is the fact that they've had nannies come and go. Sounds like a couple who likes to take as much advantage of a nanny/house keeper as possible before that person figures out they are being screwed and moves on.

    For that matter, if cleaning the house is not in your original job description, you just shouldn't do it, or clearly state it costs extra. You're a nanny, not an indentured servant.

    I would ask for the raise, but don't be surprised when the people in question act absolutely aghast that you would ask for more money, and then proceed to list off a laundry list five miles long of everything you've "done wrong", and how really they are doing you a favor by even letting you stay employed. Hopefully I'm wrong, and they're nice people who will pay you what you deserve...but don't bet on it.

    GnomeTank on
    Sagroth wrote: »
    Oh c'mon FyreWulff, no one's gonna pay to visit Uranus.
    Steam: Brainling, XBL / PSN: GnomeTank, NintendoID: Brainling, FF14: Zillius Rosh SFV: Brainling
  • Options
    davidsdurionsdavidsdurions Your Trusty Meatshield Panhandle NebraskaRegistered User regular
    You can also ask them to be a good quality reference for the next job you are applying for. If they ask why you are looking for other work you can then list the several reasons you have here including but not limited to the paltry pay.

  • Options
    GnomeTankGnomeTank What the what? Portland, OregonRegistered User regular
    Good advice from @davidsdurions‌, but if they are the types I think they are, they may fire you on the spot for that...so tread lightly. You know these people better than we do, all we can do is make conjecture based on extremely limited information.

    Sagroth wrote: »
    Oh c'mon FyreWulff, no one's gonna pay to visit Uranus.
    Steam: Brainling, XBL / PSN: GnomeTank, NintendoID: Brainling, FF14: Zillius Rosh SFV: Brainling
  • Options
    davidsdurionsdavidsdurions Your Trusty Meatshield Panhandle NebraskaRegistered User regular
    edited July 2014
    Agreed, but then you know right then you don't want their reference or their job, so it's a decent position to be in.

    Definitely leverage your relationship with their children as well. You can say something like, "your kids have really warmed up to me this past year, It seems they are flourishing with a consistent nanny around. "

    Edit: warmed up, not warned up, gosh.

    davidsdurions on
  • Options
    JasconiusJasconius sword criminal mad onlineRegistered User regular
    It doesn't sound all that promising, unfortunately.

    However you are correct, nannies tend to make slightly better wages

  • Options
    VeeveeVeevee WisconsinRegistered User regular
    If you want to keep working for them, and if these are the same type of people I think @Gnometank is talking about, then I'd recommend you went to them with "I have a job offer for $X (X being slightly higher than the amount you want to be paid), but I would like to continue working here if you could match that salary with my current work load." then they'd at least be receptive to talking about a raise and you can negotiate from there.

    Even better if you actually have that job offer since they'd probably fire you on the spot anyway.

  • Options
    ThundyrkatzThundyrkatz Registered User regular
    I think its important for you to have a plan-B in place before you ask them for a raise.

    After you present your well reasoned argument that you have been working for them for a year and have added x,y and z to your work load and you would like a raise, they may still say no. Then what will you do? Suck it up for the sake of the kids and hope it all works out for the next several years? probably not.

    I don't know anything about being a nanny, does that rate you sighted include any kind of certifications? Could you go and get one of those jobs in the very near future? If the answer is no, then be careful about rocking the boat until you are sure what plan B is.

    Also, does that rate for those other jobs include taxes and stuff? Is your current employer withholding for you, or are you expected to be responsible for that as a contractor? make sure you are comparing apples to apples when you look at these other positions.

  • Options
    bowenbowen How you doin'? Registered User regular
    GnomeTank wrote: »
    Good advice from @davidsdurions‌, but if they are the types I think they are, they may fire you on the spot for that...so tread lightly. You know these people better than we do, all we can do is make conjecture based on extremely limited information.

    Rich people are stingy with their money, @GnomeTank is pretty much on the money here from my experience. They're going to act shocked, then act defensive, then act angry.

    Don't take it personally either, but start looking elsewhere before you drop the bomb if you need the money. You're a nanny, not a maid.

    Keep in mind, though, typically nannies do do child related housework. Making beds, cleaning room, etc. But, $12/hr is babysitter money.

    not a doctor, not a lawyer, examples I use may not be fully researched so don't take out of context plz, don't @ me
  • Options
    davidsdurionsdavidsdurions Your Trusty Meatshield Panhandle NebraskaRegistered User regular
    Do these people have neighbors with children?

    If they insist on raising their children via short term business goal method of giving the job to the lowest bidder, then I would take the time to walk their kids around the neighborhood meeting the neighbors and their children. While the kids mingle and interact, you can ask the neighbors how much they would pay for your services. If the price is right and there is an opening, just take the new job. If the price is right but not an opening, take your new knowledge to your current employer and demand a commensurate rate. When they balk at this, and they will because how could they value their children's care more than their bottom line??? then you bring up the fact that their neighbors are out spending them and have secure child care in place.

    I'd say if they don't want to even negotiate then why continue to struggle with them? Take your services elsewhere, there is always demand for quality child care.

    If this scenario is untenable then you still have the leverage that you've established a relationship with their children and when you find a better job, it will be their kids who suffer the most. I mean, if it bothers you so much to leave them as I imagine it might, you have the prospect of forging a new relationship with a new family in the future, while their kids have the unknown, possibly awful nanny of the future to worry about.

    Basically, eff business people and their lack of sensibilities.

  • Options
    bowenbowen How you doin'? Registered User regular
    Ah the old "need to be better than my neighbor" trick.

    ... Genius!

    not a doctor, not a lawyer, examples I use may not be fully researched so don't take out of context plz, don't @ me
  • Options
    ChopperDaveChopperDave Registered User regular
    Agreement #n on look for a new job before you ask for a raise.

    In negotiation theory they call this your Best Alternative To a Negotiated Agreement (BATNA). Right now, your BATNA is "Continue to accept substandard pay, or become unemployed while you look for another job." Their BATNA is "Continue to underpay the nanny, or hire a new nanny."

    Your BATNA right now is not great. But theirs isn't that great either! Depending on your location, it might cost them quite a bit of money and time to hire a new nanny (and housekeeper) - especially if they've developed a reputation for chewing help up and spitting them back out again. So you can change the power dynamic simply by guaranteeing that you'll have as short a stint of unemployment as possible, if it comes to that. If there's a real threat that you'll quit if you don't get a raise, their BATNA gets a lot worse.

    So once you have a few potential leads lined up, go to your employers and tell them that you think you deserve a raise for your good work over the past year. Remind them of your consistency and reliability over the past year, and give them examples of how you do a better (or at least equal) job as other nannies in your area who get paid more. Don't compare yourself to your employers' unrealistically high standards; compare yourself to the standards of the nanny market in your area. Then tell them that you want to keep working for them and their kids if possible, but that the current financial arrangement doesn't work for you and you want to find a new arrangement that works for all parties. Don't tell your employers that you have other job leads unless you feel you have to-- keep that information close to the chest and use it to boost your confidence.

    In short, make an argument showing them how giving you a large pay bump makes more financial sense than trying their luck again on the local nanny/housekeeper market. If the mother insists that she's paying you what she thinks you're worth, then show her how wrong she is and quit for a better job.

    As for the housekeeping, you need to establish clear boundaries. You might consider offering your employers two rates -- one for nanny services and one for housekeeping -- and then keeping track of your hours in each category. You might also look up what a "Nanny Housekeeper" makes in your area, as that is what sounds like the closest analogue to your actual position.

    3DS code: 3007-8077-4055
  • Options
    HollerHoller Registered User regular
    Not trying to derail, but now I'm curious: do nannies ask for references from potential employers (in addition to the reverse)? Getting attached to the awesome kids of the world's worst employer sounds heartbreaking, so if/when you apply for new jobs (because seriously these people sound shitty), would getting THEIR references be possible? I feel like I'd be impressed if a candidate looking to care for my children wanted to be absolutely certain that they would be a good fit with my family, but I dunno how the nanny thing really works.

    If asking for references from the family doesn't seem kosher, I guess maybe just ask in the interview why their last nanny left? If they talk shit on their previous nanny, they probably aren't going to be worth working for.

  • Options
    DraygoDraygo Registered User regular
    edited July 2014
    I'm going to bring in another angle here:

    Its seems to me you were inexperienced when you first took the job, and it should be appropriate to ask for a raise a full year later. Considering all the advice above you might want to consider asking for a raise on your one year of full employment to the lower end of the normal salary range for a nanny. And I agree with trying to draw a line between housekeeping and being a nanny.

    In either case a full year of working as a nanny will make a great reference if you are forced into job hunting again.

    Draygo on
  • Options
    ChopperDaveChopperDave Registered User regular
    edited July 2014
    If you ask for a raise to the lower end of the salary range, then you'll end up with a salary at the lower end of the salary range--or worse, as your employer will probably try to barter you down. Don't negotiate with yourself, negotiate with your employer.

    What you ask for depends on how valuable you think you are. If you think you are an "average" nanny, then ask for the average salary. If you think you are above average--and it sounds like you are, given that you have put up with a very demanding employer for a year and seem to put in the extra mile--then ask for an above average salary.

    This really comes down to confidence. If you can convince yourself that you're worth as much as or more than the average nanny in your area, then you can probably convince them of the same.

    ChopperDave on
    3DS code: 3007-8077-4055
Sign In or Register to comment.