By Matthew Lister
As many already know, I have dual careers going on at one time. I am a respected career nanny focusing on autism, ADHD, ODD, and behavioral concerns and also provide family coaching (27 years as a nanny and coach.) I am an Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) Therapist working with children on the spectrum (just under 5 years doing that). Two separate careers, two separate schedules, and always being ready for the next adventure. I would have it no other way!
There are some key points, though, that are important to remember for having successful dual-careers. 1. Remember when to "stay in your lane"- in other words, as in my own careers, do not do therapy on your nanny kids, and do not nanny your ABA therapy families. Often people can get those roles mixed up, but it is important to stress to the families what your role is, and have it completely understood before even beginning to work with them.
2. Find your passions. If you have a career just to make money, you will not only burn out faster, but you will learn to resent it. Find your passions and focus on how you can maximize them in your careers. If your passions are cooking and children, then consider being a nanny in families that will require you to prepare meals. This leads me into the next key point:
3. Specialize in what you are passionate about. My passion has always been psychology, behavior and helping families find peace in their homes. I utilized my education in psychology, my experience working with children who had unique needs, and added education and credentialing in specialized training. Now I can do what I love to do, maximize the help (and healing) I provide to families and ensure that children learn the skills necessary to thrive, even when they struggle to control their behaviors.
4. Get involved! Get involved in the communities that surround you. Get involved in the nanny communities online, becoming a mentor when it comes to your specialty. Get involved in your local offline community, volunteering and helping others to grow their passion in the same thing you have mastered the skills with. Write articles for magazines that those in your industry can learn from.
5. And finally, invest in your careers. If you take additional courses, get additional certifications and take a little time to market yourself (i.e. business cards, offering mentoring advice to newcomers into the industry, etc.) people will notice. And when they notice, you will begin to learn who specializes in what, and will be able to help so many others- and in doing so, it will allow others to learn about your specialties and will begin referring people and jobs your way when applicable. By investing in yourself, you are investing in helping others to grow and flourish.
Having dual-careers can be pretty exciting because you can walk into each situation knowing that you can do your job with confidence, and can make a difference in the lives of others.