Ten reasons why your au pair experience will appeal to employers
You know for sure that a year as an au pair in the USA would be good for you, but you are not sure how to use this in a professional setting or how to include it in your CV? Then you have come to the right place! Spending a year or more as an au pair in the USA is the best investment you can make for your future.
Why? Below, you will find the top ten soft skills that you will develop as an au pair in the USA.
Skill 1: English speaking skills
Let us start with the most important and logical skill: spending a year or more as an au pair in the USA is the ultimate opportunity to learn to speak English fluently, not only through daily communication with your host family and friends, but also through attending classes at an American university or college.
Skill 2: Adaptability
Adaptability is one of the most important things that an au pair programme, and in fact any gap year abroad, is all about. You will leave your home, family and friends behind to get to know a new culture in a far-off place. That takes guts and adaptability!
Skill 3: Maturity
Responsibility and independence – two more character traits you can develop during your au pair year! As an au pair, you will mature both personally and professionally by taking on new responsibilities, getting to know your new surroundings and, perhaps for the first time, living on your own in a country far away from home, family and friends.
Skill 4: Organisation
As an au pair, you do not only have to manage your own work all the time, you also have to take into account the schedules of your host parents and their children – and make sure that everything goes according to plan.
Skill 5: Leadership
Another important skill that you develop during your year as an au pair is leadership. This soft skill can only be developed through experience. Your ability to take the lead and effectively manage a team will help you throughout your career, especially if you want to achieve great things. As an au pair, you are fully responsible for your host children, which means that you take care of them in every aspect of their lives.
Skill 6: Building relationships
During your year abroad as an au pair, you do not only become a real leader, you also learn how to build relationships with people from another country and culture!
Skill 7: Working in a team
That you are good at building relationships tells recruiters more about you than you might think: it shows that you are a real team player. It proves that you are able to work together, create and follow schedules, set rules, provide direction, solve problems and reflect on activities carried out in order to further refine the process – in any setting.
Skill 8: Communication
A year as an au pair does not only make you a better team player, it also teaches you how to communicate very well. You can efficiently communicate in all kinds of situations and cultures.
Skill 9: Problem solving
As an au pair in the USA, you will have a lot of fun for a year. However, you will also encounter problems you were perhaps not prepared for – and all in a new country where you will have to speak another language. By solving those problems creatively, you will develop your analytical skills and learn to deal effectively with unexpected situations.
Skill 10: Professionalism
Last but not least: during your year as an au pair in the USA, you will naturally develop a professional attitude from your daily interaction with your host parents. As an au pair, you will have the unique opportunity to become a paid member of a family and look after their children. You will love your host family as much as they love you and therefore you will always want to do your best.
All au pairs agree that their experience in the USA has changed their lives for the better and positively influenced their careers. In the words of former au pair and TV journalist/writer Tove Meyer: “A stint as an au pair looks really good on your CV. It shows that you work hard, take responsibility and have the courage to leave your home country behind to discover a new culture.”