Almost all of us do it when we start a new job – we follow into someone else’s footsteps. It can be easy if we don’t know anything about the person we’re replacing, or if we have full confidence that we are the best person for the job. But most of the time, it’s hard. How are you going to compare to the last person? How did they do things? Should you keep doing the same or do you change things up?
I never really put much thought into how hard it might be for the next au pair when I was working for my last host family. After being there for two years, the kids were really used to me and the way I do things. I didn’t think about how that could be for the next girl until I decided to be an au pair for another year as well, with a different family.
The family I work for now had the same au pair for three years. And I was so nervous to take her place because I don’t know what she was like and how she did things. But I do know that they loved her. I didn’t want to disappoint.
I think that’s the biggest thing about following into someone’s footsteps: you don’t want to disappoint the people around you. Not only because you’re doing a job that you would like to keep, but also because it’s a terrible feeling.
So here are a few reminders for if you’re following into someone’s footsteps:
- Wherever you’re working, whatever you’re doing, they chose you to work for them for a reason. So just be yourself and it will all work out.
- Don’t be too hard on yourself. It takes time to learn how things work in a new place.
- Even if things go wrong, smile, and try to fix them in the best way possible.
- Don’t be afraid to ask for help.
- Have fun with your new job – play around with things and get to know the people you work for/with. It’s a new start and you should enjoy it.