How to Quit Gracefully
Quitting is never easy.
Whether you need to stop working with a family because of a schedule change, they're ultimately not a good fit, or any other reason, it can be difficult to know how and when to break the news. But it is very important — not only for you, but for the family — that you are honest and timely if you need to stop working a specific job.
The sooner you inform a family you can no longer work with them, and the more communicative you are about why, is helpful to both the family and CareFinder in finding them a new babysitter who has the time or is a better fit.
A word of caution, though: While honesty is always the best policy, you should also be professional and considerate. If the kids are a handful, for example, and need discipline, telling parents you can't stand their children and don't want to come near them is not really an ideal way to leave things (but make sure you let CareFinder know if we need to find a sitter who has experience with unruly kids!).
Quitting gracefully doesn't require much; here are a few very simple, easy-to-implement tips for doing so:
Let CareFinder Know What's Going On. Our team works very hard to ensure everyone in the CareFinder community is safe, respectful and professional. If a family you work with is not upholding these values and is making you feel unsafe or uncomfortable, do not hesitate to inform us of the situation. Often, it is simply a matter of differences in cultural norms or expectations that can be easily addressed. However, it is important that the CareFinder team knows if there are parents we need to speak with and/or potentially remove from the platform. Keeping us in the loop in these circumstances will ultimately make it easier for you, whether we can help solve the issue or assist in finding them a more suitable sitter.
Give Enough Notice. Do not wait until the job is scheduled to start to cancel or quit. This is very unprofessional, reflects poorly on you and forces the CareFinder Team to scramble to find a last-minute replacement. If you know a job is not going to work out, make the break ASAP. That gives everyone time to figure out a plan B. If the CareFinder team consistently needs to cover for you, this could result in removal from the platform.
Use Tact. As mentioned above, honesty is important so that whatever issues there may have been with a family are appropriately addressed. But being blunt is not only rude, it could also endanger your ability to work with other families in the future. The CareFinder community is tight-knit; many of our babysitters land new jobs because parents they've worked with in the past refer them to friends. If you earn a reputation — or parents leave a bad review — you may find it difficult to get work in the future.
Say Thank You. Similar to being tactful, being gracious can go a long way in maintaining your reputation and getting new jobs. Thank the family for the opportunity to work with them even though things ultimately didn't pan out. You never know when their recommendation may be needed!
Confirm! However you choose to inform the family you're quitting — via CareFinder message, voicemail, handwritten note, etc. — you should always follow up to ensure they received the message and understand that you will no longer be working with them. Especially if you have future jobs scheduled! Don't assume that they know; texts or voicemails can be missed.
Provide "Closure." Whether you've worked with a family only a few times or for months, chances are you've built a relationship with the children, and maybe even the parents. If you're comfortable doing so, arrange for a "Goodbye" (virtual is fine too!) so that the children have a bit of closure. And, as mentioned, leaving on a good note is important for any future work you may want.
Return Property. Regardless of any "Goodbye" meetings, you should always coordinate a method for returning any property of the family you may have, such as keys. The family may not always remember to ask for this or assume that you will, so it's important for you to do so.
This List Isn't Exhaustive! We've outlined many important things to consider when quitting, but every family and every job is different. Please be thoughtful and use common sense if you need to quit. If you do have specific questions or concerns about quitting that aren't addressed here, please reach out to the CareFinder team for assistance.