Professional Development

Stepping Out of Your Comfort Zone … One Baby Step at a Time
By Glenda Propst

Nannies have a rich and lengthy history that spans hundreds of years. The title and job duties of a nanny have evolved and continue to evolve even to this day.

The professional nanny movement that began back in the early 1980’s culminated in 1985 with the founding of the International Nanny Association. As a founding board member of INA, I realize that my roots and commitment to my profession were solidified within this association.

I had always been committed to what I did. I had always been dedicated to improving my profession. But being able to connect with other professionals from across the United States and even abroad, introduced a whole new frontier to this country girl who grew up in a small Midwestern town.

Being involved with the nanny profession on a national level has taught me many lessons. Some lessons have been harder to learn than others, but the most important lesson that I have learned is that as far as our profession has come, we still have so far to go.

I belong to the pioneering generation of the professional nanny industry. My involvement with INA connected me to a bigger part of the nanny world and made me realize that I could not simply be an observer of our industry; I had to step out of my comfort zone and be a leader within it.

I can’t tell you how important it is for each of us to be involved in our profession in a bigger way. While we may say that we want the nanny profession to be recognized, respected and revered, for that to happen it requires each of us to step out of our comfort zone.

The nanny industry is multi-faceted. The issues that we face as nannies are different than the issues agencies and educators face, but as an industry, we need to work together to change the future. While we may not always agree on everything, we can agree that there is work to be done and if we want results, we have to do the work together. As members of our industry, it is up to us to push towards our common goals that will result in progress for our industry.

I cannot imagine how different my life would have been if I had not been influenced, supported, encouraged, enlightened and inspired by the people I met when I stepped out of my comfort zone. As professionals, it is our responsibility to educate ourselves on industry issues and then to speak out or take action.

Make your profession a priority. Keep educating yourself; keep learning and never stop growing.

I encourage you to make plans to attend the INA Annual Conference in Las Vegas, Nevada May 3-6, 2012. If you are new to INA and you have never attended an Annual Conference, you are eligible to attend at 1/2 price. If you are a current member who has never attended an Annual Conference, there will be several scholarship opportunities I urge you to take advantage of. The Annual Conference room rates are extremely reasonable this year and Las Vegas is a wonderfully fun location.

So this year take a chance. Step out of your comfort zone and attend the 2012 INA Annual Conference.

It just might change your life.

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