Hello! We’re back with the fourth episode of Life In Private Staffing Season 2, and I’m joined by Julia Gaskell, who is the Head of Consultancy and Training at Norland College, also known as the infamous Norland Nannies.
This episode was one that we were incredibly excited to record, as Julia started working as a “Norlander” back in the 80s, so we had a unique opportunity to unpack and understand her professional experience, as well as what Norland is today.
So, let’s jump in and find out more about Julia Gaskell and Norland!
Julia’s career as a Norland Nanny
Julia has had a fascinating career so far. She trained at Norland in 1985 for three years, and worked as a live-in nanny for four years, across many families during her tenure. For those who are unaware of who Norland Nannies are, they are a respected institution that was founded in 1892, and their focus is providing practical and academic training to aspiring nannies. Norland Nannies are essentially the crème de la crème of the profession, and are well-known for working for high-profile families, a great example being the British Royal Family.
I was keen to understand how Julia decided to pursue nannying, and to my surprise, it wasn’t her set plan, to begin with.
“My original plan was to become a teacher, as I was always good with children. It was my grandmother’s idea for me to become a nanny, specifically a Norland nanny because they were considered the most reputable. So, you could say that by default – I fell into it!”
Once Julia had qualified, she immediately was placed with a family in central London, and throughout her four years as a nanny, she stayed based in the city.
“In my first job I had my own flat for the weekends, so I worked for the family during the week, who were high profile. It was a great location and the opportunity to have so much independence and put everything into practice that I’d learned was great. My second family was considered more “normal” and the third family I worked for I’m still in touch with now. It does make me feel old when I see them now…”
After Julia got married, she chose to step away from being a Norlander and continued to work in Early Years until the Spring of 2019, when she joined Norland College as Head of Consultancy and Training.
“Before Covid-19, I did a lot of travelling on behalf of Norland, representing them all over the world. I help to get our Norlanders placed into families and often work with mature Norlanders who are coming back to work for us after their children have grown up, or their commitments have changed. At the moment we have more jobs than we do Norlanders, and it just goes to show that it’s a career for life.”
From talking to Julia, it’s clear that there is a sense of community with Norlanders young and mature, and that their alumni program allows their nannies to continuously be a part of an outstanding heritage and legacy, whilst giving them access to excellent career opportunities.
The challenges and benefits of being a Norland Nanny
Being a nanny isn’t for everyone, and after undertaking a lot of academic and practical training, as well as a mandatory BA Honours in Early Years, there is an expectation when you enter a family as a Norland Nanny.
“Every family’s expectation and responsibilities can differ. A lot of the time nannies work for high net worth celebrities, so there are so many things you need to juggle. You also need to be conscious that you’re living in someone else’s home, so setting boundaries and conducting a thorough interview process both for the nanny and the family is crucial.”
At Silver Swan we’ve worked placing nannies into rewarding and high-profile opportunities, so we understand first-hand the importance of finding the perfect match. Julia highlighted that managing expectation is a crucial part of the recruitment process for nannies, especially as they are in such high demand due to the current climate.
Watch the full episode, and you’ll learn about the following:
- The importance of creating a community when working as a nanny, and interacting with other staff within a household
- The selection process for Norland College
- The additional challenges that can come with working as a nanny
- The benefits and how Norland continues to adapt to the ever-changing landscape of nannying
Remember, you can catch the full episode with Julia over on your chosen podcast platform, please make sure to rate us, share the episode and tag us on our social media channels!
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