When I was about to finish university, I had absolutely no clue what I want to do with my life or where I want to be. All I knew was I DID NOT want to go home. I'd finally tasted freedom and I was not going back. I'd applied to loads of jobs, gone to interviews and got nothing back, I was at a total loss. That's when I found a job on Indeed.com titled "House Parent" - a full-time residential job in a boarding school near my university town. Fast forward to now, and my only issue is the lack of exposure for the job - no-one knows we exist! People have this view that a boarding mistress is something archaic and probably even sexist, and I am here to tell you that is not the case, and why you should consider moving into boarding parenting.
Residential life is a good life! when I came out of uni, like I said I didn't want to go home BUT I didn't really have the funds to get a flat, especially when I didn't know where I was going so didn't have anyone to live with and couldn't plan ahead. With House Parenting, I had a beautiful flat with a kitchen and ensuite, jacuzzi bath, 2 TVs (Smart ones too!) - something I could never have had if I had just carried on out of university into rented accommodation. Which brings me onto my next point...
Saving a hell of a lot of money! Because you aren't spending money on accommodation, your whole wage is yours, except for your basic personal bills like your phone/ insurance/ car whatever. I've got friend's from the job that saved enough to buy their own house after a year of working - personally mine's all gone into a fund for saving and travelling (when we can eventually go away again), and I'm able to treat myself when I find something I want because, admittedly I work hard, and I deserve it! That's not something a lot of people can do in their first few years after university.
Free food! I get free food at work, and yes it's school meals but this in private schools they tend to be pretty tasty. I am not a good cook - those who knew me at uni will tell you of the time I ate a raw chicken kiev because I didn't realise I hadn't turned the oven on correctly - so this was a big plus for me. Me and my boyfriend (who I met at my job) cook on our time off (he does most of the cooking and he kindly calls me sous-chef which in this case means "person who watches and occasionally grates cheese"), but is makes it more special because we don't have to cook every day.
Friends and colleagues in one! I've met some really interesting and lovely people at my job. My work has a lot of international staff, meaning I now have friends from all over the world which I love. You get a really interesting view of different cultures and work styles. You're living at work, so you become really close with your colleagues, who then become more like your family. When we were isolating as a school last year in lockdown one, all the staff felt like one large and weird family, and it was so so fun even though we were working through a tough time.
Great holidays! You're only (usually) working term time, which means you get long Christmas and Summer holiday, plus half terms. This, plus 2 days off every week, means you've got a great work-life balance even though you're living at work. I get paid every month whether I have worked or not, which means when it comes to the last day in July you get a lovely wage packet for doing nothing all month!
Promotion opportunities! Once you fall in love with the job, you might want to get promoted to run your own House, or at least I did. Usually, staff from within the company are promoted for a House Parent position to a Head of House (there's lots of different title for the jobs - it depends on which school you work for), and usually because of staff turnover there's new opportunities every year or term.
Need I mention the kids? I've saved my favourite point for last. It goes without saying I wouldn't still be working where I am without the children I work with. I went into this job thinking it was for a year and here I am still going with it. I think about these kids all the time; on Christmas day, if I hear a certain song on the radio, if I see something that reminds me of one of them; and they're going to stay in my head for a long time after I leave. Because you're working to make the boarding house a "home", you build really strong bonds and help your students through some real humdingers of times. You're there to provide the support you wish you had when you were at school, and it is so rewarding. Don't get me wrong, there's tough times where they're just not doing what you want them to do and it all seems awful and you want to leave, but then one of them will tell you something funny and all that dread will melt away. If it didn't, I wouldn't still be going.
Have I convinced you yet? Why not pop me a message and ask me about it? It was the perfect start for my working life, and gave me a lot of transferable skills I would never have thought would come out of this job, including admin, organisation, flexibility... I could go on for hours.
If you fancy searching for a job in boarding, make sure you search for House Parent, House Tutor, Dame, House Master, Matron - every school has a different name for their parents so make sure you do your research! There's always jobs going in boarding, because it's a great place to start a career or to act as a stop gap when you aren't sure what to do. All you need to have is the ability to be flexible, and a want to make a change for someone and do something different and rewarding. As you can tell, I have loved doing what I do!