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Adventures in Babysitting: The Best Off-Campus Job

College is the time we all face a harsh reality: most of us don’t have a lot of money and we don’t yet have the skills to get a “real” full time job. So whether you are saving for tuition or just need some extra metro money, have no fear: the best off-campus job isn’t really like a job at all. Living in the Washington, D.C. area means lots of career-driven professionals are in desperate need of babysitters, and they’ll pay good money for them. As a college student, you might even have skills a lot of high school kids don’t: a clean driving record, a flexible schedule, and (at least a little) common sense.

Even if you don’t like kids, there’s still hope. Being a college-aged babysitter is a lot less like being a mom and more like being an older sibling (except the kids actually listen to what you say!) In fact, there are a lot of great perks to the job. Are you sick and tired of eating dining hall food and Subway for every meal? No worries, homemade leftovers and fun sized snacks are a must have for households with young kids. Just make sure you don’t eat too many goldfish from the pantry because the kids will call you out on it. Plus, a comfortable work environment means you get to leave the dorms for a few hours and lounge on the sofa while building blanket forts.


(That could be you!)

Other than the awesome perks of working a relaxed job, babysitting is a chance to make a lot of great personal and professional connections.  People like to know that their kids are safe and well taken care of. In return, babysitting is like having a second family while you’re away at school. Many employers will give you time off when you’re feeling stressed and send you home with goodies around the holidays. And when it comes time to edit your resume for a real job, DC professionals are known to provide their babysitters with official references or contacts in their line of work. Past contacts made by AU students through babysitting include the World Bank, the National Institutes of Health, and Bloomberg Businessweek.

Don’t get me wrong, caring for small children requires a ton of patience and responsibility. The good news is that if they’re young enough to need a babysitter, they probably won’t understand the sarcastic comments you make when you want to pull your hair out. Chances are you’ll come out of the experience with a bunch of hilarious kid stories to tell your roommates and the most effective form of birth control on the planet.


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