By Jack Kelly
We speak all the time about job descriptions that are divorced from reality. The requirements far exceed the potential applicant pool. Sometimes the advertisement’s demands lack any grounding in reality. The odds of finding a candidate that possesses the necessary requirements are astronomically high—if not impossible.
A Silicon Valley CEO posted a job description on Linkedin for a Household Manager/Cook/Nanny. This takes the cake for being one of the most tone-deaf job descriptions ever written.
The single mother of young children seeks a person who can cook, clean, schelp them to sporting activities, be able to swim in rivers (because that’s what they like to do), teach the kids math equations and the list goes on and on and on.
The applicant, if hired, will:
- Facilitate weekly household meeting with au pair and kids
- Build alliances with other kids’ parents and nannies
- Play simple basketball, volleyball, soccer and football
- Correctly quantify how much fish to purchase for five people
- Ski at least at an intermediate level
To manage expectations, the CEO let potential applicants know that the family “eats organic and is allergic to cow and goat dairy, chicken eggs, green beans and watermelon. Can eat duck eggs.”
To be fair, it’s not easy being a single parent. It’s not even easy with two parents in the picture. The amount of homework, projects and studying for tests is overwhelming. Then, there are the after-school activites—sports, dance, tutoring and play dates. It’s draining, especially if you live in a hyper-competitive, high-end wealthy neighborhood.
The parents are competing against themselves to raise the smartest kids who excel in school, sports, social life and will make it into a top Ivy League university on a scholarship. The pressure to compete is intense. This is what pushed actors and actresses, hedge fund managers and other super-successful people to bribe their way into getting their kids into top schools under false pretenses.
I’m not making excuses for the ad, just offering some context from a parent of two college kids who attended school in a middle-to-upper-class affluent suburb of New York. Even this upscale place pales in comparison to the level of stress and pressure of those living in the world of tech billionaires, rich venture capitalist, early employees of startup unicorn and wealthy Google and Facebook people
You can read the job description in its entirety below:
Household Manager/Cook/Nanny needed for single mom entrepreneur CEO family in Menlo Park, CA with girl-boy twin 10-year old’s. Looking for a long-term (at least five years) member of the household to act with leadership, strategy, attention to detail, high energy, and kindness. Live-in or out. Car provided.
Overall duties including running the household in collaboration with the mother and with the assistance of a housekeeper, an au pair, a property manager, and a gardener/handyman. Most of the rest of the household staff speaks English as a second language. Major responsibilities are keeping the house and its processes well organized including organizing the house and donating clothing and other items, cooking organic foods that meet our allergy requirements, errands, planning vacations, camps and after school activities, and spending time with the kids.
Schedule when not travelling is five days a week approximately 11:30 am to 8:00 pm. Sunday-Thursday (preferred) or Monday-Friday (second choice). Mom is a CEO and needs to relax on weekends. Weekends are busy with sports and playdates. Live-in option is the full kitchen, one-bedroom pool house.
- Intelligent, well educated, good at research and planning. High executive functioning. Very well organized. Multi-tasker able to make progress and complete multiple projects. University degree or equivalent knowledge.
- Assist 10-year old’s with light homework in long division, subtraction and writing. Play math games with them such as “how much fish should we buy today for five of us?” and “How long will it take us to drive to the snow if it’s 150 miles and we go 50 miles an hour?”
- Strategically think through vacation options based on the developmental levels of the kids and the need for the mom to relax. Conduct research into domestic and global vacation options based on criteria, populate information into a simple Excel spreadsheet, recommend and book vacations, track vacation expenses in Excel including track vacation home deposits getting returned
- Be creative about researching and recommending and booking good activities and schedules for vacations and can make our vacations more active and fun
- Compare and make recommendations regarding using credit card points to booking vacations versus paying cash
- Can email and text vendors, friends’ parents, etc. in a professional manner
- Using Word, can review and modify household handbook, kids’ chore sheet, etc.
- Plan and facilitate weekly household meeting with au pair and kids
- Track and administer allowance, clothing budgets, household expenses, etc.
- Monitor and track purchases and make returns on time
Manager and leader. Lead, supervise and support members of the household staff who have varying degrees of education, experience and maturity. Control, organize, motivate and plan their tasks. Utilize Microsoft To Do/Wunderlist to track activities. Help members of the staff who are less tech savvy to download apps and use them. Conduct weekly household meetings with au pair, monthly meetings with others. Manage the overall calendar in Google for all activities including gardening, kids’ days off from school, housekeeper’s vacations, etc.
Great, consistent cook.
- Family eats organic and is allergic to cow and goat dairy, chicken eggs, green beans and watermelon. Can eat duck eggs. Must be able to produce simple, delicious meals with consistency and accuracy meeting our allergy requirements
- Conduct research into vegan recipes and make modifications to regular recipes. Able to learn about using alternatives to milk and butter. Can read articles about eating beef and increases in breast cancer and can understand this information at a summary level, i.e., beef is bad, fish and vegetables are good
- Correctly quantify how much fish to purchase for five people, for example, or how much chicken for 15 people
- Follow directions in recipes and use good judgment for substitutions. For example, use vegan cream cheese in blended soups, or potatoes to thicken broth
- Research and review recipes in books and online and create simple menus
- Collaborate with the mom and the kids on meals and dishes that they like
- Administer calcium and other supplements to the kids
- Always focus on healthy eating and relaxed, happy, family-style meals
- Able to plan and prepare appropriate snacks and mini meals around sports practices and other kids’ activities
- Understands and follow general food safety guidelines such as keeping hands sterilized, washing produce thoroughly, keeping hot foods hot and cold foods cold for picnics
- Physically active, strong, athletic, high energy, understands the basics of team sports
- Strong swimmer and lifeguard. Can supervise kids in the pool and understands basic dangers and rescues. Can swim in the ocean and bodysurf. Likes river swimming
- Can throw balls and play simple basketball, volleyball, soccer and football with 10-year old’s (learn if not already familiar). Can do calisthenics with kids (sit ups, lunges, squats, pushups) and generally play and rough house with kids
- Can bike around town with 10-year old’s
- Can do short mountain hikes
- Can ski at least at an intermediate level (preferred) and can take kids on ski vacations and manage everything (preferred)
- Clean driving record
- Can drive the kids around town and on the freeway with a high degree of safety
- Experienced driving in snow (preferred)
- Experienced mountain driving (preferred)
- Prefer experience driving in other countries (preferred)
- High emotional intelligence, skilled at coaching kids
- Can influence the children positively in many areas including self-soothing, self-discipline, organization, conflict resolution, perseverance
- Can build alliances with other kids’ parents and nannies and arrange play dates and joint travel with other families
- Is fun for the kids to be around. Is someone the kids can trust and can respect.
- Has room in their heart to love the kids and the mom; has a high capacity to be loved deeply by them
- Has appropriate boundaries in relationships and interactions and will teach the children the same including appropriate privacy and safety. Understands the risks of leaving children alone with coaches, for example
Flexible schedule, high energy
- Can travel domestically and internationally with the family
- Able to maintain high energy, high organization, and great attitude while travelling with kids
- Able to spend the night occasionally
Schedule: when not travelling is five days a week approximately 11:30 am to 8:00 pm. Sunday-Thursday (preferred) or Monday-Friday (second choice)
PLEASE SEND RESUME