To me, family is everything. I come from a big, tight-knit Massachusetts family where my childhood was filled with constant gatherings. Not only with my immediate family, but with my extended family, too. Cousins, aunts, uncles and grandparents were always around. Whether it was our Wednesday night pasta parties, holiday get-togethers, or those special milestone celebrations, family was – and remains - central to all our lives.
Discovering Caregiving is My Passion
I knew from an early age that I loved caring for children. I started babysitting as a teenager, and for me, it was never really a “job” or about the money. It was about a passion for caregiving. Family after family, I grew close to the kids I cared for. And I continue to keep in touch with many of the families I babysat for all those years ago.
Finding My Extended Family Through Care.com
When I chose to go to college in North Carolina, it was a big step for me. Like a lot of students, I’d never been that far from my family and I knew it was going to be a huge adjustment. I also knew that one of the best ways for me to make the transition would be to connect with local families. I checked out Care.com and registered as a caregiver. The service was popular among my friends at school. It was online, easy to use, and introduced us to great families. I cared for several families’ children in the area and loved each of my experiences.
Eventually, I went on to nanny full-time for a family near school. I quickly became a part of their family, just as I consider them a part of mine. And I realized not only how much they trusted me, but how much I trusted them, too. I cared for their children through my college years, as well as the first year after graduation as I balanced my job coaching crew for my alma mater. A few moves and job transitions later, we remain very close. We keep up our regular Facetime calls and I write to the kids at camp every summer. I want to be a part of their lives for the long haul.
Returning Home Again – to Care@Work
After working in sales for LivingSocial in D.C., I decided I wanted to work my way home to Massachusetts – and get back to what I felt passionate about: helping others. Both my grandparents had recently passed away as well, and I knew my family needed me. I pursued a position at Care.com knowing they share in my passion for helping families. With this move, I realized not only would I be making an impact personally, but also professionally on the lives of others.
While I had been a caregiver on Care.com for years, this time, I sought out a job as an Inside Sales Representative, and quickly worked my way up to a role in Account Management for Care@Work. Through it all, I’m still registered on Care.com, and regularly babysit for two local families when they need a night out.
Every day, I help my clients across a wide range of industries, including technology, education and healthcare, better manage their Care@Work benefits. Whether it’s client education, internal marketing efforts for their backup care benefits, or simply answering day-to-day questions, I feel I play a key role in helping my clients make the most of the service. And because I have the experience of also being a caregiver, I know I can offer an insider’s perspective. Not only can I speak to the quality of the caregivers and working with Care.com, but also to the experience of knowing what it’s like for so many families juggling the demands of home and work. I’ve been in the trenches with many families. I understand what it meant to help. My end goal is to enable clients to see the full value of providing a service that helps employees with the huge responsibility of caregiving.
Working Within a Culture that Merges the Personal and the Professional
It’s clear why Care@Work’s mission is so appealing to me. It provides both personal and professional fulfillment doing what I love most. And it’s not just the 9-5 work. Our company is great about connecting its employees to other avenues of care, too. I’ve taken advantage of the many opportunities Care.com offers for volunteer and community service. Be it participating in our company-wide day of service, the Read to a Child weekly program at a local elementary school, or helping at the Boys & Girls Club of Boston.
Care.com has been in my life for many years now, guiding my career, and helping keep me connected to what really matters: family. It hasn’t taken me long to realize that when I help people, I feel good about myself personally. What’s better than the chance to do that every single day?
McKayla Andrade is a Strategic Account Manager for Care.com, where she helps clients make the most of their Care@Work benefits through account service, education and marketing initiatives. Prior to joining Care.com, McKayla was an Inside Sales Associate and New Business Marketing Consultant for LivingSocial. She has been a caregiver for Care.com for more than eight years. McKayla lives in Boston, MA.
This post is part of a series authored by Care.com employees, where they share firsthand experiences using Care@Work benefits, and reflect on the impact it’s made on their personal and professional lives.
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