This PR job requires you to babysit the CEO's kids | Ladders

If you want to join The Berman Group's public relations team as an account coordinator, you'll need to be ready to babysit the CEO's kids. No, they're not kidding.
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This PR job requires you to babysit the CEO’s kids

If you want to join this firm’s public relations team as an account coordinator, you’ll need to be ready to babysit the CEO’s kids.

The Berman Group, a major marketing and communication agency based in New York City, recently posted a Craigslist job listing titled, “PR Account Coordinator w/ Afternoon Childcare.” 

But this headline doesn’t mean that you’ll get to have a public relations job with childcare for your own kids on-site. Instead, you’ll be the one expected to take up childcare duties in addition to managing accounts.

The listing states that it wants a PR professional with 1-3 years of experience in public relations “to manage accounts and support PR strategy and execution for clients.”

So far, so good. But here’s the catch: “We also may need this person to watch the CEOs [sic] children a few hours in their afternoon, should the current person be unavailable.”

So in addition to writing, editing, and pitching press releases, managing social media schedules and posts, coordinating with clients, and maintaining a database of editors and publications, this candidate needs to be ready to be an afternoon nanny to their boss’s children.

If you write a cover letter for this role, are you expected to talk about how well you work with kids in addition to how you’ve executed so-and-so account? Why can’t the CEO hire their own personal afternoon babysitter?

Ladders reached out to The Berman Group to ask those questions. A woman who answered the phone at the main number declined to give her name and said the company declined to comment.

It’s unclear how taking on an additional childcare role will help this candidate succeed in public relations. Even if you’re not babysitting as you complete reports, there are other ways employees, particularly female ones, get trapped into doing administrative tasks that do not benefit their careers.

Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg and organizational psychology professor Adam Grant call this trap “office housework,” where female employees do “administrative tasks that help but don’t pay off.” They outlined how women are expected to regularly do communal, nurturing tasks like mentor employees, take notes, and plan that office party. Citing 183 different studies, they found that when women are expected to take care of others in their careers, they rarely have time for themselves, and they have higher rates of burnout. Female employees who dare to deviate from the path of taking personal responsibility for refilling the office candy dish are seen as “selfish” and are rated less favorably.

So if you’re a job seeker who is thinking about taking this babysitting-PR job, be careful to monitor your time and emotional bandwidth as you juggle nanny duties with clients.