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Introduction

There are over one million domestic workers in South Africa, making up about 8% of the employment opportunities. It’s also a sector that has increased in the past few years – unlike trade, mining etc.

Look at the graph below to see how many South African’s work in private households:

So what is Domestic Work?

Domestic work involves the cleaning and provision of services in a private household. When you make your own bed or wash your own dishes at your homes – those are domestic chores. When you do it for someone else in their home, for money – that is domestic work. So cleaning is a big part of the job but it can also include cooking, childcare, care of the elderly, pet care and basic maintenance.

Domestic work is a job that you can quite easily start with no matric or qualifications. But getting a job is not the same as keeping and/or succeeding at a job.

Domestic work can be a good and rewarding career providing you understand that you need to develop your skills over time in order to be able to take advantage of opportunities.

Understand that there is a difference between a job and a career. A job is whatever that earns you money – ijobi job! A career means that you treat everything and every job as an opportunity to advance your skills and responsibilities – and remember more skills and responsibilities = more money.

So, if you are currently a basic domestic worker who does her job (and makes no more investment in her skills) in 10 years you will still be at the same place. However, a basic domestic worker who wants to learn and takes on new skill learning opportunities (cooking, childcare, laundry etc.) can in 10 years be a highly sought after Housekeeper earning much more than the basic domestic worker.

This course aims to give you the foundation to understand what you need to succeed in domestic work. The biggest thing to understand is that you need to put what you learn into practice. It is no good to understand that you need to clean thoroughly and then not to do the job properly. Part of success is being consistently good at your job – even when it is hard, even when you are having a bad day. It’s called “WORK” not “play”; not “fun”; not “easy”. And being a hard worker and a smart worker will lead to better opportunities in your future!

There is a famous saying “the harder I work, the luckier I get”. So think of work as a ladder – the more effort you put in, the more likely that you can move up the ladder. Also you have to start at the bottom! At the beginning of your career, you will probably have to work hard for little money. It takes time to develop your skills so it might take a few years to earn more money and perhaps have more interesting job duties, but this is a job that can lead to great opportunities. 

So welcome to opening your mind to developing your career – we wish you the best of luck!