I have some good job prospects that may result in interviews in the near future. However, I am pregnant, and at 19 weeks (around 4.5 months) it’s starting to get obvious. The jobs I am applying for are things I can do from home (account rep, event planner etc). I choose these on purpose because I can do them from home, therefore can be done while spending time with my little one.
How should I deal with my ever apparent pregnancy? I know they can’t legally ask me, but since mat leave is a year here, they are bound to wonder.
Any advice is more than welcome…
As someone who seems to always have had at least one pregnant woman working for him:
Acknowledge the fact up front and be clear about why you are seeking this type of job, e.g., you need the flexibility.
Be straight about the time you can devote to the job; if you can manage 40 hours a week, just not on a consistent 8 to 5 basis, you may do some of the work at midnight on a Saturday.
Don’t lose sight of why you are the best person for the job, re-sell your skills, experience, contacts, education, etc.
To get flexibility, be flexible yourself. If they have a weekly staff meeting that is considered important, pledge to make it every week.
Offer that you can be productive outside an office environment and ask for clear expectations and performance measurements, e.g., you need to make 20 contacts and 4 sales per week worth $XXX.
Tell them how long you will be off right after the birth…if it is a week, a month or a year tell them.
The honest approach is your best bet and a good employer will appreciate it. A lousy one won’t hire you and you don’t want to be there anyway. You may lose some of those good prospects if there is competitor that is close to you in all other respects.
I’m betting you will be able to find the right match regardless. In my mind, the trade off between time lost due to the pregnancy and the loyalty/productivity gained by being a good leader that was supportive during her pregnancy, the score was always highest in the loyalty column.
Now would one of you mothers get this kid off my desk?
I think it would be unrealistic to expect an employer to hire you, just to lose you for a year in 4 months. You’d just be trained in the job and you’d be leaving and they’d have to hire someone to cover. I’d wait until you’ve delivered your child and start your job search when you’re ready to work fulltime. Good luck!
Is maternity leave mandatory where you are? If not my advice in #6 stands.
Maternity leave is not mandatory, and I would not be taking it providing I could get a job I could do out of my home.
If you are looking for home-based work, I am sure employers would be far more open to your pregnancy and flexible. Many home-based jobs are designed for women with children.
For encouragement, I once read an interview with some leading businessman where he was asked: if there were two candidates for the job, and one was likely to get married/pregnant and leave after a year, which would you hire?
He said the one that was right for the job - because the right employee is far more valuable to a company even for just 12 months than a less suitable employee would be for 5 years.
And if you think about it, he’s right. If you think about project work, short-term contracts, troubleshooting, restructuring - all the things that are often carried out over less than a twelve-month period, you need the right, the best person - whether they will be with you for two years or twenty.