Bringing a baby into the world is a wonderful thing, but some women fear that it will hold them back in their job search. Don’t panic! Before you start looking for a new job, check out these quick tips for job searching while you’re pregnant:
1. Consider Your Obligations
Having a baby means having more responsibilities and day-to-day duties. Before you start your job search, you need to consider what obligations you will have for your new baby, job search, and potential new job. It’s important to be honest with yourself about what you’re looking for when you’re considering potential positions.
Here are a few questions you should be asking yourself:
- What kind of schedule do I need? Flexible or structured?
- How close should I be to a good daycare?
- Do I want the ability to work from home?
- How far am I willing to commute?
Determine what things are most important for you and your family, then figure out your game plan from there.
2. Be Careful About How You Handle The Subject
If you are pregnant and looking for work, your approach really depends on how much you are showing, according to Work It Daily’s founder and CEO J.T. O’Donnell. In the first trimester, when you aren’t showing yet, you may not be telling anyone since there can be complications and miscarriages. Although you don’t have to share that you are pregnant, keep in mind that when your employer finds out you’re going out on maternity leave in six months, they will feel like you took advantage of them. “I’ve even seen companies start to nitpick and put a person on performance review so they can fire them before their maternity leave,” says O’Donnell. “It happens.”
O’Donnell suggests being honest at the time they make the offer so they know the truth. At this point, they should be excited about working with you and appreciate your honesty. And, if they rescind the offer, you would have grounds for a law case since it’s illegal to discriminate against a pregnant woman.
3. Market Yourself Like Crazy
When you are visibly pregnant, you’ll just have to market yourself like crazy and show them that you’ll be very valuable to them in the time leading up to your maternity leave. “I suggest you look specifically for jobs where the company is desperate and needed to hire the person yesterday,” O’Donnell says. “That sense of urgency can work to your advantage.”
If you don’t get hired right away, you may think it’s because of your protruding belly. Yes, it’s illegal for employers to discriminate against you, but without an offer, it’s hard to prove. However, if you can leverage your network and get people to vouch for your effectiveness and value as an employee, you should be able to get referred to a job where the employer will be happy to have you on board, even if you’ll be headed out on maternity leave.
4. Have A Plan Of Action
If it’s obvious that you’re expecting and you’re still nervous that it will hurt your chances at a job, Mary Ylisela, a health and parenting writer, suggests providing a clear-cut plan of action for balancing your pregnancy and career to your potential employer.
“If you’re seeking a job you’d like to begin after your baby is born, make that clear during the interview and have a plan for childcare that demonstrates you’re prepared to be reliable,” writes Ylisela in Brazen Careerist. If you show the employer that your baby plans will not interfere with your work, you will likely put a potential employer’s concerns at ease. “If you demonstrate your value to the company you’re interviewing with, you have a leg up on other applicants who don’t—without pregnancy even becoming a factor,” Ylisela says.
5. Pay Attention To The Benefits
While every job searcher should pay attention to benefits (because they count as part of your total compensation), pregnant candidates may see more immediate value in choosing an employer with desirable benefit offerings. Lindsey Pollak, a millennial workplace expert, recommends that pregnant job seekers pay specific attention to the benefits that potential employers are offering during their job search.
Pollak’s work on The Hartford’s My Tomorrow campaign found that pregnancy is the top reason women under 30 claim disability insurance—at 57% of claims for those under 30. Disability insurance that you get through work can help pregnant women take the necessary time off of work by providing an income and resources to help ease the transition back to work. “It’s also worth considering benefits as part of your negotiation with a new employer,” Pollak said. “Because they are part of your total compensation, you shouldn’t be afraid to discuss them in negotiations as you would your salary.”
Job searching while pregnant isn’t easy, but we hope these tips will help you successfully find a job if you’re expecting. If you need more help finding a job while pregnant, we’re here for you.
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This article was originally published at an earlier date.