Job seeking while expecting a baby isn’t ideal, but sometimes you just can’t wait until after the baby’s born.
It’s not impossible to find a new job while pregnant if the situation is handled appropriately. Certain factors should be considered with you, the baby and the future employer in mind.
These dos and don’ts can help you land the job you desire and provide important information to aid in the job search:
DO consider all obligations
It’s possible to manage work, home, family and pregnancy; many women have done it before and will continue to do so. Consider your obligations when seeking work while pregnant.
DO get started as early as possible
Begin the job search as early as possible. It can be challenging to deal with job seeking duties and interviews if you’re suffering from fatigue or morning sickness, but you’ll have the sense of security that comes with having more time.
DO ensure coverage
Medical coverage is essential. If it’s possible to hang onto insurance coverage from your previous job for the interim, this can give you the chance to determine if the insurance coverage at a new job will be sufficient for your needs.
It’s wise to take a look at the new company’s maternity leave policy. Some companies have their own policies in addition to the Family Medical Leave Act. Many larger corporations have progressive benefits, including on-site day care with essential baby equipment.
DON’T feel pressured to disclose
By law, a woman doesn’t have to disclose to a potential employer that she’s pregnant. There have been plenty of instances where someone has been laid off or decided to change jobs only to discover she was pregnant during the job search process.
Although subtle discrimination continues to exist, employers and potential employers cannot outright refuse to hire or employ a woman based on pregnancy. During the interview and in the early months of pregnancy, there’s no need for disclosure unless you’re certain your pregnancy will impair your ability to do the job.
DON’T put off talking with a new employer
One month after hire, you should sit down and talk with your employer regarding your pregnancy. To maintain trust, the conversation should include a well thought-out plan for accomplishing work throughout the pregnancy, as well as a plan for return after maternity leave.
When the pregnancy is obvious
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.
Potential employers might be wary of an obviously pregnant applicant, but having a clear-cut plan of action for handling the pregnancy and career can and will likely put a potential employer’s concerns at ease.
Being pregnant doesn’t have to prevent you from seeking a new or better job. Similar to other special circumstances, when the situation is handled with everyone’s needs in mind, obtaining a job while pregnant can be a win-win situation for you and employer.
Ultimately, 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.
Mary Ylisela is a veteran author and small business owner who writes about business, health and wellness and parenting topics such as how to find the best double stroller. When not writing about business, she periodically contributes to women’s advocacy blogs.