Tips for Getting a Job While Pregnant
Is it truly difficult to get a job while pregnant?
Gone are the days when women are tasked with being full-time housewives and mothers to the children. In those times -albeit not very long ago- it was nearly unheard of for pregnant women to hold jobs. Although the world has evolved, being a pregnant woman while searching for jobs is challenging.
Are you looking for tips for getting a job with a baby bump? It’s time you learned the best tips for getting a job even while you are heavily pregnant in this guide.
Challenges of Looking for A New Job While Pregnant
Understanding the challenges of pregnant women in the corporate world is vital to getting a job. Identifying these challenges will help pregnant women know what to look out for while job hunting.
- Anxiety towards change. Whether you are hoping to change jobs or you are looking for a job for the first time, you are making a significant change. Making a change of this magnitude comes with a level of anxiety. For a pregnant woman, there are understandable grounds for anxiety. Some of the concerns range from how the new environment would suit the present condition. Likewise, there is also the anxiety that comes with how well you can handle working while pregnant.
- Not only does discrimination exist in social gatherings, but they also exist in corporate settings as well. While some employers have good intentions, others see pregnant women as potential weak links in their organization. Dealing with discrimination is tricky because no one openly criticizes pregnant women. Therefore, it takes careful planning to overcome this challenge and have the opportunity to get a job while pregnant.
What You Should Know About Getting a Job While Pregnant
Getting a job while pregnant is possible, even when you are very far along. However, there are some factors to consider and other important things to know about this process. Knowing them will put you in the best position to get a job while pregnant.
You have a right to work even when you’re pregnant
You may have heard some people talk about how pregnant women hardly get jobs. Although this is not entirely false, it is not the same as saying that pregnant women never get jobs. Firstly, you have the right to work as much as anyone else. Therefore, no employer can discriminate against you for being pregnant. It is a criminal offense for an employer to refuse a candidate’s employment because they are pregnant in most regions. Also, pregnant women get jobs even when they are heavy. The bottom line is that no employer in their right mind would show you the exit for being pregnant. Thus, if you were ever discouraged by naysayers, now you know your rights.
You also maintain the right to disclose or not to disclose your pregnancy status
Even though your pregnancy is visible to everyone, it remains a private affair. According to the law, you have the right to disclose the condition or not. This also applies to getting a job while pregnant. Your prospective employer has no right to know the conditions the situation regarding your pregnancy. No interviewer has the right to ask you if you are indeed pregnant or not. If you wish to disclose the information, it is completely up to you. Thus, if you are not comfortable with sharing the information regarding your pregnancy situation, you shouldn’t. If an employer refuses to employ you based on your refusal to disclose the information, they can be sued.
Not all employers are family-friendly
Employers and top organizations love to make the public believe they have their best interests at heart. This is not entirely true. Especially when it comes to employing pregnant women, not all employers are family-friendly. Thus, you must recognize this fact and read the signs before joining your next organization. The implication of working for employers who are not family-friendly is that they don’t make provision for people in your condition. These are the employers who do not make special consideration for nursing mothers, moms with toddlers, or pregnant women. It pays to do your homework on the places you are hoping to find work before joining them. Find out how their company policies cater to the special need of people with disabilities and pregnant women. See if these companies have a maternity leave package. Find out if they make necessary adjustments when a pregnant worker is very far along.
Discrimination against pregnancy exists at the workplace
The world has evolved especially in the 21st century with employers becoming more open to diversity. Furthermore, women’s rights have seen a dramatic uplift in recent times. Yet, through all the positive developments and changes in the world, you must realize that discrimination at work still exists. It pays to realize this unfortunate fact as it helps to prepare for whatever lies ahead.
What You Must Do to Get a Job While Pregnant
Begin your job hunt in the early stages
The different stages of pregnancy come with unique challenges. From awkward food cravings to mood swings, changes occur throughout the pregnancy stages. Yet, one undeniable fact is that pregnancy is easier to cope with in the early stages. This is why you ought to start looking for a job early on in your pregnancy.
Job hunting, while you are only a few weeks into your pregnancy, makes the process much easier for everyone involved. The physical and mental strain at this point would still be manageable. Also, you would have no pressure to disclose your pregnancy situation at this point.
If you had been planning to look for a new job before getting pregnant, start making moves immediately you are. Look for job opportunities that will cater to your needs in the coming weeks or months. At this stage, you would be able to make decisions that are not triggered by emotions.
You would find out that employers are more receptive toward you than others who are heavily pregnant. Taking advantage of this relatively easy period will help you reach out for more job opportunities than later on.
Make a comprehensive plan for the entire process
Getting a job while you are pregnant is challenging which is why you need a plan. Your planning involves how you would handle the entire job search process and take care of yourself. As a pregnant woman, you should figure out ways to apply for jobs, and attend interviews, while you and your baby stay healthy. You will need this plan even for when you eventually get the job.
The first step to making a working plan is to understand your body. Know when certain cravings come and how your body responds to them. Also, whatever allergies you might have should be properly checked. Skin reactions and physical incapacities should be monitored. Although these deficiencies might seem like weaknesses, you can turn them into strengths through proper planning.
Your planning should help you manage your physical and mental condition. For example, if you are prone to morning sickness, prepare before the next day to make going to work easier for you. Also, if you have skin reactions, you should look at adjusting your wardrobe and makeup to perhaps mask the reactions.
The weather might affect you differently throughout diverse stages of your pregnancy- make adjustments as well. This plan should help you prepare for your maternity leave in the most seamless way possible. Likewise, your plan should cater to your smooth transitioning to work after delivery.
Ensure that the working conditions, schedule, and benefits favor your condition
When you are looking for a job, you naturally try to fit into the job’s demands. However, being a pregnant woman means that you must look for jobs that favor your condition. A pregnant woman’s needs are different from the average job seeker’s. There will be scheduled doctor appointments, special diets, and many other unique conditions to be met. For this reason, you should ensure that your necessary plans will not hinder you from getting the job.
Go through the job description for the role thoroughly and look out for aspects that fit your condition. Note that you will not always be pregnant, so you should also have an eye on the future. Next, find out what their working hours, conditions, and benefits entail. While you do this, figure out ways by which you will cope with the job throughout your pregnancy.
Prove that you are in a good physical condition
After applying for a job while pregnant, you might need to prove a few points to the prospective employer. Most employers have the fear that pregnant women may not be able to function at their best if hired. For this reason, you ought to prove at the interview that you are in good physical condition.
Although you do not need to disclose your pregnancy, if you are heavily pregnant, you should bring it up first. After all, everyone knows it whether you admit it or not. Next, let the interviewer know that you are taking care of the situation properly. You may not need to go into detail but if you complete a certain number of steps daily or have an exercise routine, you may mention it.
Calming the fears of a potential employer is important as no one likes to hire a liability. Employers appreciate the honesty.
Prove that you have a plan to manage the situation
Although it may seem unnecessary, give the interviewer reassurance that you are capable to handle the job. To do so, you may need to share some of your plans to manage the situation.
Anticipate the concerns that the potential employer would have and address them. Explain how different stages of your pregnancy will be managed and how your performance will not be affected.
Besides being physically sound, your mental health during pregnancy is a concern to potential employers. Mood swings are common in pregnant women but being able to manage them is key to landing a job. Thus, it is necessary to show the potential employer that you have your emotions in check.
If you have been pregnant before, you could use that as an example. Let the interviewer know that you are experienced enough to keep your emotions out of the way of your job. The way you comport yourself during the interview will be a sign that you can handle yourself during pregnancy.
Shift the focus back to the job and your skills
While you are pregnant and looking for a job, try not to make everything about your pregnancy. This is why you should shift the focus back to the job you are applying for. When you sense that the conversation is becoming more about your pregnancy, shift the focus back to your skills.
During the interview, try to explain your current situation as briefly as possible if you are heavily pregnant. The next thing you talk about should be your expertise and what you can offer the organization. Take them through your highs and achievements so much that no one remembers to mention your pregnancy.
Focusing on what matters most – your job – shows how professional you are. It also fills the interviewer with confidence that you are there for the right reasons and will not let the pregnancy stop you.
Although reassuring the interview that your pregnancy is not a barrier, try not to mention it unless necessary.
Ensure that your purpose meets expectations. Whatever your reason for looking for a new job is, the one you are vying for must provide answers. For instance, if you intend to change from a relatively stressful job in a fast-paced environment, the new one shouldn’t. Especially during pregnancy, such working environments would not be healthy. Some women have had a miscarriage due to similar working conditions.
As you search for a job, look for more information about the company’s culture and how they support women. If you can find women who have worked there, learning from their experience would help. Also, don’t forget that you reserve the right to keep mum about your pregnancy if you want.