Job Seeking And Pregnant
Being pregnant while looking for a new job is probably not the ideal condition for a job search. However, it does happen, and today's anti-discriminatory laws have helped many women to successfully complete job interviews and accept job offers in the middle of their pregnancies. Perhaps you are not happy in your current position, or you had already applied for a new job before you knew you were pregnant. It may be that the perfect opportunity has arisen to advance your career, just at a time when you were preparing to start your family. Don't be put off just because you are pregnant! In the United States it is illegal for an employer not to offer you a job only because you are pregnant (providing that you are the best candidate for the position, of course). In fact, an interviewer is not even allowed to ask you during an interview whether you are married, pregnant or planning to start a family soon. Any interview you do should be focused on your skills and qualifications for the job. So if you think you have what it takes, go for it!
To Tell Or Not To Tell...
Don't Tell - So you've applied for the job and been offered an interview. Even before you go, you have some important decisions to make. If you are in the early stages of your pregnancy, you have the option of not disclosing your pregnancy at all. There is no legal obligation on you to tell the interviewer that you are expecting. Many women decide only to reveal their pregnancy when they get to the stage of negotiating possible contract terms, or after they've received a job offer. Even after being offered a job, you are still not obliged to tell your employer right away or before accepting the position. Many women take this path because even though employers are forbidden to ask if you are pregnant, or discriminate against you if you are, unfortunately that doesn't mean that it never happens, even today. This is why some women who want the interview process to be about their professional skills and ability to do the job, and not about their private family situation, decide to say nothing about their pregnancy until much later on.
Tell - On the other hand, if you are already showing, you don't really have the option of not telling the interviewer about your pregnancy. You could go through the entire interview without mentioning it - after all the employer is forbidden by law to ask - but that would be a somewhat unrealistic approach which would leave the interviewer with a lot of doubts and unanswered questions. Even if you are not showing, you may decide to inform the interviewer of the pregnancy during the interview. Many women do this because they want to avoid possibly upsetting the employer later on when he or she finds out about the pregnancy - as this could create a difficult atmosphere at work. This might be especially true in a small business or company, where resources are limited, and an employer needs time to plan for your maternity leave. However, the law is the law, and if you think there is a chance an employer might not want you only because you are pregnant, you shouldn't feel obliged to tell him or her just because you are afraid of a little tension at work. Another reason why some women prefer to tell an employer up front about their pregnancy is that it gives them a chance to openly discuss maternity plans and benefits before they accept the new job.
A Word Of Caution
Deciding to tell or not to tell an interviewer about your pregnancy is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to job seeking while pregnant. You also need to bear in mind the maternity conditions at the new place of employment. Don't forget that while an employer is never allowed to refuse to hire a woman only because she's pregnant, in some states, employers are obliged to hold your job open for you after your maternity leave only IF you have already worked there for one year. Make sure you have the full picture - read our tips for the interview and seek legal advice if you think you need it.
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