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Pregnant and Unemployed: Tips to Land a Job While Pregnant

by Katlyn Joy | March 5, 2014 12:00 AM
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Life doesn't always fall into place as easily as we'd like. If you are looking for work and expecting a baby, you already know what I'm talking about. As fraught with hazards and pitfalls as job seeking while pregnant may be, it is not hopeless. Here are some tips and warnings for those who are having a year of big beginnings:

1. If you have the option, seek employment while early in your pregnancy.

The reasons are obvious; while discrimination is not legal, how could you prove it? If you walk in sporting a big baby bump, your chances of getting hired go down rapidly.

2. If you are showing, there's no point being cagey.

Admit the pregnancy and be proactive by showing you've thought this through completely and have plans to cover any employer's potential concerns. For instance, point out that you live only a few minutes from the office, or the hours coincide perfectly with your husband's schedule so childcare won't be an issue.

3. If you aren't showing, get the job on your merits and deal with the pregnancy issues later.

Your employer may not be happy when first finding out, but later, when all the worries are allayed because you've turned out to be a model employee, all will be forgiven.

4. Wait until you have the job to find out the particulars on maternity leave.

Once an offer is firm, you can ask about these issues. No reason to bring them up any earlier, however.

5. Be prepared to answer the tough questions.

Knowing how much time you'd like to take off, when you think you'll leave, what type of schedule you feel comfortable with after maternity leave is over, and such will make you look ready and thoughtful. You know what you are doing.

6. Gather glowing letters of recommendations from former employers and coworkers.

A good selling point is your dependability.

7. Find a job opening that matches you perfectly, and needs filled ASAP.

Emphasize your ability to step in and hit the ground running. This shows you are ready to jump into your duties without hand-holding and once baby is born, and your leave is over, you'll have no trouble getting back to the grind.

8. Consider job hunting for positions that will start once baby is born.

Should this work out for you, make sure you emphasize how you have child care options wrapped up, as well as back up options for the inevitable of life; like sickness. For instance, should illness interfere with childcare, my mother lives 15 minutes from our home and would fill in for the nanny.

9. Do your homework with the human resources people after you're hired.

The Family Leave and Medical Act doesn't protect workers unless they've been on the job for at least year, in most circumstances. However, it may be possible to get leave through other policies. Show your willingness to be flexible and work together on a solution that fits both your and the company's needs.

10. If typical work is hard to find, consider other options.

There are many stay at home options that might fill the bill, at least temporarily if finances are of crucial concern. Working for reputable companies that hire phone workers is one such possibility but there are many others. Do a simple online search to find out about legitimate companies, and double check the records with the Better Business Bureau. Data processing, transcription, appointment setting, or home daycare are some other options.

11. If money is beyond tight, check into programs that offer assistance.

State and local agencies, both private and public, can often extend some help to families in such situations. The help may come in temporary assistance, medical benefits, job training, and subsidized childcare. Some agencies offer one time payments to assist with heating, rent or other needs.

12. Consider other job options, such as job sharing.

Perhaps you can work to cover someone else's maternity leave until she returns, and then she can cover you during your maternity leave. After your baby arrives, you can split schedules. It may not be ideal but neither is extended unemployment. Plus, once you've shown the company all you have to offer, you may be extended a full time job offer.


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