Can You Get A Job When You're Pregnant?

get job pregnant

Maybe you've heard the news: Marissa Mayer, an executive who has been climbing the corporate ladder at Google was just named as Yahoo's new chief executive. What seems to be even bigger news: She is pregnant (it's a boy) and due Oct. 7. Reports indicate that she let Yahoo's board know about her pregnancy at the end of June; they first contacted her to discuss the position on June 16. It's great that this superstar from Google was able to land a big new job while expecting, but what about the rest of us? It's hard enough to try to find work; are you out of luck if you are pregnant?

Allison O'Kelly, founder and CEO of Mom Corps, a national flexible staffing firm dedicated to connecting progressive employers with professionals seeing flexible work, believes all women have an opportunity to job hunt successfully while pregnant, even if their positions are a very far walk from the corner office.

The key to success is communicating your skills and competencies first: Convince the hiring manager that you are the best fit. Once you've gotten over that hurdle (usually in the first interview), O'Kelly believes pregnant job seekers should disclose their situations. She explains, "When you're looking for a job, you're starting a relationship. You don't want to begin that relationship by not disclosing your pregnancy. Be honest and explain that you are prepared to take on the job and fully expect to return to work after maternity leave."

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How should you broach the subject? Once you know that you want the job and have made a good impression, O'Kelly suggests opening a conversation with the hiring manager; explain that you are pregnant, when you are due, and your plans for how it would impact your job. Make a clear case to convince the employer you are committed to maintaining the position after the baby is born.

It's not out of the question to explain that you, or your family, require your income. You may also note how important it is for you to maintain your career or job because you enjoy what you do. Since your plans for after the baby is born are a touchy subject, the employer will not want to ask about child-care arrangements, but you can bring it up if you already have plans in place. You may also describe how you've successfully managed a leave in the past.

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O'Kelly explains, if you are able to quickly and completely address the employer's concerns, you may quell any hesitations. "The less of a big deal you make it, the less overwhelming it will be for the hiring manager."

The bottom line: You don't need to be a superstar candidate to land the job while pregnant, but, as in every situation, pregnant or not -- you do need to be the right candidate.

Once you have the position, it's all up to you to set the tone. Be sure to keep communication lines open between your boss and colleagues. Co-workers will be wondering how much of your work they will have to pick up, so make it clear how you plan to make your leave as easy as possible on everyone.

"Tell your employer your goals and plans for when you return. If you'd like to go for a promotion, be sure no one is assuming that you won't want a more responsible job after the baby comes. Talk about your goals -- if you want to move to a promotion down the road, say so.

O'Kelly reminds us, "Your actions are more important than anything when you come back to work. You need to be on top of things if you aspire to a better job. Maybe you do need to step aside and try to arrange some reduced hours initially. Many employers will make flexible arrangements for valued employees; they'd rather keep you on board than have to hire and train a new employee." But, once you are back to work, if you don't want to be "mommy tracked," and have everyone assume you are more focused on family than work, be sure your actions demonstrate your commitment to work and show that you are ready for that next challenge.

Miriam Salpeter, owner of Keppie Careers is a sought-after job search and social networking coach and speaker who inspires job hunters and entrepreneurs. She is author of Social Networking for Career Success and 100 Conversations for Career Success.

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I got a new job when I when I was 7 months pregnant. I was able to conceal it. I thought about telling them ahead of time but I could not afford not to get this job as my current job was not required to give me maternity leave or short term disability because of it's size. So, I went in and got the job. When I had there offer letter in hand I went ahead and told them that I was pregnant. I was very surprised by my new supervisor's response. She said to me," Oh congratulations! You are so husband and I have been trying." Funny. They were unfazed. I also waited because if they wanted to take back the offer, I would of sued for discrimination.

October 18 2012 at 7:09 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

How about "How to Get a Job While Getting Old"!!?? It's a huge problem. Laid off after 8 years with one company almost 3 years ago...
... they must throw my resume in the trash once they realize my age -- .... I am Medicare eligible... so that's why I'm having a hard time. Hard to prove, though.

July 22 2012 at 11:00 PM Report abuse +2 rate up rate down Reply

The realistic way to get a job while pregnant is not to tell your prospective employer. Then, when you are hired, work hard at your job and don't ask for special treatment.

July 22 2012 at 9:44 PM Report abuse +2 rate up rate down Reply

Why get a job when your pregnant? Won't you have a baby to take care of? Which is more important?

July 22 2012 at 6:26 PM Report abuse -1 rate up rate down Reply

how to get a job while pregnant? tell the boss the baby is his, or his father got her pregnant, or this is his son's baby.

July 22 2012 at 3:33 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to rasayc's comment

Some people have to work. My child's father abandoned us when I was pregnant. I never took a cent of public assistance, and I put myself through law school thanls to strong family support.

July 22 2012 at 9:52 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply

This article is a load of CRAP. Employers in general are not looking to hire pregnant women. They think that even if you do come back after delivery, they will have to provide some sort of maternity leave and have to find someone to cover your position while you are away. If you waltz in to your interview visibly pregnant, guess what - most likely they are not going to pick you. Usually, if I can score an interview I can land the job, but years ago I suddenly found myself getting laid off at 6 months pregnant. Not surprisingly, out of the TWELVE interviews and countless applications I completed and resumes I dropped off, I could not get hired. Of course this sort of thing is illegal to discriminate against, but they will find something else to blame it on. At least I had unemployment to fall back on. Others are not so lucky. Here's my advice: if you are pregnant and are able to conceal it, do it. It is none of their business if you are pregnant, just as it is none of their business how many children you have or if you are married. If you cannot conceal it, DO NOT talk about the pregnancy during the interview; focus on your skills. If you are asked, briefly tell them that you will not let your pregnancy interfere with your performance, then change the subject.

July 22 2012 at 12:51 PM Report abuse +3 rate up rate down Reply

Oh, this is great. But how do the rest of the million of Americans get jobs? Obama, are you listening, or are you too busy with trying to get elected again?

July 22 2012 at 8:47 AM Report abuse -1 rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to depaul878's comment

This is an article about pregnant women trying to get a job, not the average American. I think you Google'd the wrong article.

July 22 2012 at 12:53 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply

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