Interviewing While Pregnant

First off, this community is great! I love seeing the support, encouragement, advice, and so much more on Elpha, and I am glad to have been recommended to join. I was very hesitant at first to write something about my current situation, but then reading through different topics and seeing the advice and encouragement really really pushed me to do so at this time of my life. So, I resigned from my previous role/job back in early November, but officially end of December (they were generous enough to pay me through the end of the year). At that time I actually just found out I was pregnant. I have been at my job for about 3.5 years and have been such a pillar at the company that is was sad for my founders to see me go, but I had to do what was best for me and my health. I felt like it was time to move forward as the environment started to get toxic and I was not happy anymore. The company lacked diversity or it is taking awhile to get there, no upward mobility especially for women, and started to become a male dominated work culture in our US office. Now, I started actively applying and have been getting a ton of interview opportunities, which is a plus! I am currently on a couple of final round interviews and I have not disclosed my pregnancy and how far long I am yet, and just waiting for an offer to do so. I have been feeling discouraged and up and down and that could be the hormones, but I refuse to worry. I am second guessing my timing on applying and that maybe I should wait until after the baby. However, I really want to work and find that right company to work for, if the opportunities are coming why let them pass. My concern now is letting them know once the offers come that I am expecting the end of May and that leaves me with 8-10 weeks of working until I have to be on leave. My partner is very supportive but doesn't want me to feel down if it does not go the right direction and wants me to wait until after the baby. I really do not know what to do. I am staying positive and praying that if I am the right candidate that the company will be okay and supportive. Should I stop with the interviews? or just keep going and see what happens. I have researched and read articles about women who have applied during pregnancy for encouragement (even at stages closer to due date) and it has been helpful, but I am really starting to feel lost now as the days start to pass and as I get closer and closer to my due date. I also feel like I will have also have a hard time trying to get back to job interviews post baby. Any advise or encouragement would be really helpful.
nicholeharrop's profile thumbnail
Hi and congrats on the pregnancy! I'm all about not having a pregnancy create a bias, but I think it would be tough as an employer to barely have you get through a training period, only to go out on maternity leave for 8 weeks +. You feel like you will have a hard time trying to get job interviews once your baby is born? Because you worry that they will think you aren't ready to come back to the workplace? IMO- I would much rather hire someone who has a tiny baby and knows she wants to work vs investing time and energy to train her and then have her go out on ML and decide she needs more time at home with her sweet new bundle of joy.Best of luck in your decision, this group is very helpful and can provide many points of view.
How is this not discriminatory? It is very disappointing to hear from a woman.
nicholeharrop's profile thumbnail
I shared my opinion. I didn't say to stop applying for positions if that's what she feels, but she asked and I gave an honest response. I'm not sure why my honest response is disappointing. If a company hires her and she is able to take the time off without feeling overwhelmed coming back after baby- then that's amazing and I wish her all the best. OP- I have been in the interview process at 18 weeks after getting laid off two days after finding out I was pregnant. I did not disclose until I was right around 20 weeks and had already gotten my offer. I agree with Meaghan who commented to not disclose until after you receive an offer.
I think saying “as an employer you’d rather” hire someone after leave and also presuming there is a risk a pregnant woman won’t come back from ML is what the anti pregnancy discrimination laws are intended to protect from. It may be an honest opinion but for an employer to act on that opinion amounts to unlawful discrimination (against women) so it is disappointing to hear from a woman (anyone really).
Um women need to have kids or the whole world ends. It’s only a few weeks. Whatever they’re working on will get done. They don’t have a right to be upset about this (literally it’s against the law to judge you on this, and for good reason... there is literally nothing more important to do in society than have kids ...not everyone has to have them but we need them to survive and we need some of us to have them). I don’t understand why women feel guilty about this. I mean, I do but it’s illogical. Or how anyone can judge them. Would your partner feel weird about interviewing with a kid on the way? I’ve seen men in very recent times point to this in their personal profile as an indicator of stability or maturity or whatever. Seriously let this go and go get the job you want. It’s so monumental in your life to have a kid and such a minor blip on a company’s trajectory. Even a start up’s. It’s really really minor.
BerlinSohn's profile thumbnail
Congrats! Definitely keep interviewing. If you get an offer and they don't want to accommodate you, they are likely not the best fit anyway. I like what a previous response says about a few weeks off being a "blip" on a company's radar. At the very least, you are really honing your interview skills and will be super prepared to interview again after baby. But don't count yourself out! Try not to make assumptions about what the company will do, and just focus on putting your best foot forward and knocking their socks off. From a logistical standpoint, you can also consider not starting until after the baby arrives. You can have an offer in hand in Mar/Apr with a start date of July/Aug. That would mitigate risk on the company's side from a training/paid leave perspective. Keep going, mama!
EvelynC's profile thumbnail
That’s exciting and congrats Shonel! Everyone on the thread had a decent point. I do think you need to disclose that you’re pregnant and that your due date is May-June but only during the final negotiation stage. Some companies might have a more generous short term leave policy for employees who have been there for at least a year. That’s just a policy, but I’m sure there is room for negotiation. You’ll do great! Just think that you’re negotiating for your baby and your partner, not just yourself. That usually makes me feel more powerful, you can do this!
megsandtorv's profile thumbnail
I JUST went through this (as in, negotiated my offer yesterday). I'm due at the beginning of June and decided ahead of time a stopping point after which I'd no longer feel good about submitting new applications knowing I'd be going out on leave then. Of course, the 2 companies that ultimately made me offers this week both responded to the applications I submitted in literally the last week before my self-imposed stopping point. I will say, the interviewing process was incredibly stressful, if only because I felt like I was being deceitful and hiding something. However, based on the advice of several very wise internet forums (Ask a Manager, the Forever35 Careers facebook group), I knew that I shouldn't disclose until after I had an offer, because there's far too much risk of being disqualified during the interview process if you do disclose. I got through the final rounds for both companies this week and they both made me very generous offers, at which point I had a conversation with the recruiter at the company I was leaning towards about the situation. I cannot tell you how many hours I spent not sleeping trying to figure out a way to make this conversation less painful... ultimately I wrote down a very comprehensive script emphasizing that I saw this job as a long-term commitment and that I wanted to make sure we could all move forward in a way that we were all comfortable with (if you want a copy of my script, PM me and I'll happily send it to you... it turned out to work very well). The recruiter was incredible and very understanding, and she had a conversation with my would-be team lead (who made me nervous bc he's a male so obviously hasn't been in this situation), and they were both FANTASTIC. They said they'd definitely work with me and even offered me the full 14-week maternity leave even though I'd only be there 2 months before my due date. All I can say is that this is incredibly stressful (so stressful I cried when the final offer finally came through), because even though society tells us we're special sacred vessels when we're pregnant, it sure is terrible at actually following through with treating us well in the ways that would actually be supportive. And even though there's literally no reason we should have to apologize for being pregnant (I mean... what?), there's enough terrible people and companies out there that says things like 'well I'd be furious if someone tricked me into hiring them while pregnant' that we have to be stressed. I guess all this is to say that you're not alone in going through this, and please message me if you want someone to chat with about this or more suggestions or the aforementioned script. I'm happy to share/support/whatever you need.
First off, massive congratulations! This is an incredible time for you and sounds like you have opportunity abound both professionally and personally with your little one on the way.As someone who has just had a baby (first time mother) I would recommend keep going with your interviews. The right company will want to hire you and any culture that is put off by mothers would not be the right fit in any case. Just from a personal standpoint, once the baby arrives you will be busy bonding and learning so much day to day. Added pressure of applications and interviews on top of that is in my opinion something you just don’t need in your headspace. Time is much more available on pre-baby, but you’ll be a master of focus & priorities after! Best of luck with the job hunt 👍
iynna's profile thumbnail
Congratulations @ShonelS I am so excited for you!I know you are soon to be a mom but I went ahead and tagged your post in the Elpha Moms community "All things Motherhood" for greater visibility! I am sure more people have been in this situation and can give you advice!
ShonelS's profile thumbnail
Many thanks for your congratulations! and I really appreciate your responses to my post. @iynna @simone102 @megsandtorv @EvelynC @BerlinSohn @lauri146 @nicholeharrop I do feel much better and glad that I took the courage to write one. It really puts me at ease. I do intend to continue interviewing and see what happens. Much love to you all!
iynna's profile thumbnail
I am so glad you did! We are rooting for you and your success as a mother and professional :-) Please please keep us posted!
I wanted to share my success story with anyone in a similar position. I just accepted a new job offer at 30 weeks pregnant and it was a non-issue. I will be starting my new job around 32/33 weeks pregnant and try to work until the baby is born, and I will be taking an 6+month leave (in Canada) I struggled with the decision to disclose my pregnancy early on as I highly value transparency. I decided I wouldn't because I didn't want to create any opportunities for bias during the interview cycle, and I wanted to see how the company reacted and treats pregnant and expecting people. When I got the verbal offer is when I disclosed the pregnancy and expected due date. The only thing that happened was we moved up the start date so I could get in for some onboarding before I go on leave, and there was light discussion around refresher training when I come back from leave. They immediately sent me information about their leaves. For additional context, I am an individual contributor and don't manage projects or teams. I left a company that offered top-up paid maternity leave and will be getting the same benefit at my new company.