Looking for a job can be a stressful process. When you’re pregnant and job searching, that stress can be even greater. The last thing you may want to think about when growing a human is finding new employment, but that’s sometimes how life goes. To make the process easier, it’s important to go into your job hunt with a few things in mind.
For one, you have rights as a pregnant person looking for employment, and it’s important to be aware of them. You’ll also want to prioritize insurance coverage while you’re in between job-based health coverage. Finding work might be easier through networking and discussing the right types of employment with your professional and personal peers. Be sure you’re paying attention to employee perks and benefits when looking for work that will benefit you and your child. Finally, finding a business that is family-friendly can make the process easier for you.
Know Your Rights
There are plenty of discrimination laws created in order to protect employees. The Pregnancy Discrimination Act is an amendment that prohibits discrimination against a woman because of pregnancy, childbirth, or a medical condition that is related to pregnancy or childbirth. However, that doesn’t stop some employers from making unfair hiring decisions based on a woman being pregnant. It’s important to know that you’re not obligated to disclose your pregnancy if you choose not to or if you’re able to.
In 2014, 40 percent of surveyed managers admitted to being wary of hiring women of childbearing age, or women who had children already. It’s clear that fear of disclosing a pregnancy or children is not an unfounded fear. Just know you’re not obligated to share this information.
It’s important to remain covered by insurance while you’re in between jobs. Out of the health concerns specific to women, some of them involve complications while pregnant, during birth, or after birth. For the sake of you and your baby’s health and your finances, it’s important to have insurance coverage even while you’re unemployed. If you lose your job-based coverage, look into buying a health insurance plan through the Marketplace or try signing up for COBRA coverage, which may be able to keep your job-based health plan for a period of time. When you fill out an application for the Marketplace, you’ll find out if you qualify for federal aid or savings options.
Utilize Your Networking Skills
Because finding a job traditionally can be harder when you’re pregnant due to some employers illegally discriminating against pregnant candidates, it might be more helpful to utilize your network to find work. Dive into your personal and professional contacts and ask them to keep their eyes open for you, for advice on your job search, or for family-friendly businesses they may know about that are hiring. If you have friends who are parents, they may know about job opportunities that are a better fit for you.
Your networking possibilities are not limited to people you know in your industry or in your peer group to help you find work. It’s also important to utilize your social media and marketing skills to make yourself a more attractive candidate to prospective employers. Spruce up your social profiles, remove any public pregnancy photos if you’re worried about it being a hindrance, and showcase who you are when your employer dives into your social media presence.
Look Into Benefits
It can be easy to feel like you should work for any company that would be willing to hire you when you’re pregnant, but make sure you’re looking into companies that deserve you, and that fit well with you. Not only should you find a company that has benefits like health insurance and PTO, but also one with additional perks that can benefit your lifestyle. Exercise can help you to feel happier, lose any extra baby weight, and minimize varicose veins as a result of pregnancy, so you might look for employers who pay for a gym membership if that’s important to you. Some employers offer on-site childcare, telework options, or have longer maternity leave. These benefits can be helpful during the next stage of your life at their company.
Find Family-Friendly Businesses
Some businesses are more family friendly than others, and therefore may be a better fit for a pregnant employee or a new mom. Just as your prospective employer will do research on you, do research on them and discover which family-friendly practices and benefits they have. Read reviews, search through their social profiles, and go through their website. Not only will this help you to gauge their feeling towards work-life balance and family life for their employees, it’ll also help you in a job interview to be so informed on their company. If you have more questions about how family-friendly they are, and you feel comfortable being open about your pregnancy, ask your interviewer. For a family-friendly employer, these questions might prove that you’re a right fit for their culture. Job hunting while pregnant can be a stressful and overwhelming experience. Unfortunately, there is a lot of discrimination involved for women looking for employment with a baby bump behind their briefcase. However, it’s important to note that there are many employers who are dedicated to providing a workplace that is free of discriminatory hiring practices. By understanding your rights, remaining covered by insurance, networking, finding benefits that work for you, and searching for family-friendly businesses you want to work for, you can find a job that you’ll love and a company that deserves you.
Photo by Charles PH
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