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Searching for a new job while pregnant might feel daunting. But it shouldn't stop you from doing it.
With the country's tight labor market and the commitment of employers to find talented professionals from diverse backgrounds, including caregivers, it's a good time to make a move, according to The Mom Project, which matches skilled moms with careers.
In fact, 83 percent of women say they would be willing to leave a job for a role that better supports their desired workplace critera, according to a report by The Mom Project.
Here, 4 tips to help with your search:
Tips for switching jobs or careers while pregnant
1. Hone in on family-friendly employers and managers
Create a list of “musts” (exciting work, great colleagues/company, health insurance, flexibility) to evaluate new opportunities so you can focus your search.
Improve your odds of success by seeking out companies and advocates that have a track record of supporting families.
How can you tell? A good place to start is by checking out a company’s benefits — does the company offer paid family leave, flex work arrangements and child care subsidies? If yes, chances are the company puts its money where its mouth is when it comes to supporting women and families.
Do the benefits check out? It’s also important to understand how an organization treats its companies who are juggling work and family. Do your research.
No personal connections to share the scoop? To get an insider’s view check out online references like Glassdoor or Fairygodboss. A career move is a major decision so do your due diligence.
2. Go to the interview with a plan
Envision yourself two years from now and what will ultimately make you happy both at home and at work. Map out what you stand to gain by going boldly into a job search or new challenge while pregnant. By focusing on the positives (instead of what you stand to lose) you can work from a place that propels you forward and keeps you striving for a new future for you (and your child).
Determine a strategy around if/when you’ll share you’re pregnancy with prospective employers. This is deeply personal in nature.
If you choose to share that you are expecting, do it matter of factly and then steer the conversation back to discussing your expertise, experience and strengths, and how they align to the job at hand.
It’s important to remind them that any potential inconvenience brought about by your maternity leave will only be minuscule compared to the benefits you will bring to the company in the long term.
What do you bring a company that no one else can? Get sharp on articulating your value. You are your own best advocate.
3. Get creative
Pregnancy and maternity leave are often important career inflection points for women. Perhaps this could be the right time to finally launch the business you’ve always been dreaming about or branch out on your own as a freelancer.
Don’t limit yourself— you’ll be amazed by what you’re capable of.
When you’ve finally found a match with a company where you have much to gain, the next step is to negotiate.
While compensation is important, think through what else you really need. You want to start this job feeling your best and with your work-life integration needs front and center.
Some areas to consider negotiation:
- A parental leave or start date, depending on the timing of your baby's arrival.
- Flex hours in the return to work period
- Access to health benefits
Don’t settle for anything because you feel like they’re doing you a favor by hiring you while pregnant. You are a whip-smart pro who is going to get the job done for them. So negotiate like it.
The negotiation should be a collaborative, productive conversation. A company is showing you their absolute best during interview and offer stage. If they are really going to be a great partner in your career, they’ll show it here and you’ll come to an agreement everyone feels happy with.