Negotiating a New Job While Pregnant

  1. I'm actively looking for a new job as opportunities arise. I've applied recently for two positions and have an interview set with one and am waiting on the other (assuming I'll get an interview for that too).

    I'm starting to struggle with how to approach my pregnancy. I'm currently 6 months pregnant with twins and it will be obvious I am pregnant when I interview.

    My pregnancy so far has been going along pretty healthy, however the risk of bedrest is always there especially with a multiple gestation. So, I have a few issues during the job process that I'm not sure how to bring up.

    1. The possibility of having to go out on disabililty in a month.

    2. My maternity leave which I was planning on taking 12 weeks (if I take a position within our parent organization, this would be considered a transfer and wouldn't affect my eligibility for either #1 or #2.

    3. My work schedule. Both jobs are a "full time" position, which is great. However, the daycare I was able to get the twins in can only take them Tuesday, Thursdays and Fridays. My mom was going to care for them on Wednesdays and at my current job, I had it worked out where I would have off on Mondays (a .8 FTE) and care for them then.

    I guess I have the option of negotiating hours once I actually return to work and could possibly work 4 10 hour days and still be a 1.0FTE.

    But I'm worried. How do I bring this up during the interview, or should I? And how realistic is it that I be passed up for another candidate who is NOT pregnant?
    Last edit by Q. on Mar 7, '05
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    About Q.

    Joined: Mar '01; Posts: 7,470; Likes: 56
    Patient Education
    Specialty: 7 year(s) of experience in LDRP; Education


  3. by   llg
    Hi, Q, it's me. It sounds like you've got some tough choices to make. Is it really necessary to change jobs before the babies are born? Has your current situation really become that bad? ... or are these new opportunities simply part of your on-going search for a great job?

    I ask that because it might be better for you to stay in your current job until after the birth. If an employer has multiple candidates who are well-qualified, they will probably choose the one who is available right away -- and who comes with the least "complications" and "demands." Of course, you might get lucky and be, by far, the best qualified candidate. They may be so "wowed" by you that they will wait for you and/or modify their position for you. Only you can assess the local job market and your degree of expertise for the position. We recently hired a CNS/staff development instructor on a part-time basis who is pregnant. We are in a market in which qualified people are very hard to find.

    There is nothing wrong with "wanting it all." But few people "get it all at one time." Most people have periods of their lives where one thing take precedence, then another, then another. You may have to make a little career sacrifice at the moment because of your family. That's normal.

    I really do hope it all works out for you ... that you have healthy babies ... and find the perfect job all at the same time. But be prepared for the possibility that you will only get one dream fulfilled at the moment -- and the other may have to wait a little.

    Good luck,
  4. by   Q.
    Quote from llg
    Hi, Q, it's me. It sounds like you've got some tough choices to make. Is it really necessary to change jobs before the babies are born? Has your current situation really become that bad? ... or are these new opportunities simply part of your on-going search for a great job?
    My situation at my current job isn't that bad but it's very ambiguious right now. I'm honestly not sure what I will come back to when I return from maternity leave. But, these two positions are ones that just "came up" and are opportunities that I feel I can't pass up ~ at least in the sense of interviewing for them.

    One of them would be a leadership position in our sister organization, so it would be a "promotion," (and considered an internal transfer) the location is closer to home and it would be managing women's wellness education initiatives across the continuum of care. That was one I couldn't pass up.

    But no, ideally I'd like to not really interview until after the twins are born, but sometimes these jobs come up and I don't feel right in letting them pass by without throwing my hat in the ring.

    But you're right ~ at some point one of these things (the twins or my career) will have to give.
  5. by   llg
    I can understand your interest in the women's wellness education position. That sounds right up your alley. And being with an affiliated hospital makes it more likely that your pregnancy will be less of a problem. I say, "go for it and do your best" ... but be prepared for the possibility that it might not work out.

    Good luck,
  6. by   URO-RN
    Helpful article(s). ( I hope) Re: interviewing while pregnant.
    Last edit by Jo Anne on Mar 8, '05
  7. by   ProfRN4
    good article.

    q, you're obviously showing, right? are you showing for 2? i had a similar sitation when i was pregnant. i interviewed, they knew, because they asked me when i could start, and the next orientation was 3 days after my due date. so i guess i mentioned it (if they hadn't figured it out). but can they say, 'oh, it looks like you are pregnant (what if you're just overweight?? :smackingf ). i ended up cutting my maternity leave short, and taking on a full time job, that was too much for me, and ended up leaving.

    i would think, like any other situation (like if you live very far, or don't own a car), the question posed may be "is there any thing that may prevent you from doing your job to the fullest (or fulfilling your commitment)?" i don't think they would flat out ask if you'd have any schedule conflicts. who knows, they might ask what days/hours you prefer (depending on the flexbility of the position). i recently interviewed for a position that would have required me to follow one preceptors exact schedule, without exception. the nm knew i was in school, and could not guarantee me off on those days. so that was the end of the interview (didn't even get into the childcare thing).

    in my most recent interview, a lot of my 'personal' life came up, kind of in conversation. i casually mentioned having a child, so they asked a little later about that (but in a very casual tone). let's face it, they want someone who's going to be able to work, but have to beat around the bush a bit.
  8. by   UM Review RN
    Quote from Q.
    And how realistic is it that I be passed up for another candidate who is NOT pregnant
    Unfortunately, most workplaces regard pregnancy as an illness and as a condition which can limit one's ability to work.

    I have nothing but admiration for your ambition, Q. There's no way I'd be thinking of an outside job while pregnant with twins. I didn't have to go back to work after my child was born. I was a SAHM for a couple of years and completely enjoyed the experience, so I'm afraid that I can't add more than that.

    Best wishes to you all!
    Last edit by UM Review RN on Mar 9, '05 : Reason: added the "e" on "workplaces"
  9. by   Q.
    Great article - thanks.

    I normally wouldn't be thinking of an outside job at this point in time, but the birth of the twins and my completion of my MSN are nearly at the exact same time (twins are due in June, anticipated graduation August). So, while preparing for the twins are on my mind, in the same sense so is my career, so I can provide for them, etc and get settled into a post-graduate position while they are young.

    I know, people think I'm nuts with too much stuff on my plate.
  10. by   UM Review RN
    Quote from Q.
    I know, people think I'm nuts with too much stuff on my plate.
    At least it's good stuff!
  11. by   llg
    Quote from Angie O'Plasty, RN
    At least it's good stuff!

    Exactly. It IS good stuff ... and that's what you need to remember. This isn't a crisis, or a disaster, etc. it's all good stuff.

    But even if an employer does not consider pregnancy to be a pathological condition, he/she may not want to hire someone who is going to immediately want to take 3 months off and then want to reduce the number of days per week she will be available to work. You're going to have to convince them that you can meet their needs: that's true of anyone applying for a job. Present your case in terms of how you can meet their needs -- not in terms of what you want -- and you'll have the best chance.

  12. by   ProfRN4
    wow, you are quite ambitious!! i too, am the type who always has a lot on my plate. when i'm not in school (in between semesters) i feel so useless and non-productive. don't get me wrong, i am a mommy first. but i guess since i was a nurse first (and had to be full time while being a new mommy), i'm used to multitasking, and feel weird when i am not. i honestly don't know what stay at home mommies do all day, lol. in the interview i just had, they were asking me about my job(s), school (ie how many days per week, etc). i guess it did seem like a lot. so i'd be a hypocrite if i told you to wait for the interview, because i look at every opportunity as the opportnity if a lifetime, and wouldn't dream of passing it up :chuckle .
  13. by   Q.
    Well, I got a callback from HR regarding the Women's manager position. The recruiter asked me a few questions and then said he would forward my resume on to the hiring person, who apparently would be the VP of Patient Care Services. So, no definite interview yet but still some promising news.

    My husband and I were talking about my interviewing while pregnant, and he thought it might be a good approach to just bring up the pregnancy head on and try to quell any fears that I won't return to work once the babies are born by explaining how my MSN will be completed and I'm dedicated to working and developing my career, etc. Since I'm obviously showing, I KNOW it will be on everyone's mind during the interview though it's illegal to even ask about it. Perhaps just laying it on the table would be a good approach.

    Bonemarrow, I totally relate! Alot of my friends are stay-at-home moms and are convinced that I would want to quit my job once they are born. No way. While everyone complains about work, I do enjoy being a nurse and have invested way too much time, money and effort in my career to just step out. Plus, working is something I need for my own personal well-being. I think it would even make me a better mom to the twins.