By Kibet Tobias
Being pregnant can be hard. Job searching can be, too. Combining the two is uniquely challenging. A pregnant job hunter may wonder if she should share the news with interviewers—and when. Simple tasks like finding an appropriate interview outfit can require hours instead of minutes, and meeting times may need to be coordinated around pregnancy symptoms.
According to Joan a Career Coach at Jobs Kenya Network, being pregnant should not stand in the way of your job search.
It’s true that getting hired is hard enough. Getting hired while visibly pregnant is even harder. The harsh reality is employers are focused on the bottom line. Hiring someone who will need to take an extended period of time off within their first year on the job often goes against an employer’s vision for the role.
Employers are concerned about the ROI. So, what can you do if you are expecting and in need of a job?
Keep the employer’s perspective in mind. They’re likely to be concerned about two things. First, that your leave will be disruptive at work. Second, that you will not return to work after your maternity leave. You can offer reassurances about both these concerns.
But don’t let your pregnancy dominate the conversation! Be professional and keep the interview focused on your skills, experience, and how you’ll be an asset to the company.
Get clear on your specialty so you can sell it better. As a job seeker, you have to think of yourself as the aspirin to an employer’s pain. Your goal is to not only know your strengths, but more importantly, know how they will save or make the employer enough money to justify the cost of hiring you over the other candidates.
Don’t let pregnancy scare you away from seeking a new, better job. The right organisation will hire you, pregnant or not.
If you do not disclose your pregnancy during an interview, it’s a good idea to share the news after the company makes an offer. (Note: If you are early in your pregnancy, feel free to hold off.)
Tobias is a CV Writer/Communications Officer at Jobs Kenya Network. Do you have more questions? Contact him via firstname.lastname@example.org. or call 07 29 735 467