Gestating and job searching
I'd been looking for jobs for a few months. I'd even turned down a couple offers because I thought it would be best to start a new job after having Baby Spice. My former co-workers and bosses were fantastic at connecting me with opportunities in the city. I also worked with two great recruiters who understood my career goals, salary, and benefit requirements. Thank you all for the help!
While job searching is stressful by itself, being pregnant adds another set of weights. You don't feel like your best self, and you're unsure when and how to tell a potential employer that you are pregnant:
a. During the interview process or,
b. After receiving a written offer letter
I wanted to work at a company that was willing to invest in me, as much as I would invest in them before and after my maternity leave. So, I told every potential employer about my pregnancy and needs after I received a verbal offer over the phone but before I received a written offer. I wanted my interviews to focus solely on my skills, and what I would bring to the table.
I was transparent not only with HR but the hiring managers as well because I wanted to gauge their attitude towards my temporary absence from the team. I've made the mistake of accepting offers too quickly in the past without thoroughly evaluating the pay, benefits, and culture in detail. As I navigate the workforce, I'm learning to take the time to have a conversation about one's needs as an employee as well. The written offer stage is the define the relationship talk in my opinion.
During the first week of December, I received 3 formal offers. I've always just jumped at what sounded good on paper. I chose to have in depth conversations this time around to see which company would be the best fit culturally as well. I told each company my "situation", and accepted an offer from the company that scored the highest in my top three criteria:
#1 Paid maternity leave: Since paid time off is not a guarantee in the US, I chose to use this requirement as a way to assess how valuable the company viewed me as a candidate. If you're willing to pay me while I focus on my family, it increases my motivation to come back to work as a fully dedicated working mum.
# 2 Hiring manager's attitude about my skills and pregnancy. Some people view pregnancy as a burden. I didn't want to work somewhere where a manager didn't have an empathetic and holistic view of employees. Sure, we're human capital to the company but we are also multi-dimensional individuals with relationships, hobbies, and commitments outside of the office.
# 3 Pay and benefits: Kids and healthcare. I don't need to say more.
Not only did I wind up in a better financial situation, but it's a much better environment for me. My team has a good sense of humor and camaraderie that makes going to work fun. There's so much to learn, and I love working in downtown Indianapolis again.