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Should I Look For a Job While Pregnant?

Ask Savvy: Looking For a Job While Pregnant

Dear Savvy,

I am a recent college graduate. I feel like I should be looking for a position in line with my degree, but I am also four months pregnant. Should I wait until after the birth of my child or start looking now?

See my answer and weigh in with your own opinion in the comments! Just


My first instinct is to tell you to wait until you've given birth, but my advice wouldn't be the same for everyone wondering whether or not it's appropriate to job search while pregnant. If you were already in the work force with experience to sell than I'd say go ahead and look for jobs. Because you're just coming out of school and would most likely be applying for entry-level jobs, I don't know how much luck you would have as those positions are easier to fill. Of course, legally you are not required to tell employers you are pregnant and they in turn are not allowed to inquire, but consider everything that could possibly work against you.

It can take a while to find the right job fit for you, meaning you could be six-months pregnant by the time you get an interview. Again, you don't have to mention your pregnancy, but do you want to start working somewhere and have to leave in just three months? Different states have different laws, but if you're in a state that gives paid leave you may not qualify if you've only been working there for a very short time.

I would recommend spending your waiting-for-baby free time by examining the job market and the positions that look attractive to you. Prepare several versions of your résumé, each specifically tailored to the jobs you have in mind. Also, practice your hand at writing cover letters so that you don't have to start from scratch once you've begun to really search for a job. Consider what type of work arrangement you'll want once your newborn has arrived — will you want to work from home a couple days a week, spend full time in the office, or work part time? You'll have far less time to consume yourself with these details once you have your baby, and using your time wisely now will set you up for a less stressful job hunt later.

It doesn't sound like you are rushing to get a job for financial reasons, just that you feel like you "should be looking," but if money is an issue then you should surely try and seek out something so you're not scraping by. Also, I consulted with babysugar and she had some great advice: "You could try to get a job at a place like Pottery Barn Kids or Babystyle so you could become familiar with baby gear, earn money, and a good discount. It would show future employers that being pregnant didn't slow you down."


Join The Conversation
nv27 nv27 9 years
I love lizs idea. An internship sounds perfect!
Beauty Beauty 9 years
I have a friend who got a job when she was three months pregnant. She didn't mention the pregnancy, and she was protected by the law. Buuuuut... her coworkers kinda hated her for coming in, getting trained, and then leaving — and never coming back. So if you're serious about the job, I would convey that to your interviewer. I umpteenth the temp work suggestion. Try to get it in your field. If you want to work in, say, an ad agency, try to get temp work there. Even if it's working the front desk, you'll get exposed to a lot of people who can help you in your career!
citizenkane citizenkane 9 years
Temp work is a great suggestion!! I had a friend that was in this situation once and she got a job at a day care until she had the baby. Not the best experience in the world for resume purposes, but she did get a steady paycheck and didn't have to worry about the pregnancy question.
skigurl skigurl 9 years
it's really no different than grads who travel before working you could even get a job and have it deferred until you have the baby companies will appreciate your honesty and will appreciate you not witholding the information only to take mat leave 3 months into your new job
skigurl skigurl 9 years
i would contact a number of potential employers, and meet with them to discuss their work. tell them you're a recent grad, exploring your options, and in about a year you'll be looking for a full time position, and would be happy to have the opportunity to prepare for a particular field of work in the meantime.
JaimeLeah526 JaimeLeah526 9 years
A temp job would be perfect if you could find one. I think the only reason to seek out a full time position would be if you need money before the baby is born. You could also get a job that is not within your degree but something unrelated and get done before you have the baby.
megnmac megnmac 9 years
If you are in a specialized field, where recruiting can be seasonal, you should probably be out there. Attorneys take the bar exam twice a year, and there is a definite surge of applications in the offices at those times of the year - and employers to some degree shape hiring around that. I think the more specialized your field, the more likely the employer will want your skills regardless of your upcoming maternity leave, they are looking to fill longer term needs and to fill a specific position. If you are the fit, they'll look at the hire as a worthwhile investment. I've known a few women attorneys in my area who were hired while pregnant, and while they didn't have the time invested in the job to get paid leave, they were still hired.
bellaressa bellaressa 9 years
All the ladies here have hit the nail on the head. Temp work is a great idea.
MindayH MindayH 9 years
Definitely agree with the temp work or contract. Especially since it is summer, maybe some sort of summer internship - that is designed to only be a few months. If you can't find anything, see if there are any career development/training classes at a local community college, it will help make you more marketable when you do plunge into the working world.
j2e1n9 j2e1n9 9 years
I agree with this advice. :prego:
lizs lizs 9 years
I fourth the suggestion for temp or contract work - maybe you can even get a good contract at a company that will welcome you back once the baby has arrived. While you're flexible, taking a low-paying (but high-in-networking value) internship or some freelance assignments to grow your contact list might not be a bad move either. All the "real" jobs I've had wouldn't let you take any leave except emergency sick days within your first 3-6 months, so you'd be in a difficult situation if you did get hired.
aimeeb aimeeb 9 years
Temp jobs sound like the way to go.
seems-suga seems-suga 9 years
I was pregnant my senior year and worked temporary jobs. I decided not to work again until after the baby was born and I graduated. My friend is due anytime now and earlier into her pregnancy she went to a one stop through the county and the job recruiter told her that nobody would hire her because she was pregnant. She was so discouraged at that point. Wish you the best of luck!
bengalspice bengalspice 9 years
I second the suggestion of temp work. And working at a store that is geared towards baby stuff. Can't beat a discount!
ehadams ehadams 9 years
I have a suggestion- temp work. It will give you some job experience (which you seriously need after college) and give you more flexibility. Plus you can find a temp job very quickly through local recruiters- whereas finding a full time job takes months and months. Then after you have the baby and feel like you are ready to go back to work, you can use the temp work on your resume!
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