The Up’s & Mostly Downs Of Looking For A Job While Pregnant

Shortly before Mike and I found out we were pregnant, we JUST had a discussion about how excited I was to graduate, start a job, and living life! We were making travel plans and wanted to start checking off the list of places we want to visit. Those two pink lines changed everything.

Pregnant or not, I knew I wanted to get a job where I could utilize my Business degree. Now, I was on a time crunch since it would only be a matter of time before I start showing. I spent practically every day, all day, on the computer applying and searching for jobs. I wasn’t getting anything at first and it was pretty discouraging. What was also a big let down was the pay and requirements for some of the positions. It seemed like half the jobs I found I was under qualified and the other half paid minimum wage (and these required a degree – what!?!).

I was offered a job shortly after my search began and I thought it was going to be perfect for my situation; full time, working from home, and the pay was decent. I wouldn’t have to hire a nanny or put our kid in day care. A day before I was suppose to start they told me things were changing in the business and they no longer had a need for the position. Say what?! But, things happen for a reason and I didn’t know why just yet.

About a month in, I gained momentum and started getting interviews. Woo hoo! At this point I was about 3 months pregnant. It started getting hard for me to not say anything. I want to make sure I have a good reputation with my future employer, and felt if I start a job and then, surprise I’m pregnant – that didn’t sit well with me. I wanted people to know I was serious about getting a job and it wasn’t something that was just for now. I didn’t spend the last nine years working my butt off to put myself through school and get my degree for nothing. I don’t want to be a stay at home mom either, I was already at home every day going stir crazy. It gets pretty lonely too.

With each interview I was careful about when I disclosed my pregnancy. I never did it in the beginning because I wanted them to get to know me first and see how I would be a great asset for their team. Even with disclosing my pregnancy I was still offered jobs, however they didn’t make sense for me. When I say they didn’t make sense I mean, the pay was like nothing. When you factor in child care, I wouldn’t be taking anything home and at that point I might as well stay home. So, I respectfully declined.

I had phone interviews for a handful of jobs that wanted me to come in for an in-person interview too. After finding out more about the positions and what they were paying/looking for, it didn’t make any sense. One job was hiring for a part-time marketing assistant…they wanted you to do everything; sales, customer service, marketing, coding (CODING!). All for a little over minimum wage. Sigh….this was getting really discouraging.

I thought that with my work experience and college degree I would be able to get something fairly easy. I was definitely proved wrong.

Getting into month 4 and 5 of pregnancy I started to slow down on my job hunting process. Still applying but not making it something that I did every day. I started to become a little depressed about not finding a job. It was like I was on an extended summer break and I was ready to go back to school. I almost wished I was still in school, I had purpose, goals, and things to accomplish in school. Now, I’m just sitting on the couch watching tv and applying for jobs all day.

I should say that I wasn’t completely unemployed at this time (or currently). I have been working as a server at a restaurant three to four nights a week. I love the restaurant and the people I work with. It’s seriously the best serving job I’ve ever had, and my managers are awesome. That’s rare in the industry. I just never pictured my life post-graduation to be like this.

At this point I had been looking back on why things were going the way they were. I am actually really grateful I didn’t get anything at first because I was puking my brains out everyday. When I started feeling better I felt as if I wasn’t contributing to the household like I knew I could. My husband never put any pressure or made me stress out about getting a job. He’s really the best and has been so supportive throughout my job hunting journey. I put so much pressure on myself, but I came to the conclusion that if I’m not going to get a job anytime soon I need to have another purpose. I want to feel fulfilled. So I started waking up early with my husband to make his lunch and breakfast, start a cleaning schedule for the house (not that my house is a mess), and start getting things ready for baby girl.

After the first week of my new routine I felt so much better. I might as well make my husband’s life easier because at this point he’s the provider. I actually really enjoyed my new routine. It made me so happy to make my husband happy. I love doing things for him and he is so appreciative. I think it actually made him happier too because he wasn’t waking up super early alone but had me to talk and hang out with before he goes to work.

We’ve decided at this point that I wouldn’t apply for jobs anymore and I can revisit it once the baby comes. I’ll work the at the restaurant as long as I can, hopefully up to my due date. Plus, I would much rather take a job (while not being pregnant) and figure out if it’s a good fit instead of just sticking something out, hating it, and saying I’m coming back after maternity leave to only say I changed my mind.

I went on a job interview at 6 months pregnant. 6 months!! It was for a government job and I didn’t say a word about being pregnant. I don’t think they could tell either by the way I dressed myself, with a “looser” fitting blouse and a blazer. I didn’t get the position. However, the interview experience was great. I recently had two more interviews with the county and I said something about my pregnancy because it is just wayyy too obvious at this point. I didn’t get one of them, and the other I’m still waiting to hear back. At this stage in my pregnancy it makes me feel more nervous because I know it’s obvious I’m pregnant and it feels like I’m setting myself up for discrimination. In a couple weeks I have two more interviews with the county, we’ll see how they go. If anything, it’s good for me to go to these formal interviews for the experience. 

It’s been hard going through this and I know I can’t be the only one who has experienced the trials and tribulations of looking for a job while pregnant. It’s hard not to feel like people are going to discriminate against you. I’ve learned that I can’t take it personally and what’s meant to be will be. People are going to discriminate and I have to get over it. The right job will come along in time. It’s not just me I’m thinking about as well, it’s this little baby girl that I have to think about. Babies surely do change everything but I’m so excited for these changes.

My job hunting journey isn’t over, just on pause for now. In the mean time, writing about my pregnancy journey and sharing in this creative outlet is fun for me, even if no one reads this post. 

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