How to Look for a Job While Pregnant

by Lisa McQuerrey

Job hunting while you’re pregnant is a challenging, but not impossible task. While you’re not legally required to disclose your pregnancy during the interview process, if your condition is obvious, questions about your ability to perform certain required job-related tasks may come up during the interview.

Look for Appropriate Jobs

Be realistic in your job search. Don’t look for positions that require heavy lifting, exposure to chemicals, flying or frequent long business trips. While a company with more than 15 employees can’t legally discriminate against you because of your pregnancy, a hiring manager can ask whether you’re physically capable of performing the major functions of the job, so be prepared to address this line of questioning.

Focus on Your Skills

Just as in any job search, create a detailed resume that highlights your skills and experience. Learn about a company before an interview and be prepared to answer common questions related to your long-term career plans. Provide references from former employers who will testify to your reliability, strong work ethic and superior performance levels.

Pregnancy Disclosure

If it’s not physically obvious that you’re pregnant, the choice of whether to disclose your condition is yours to make. If you’re extended a job offer and accept it, then announce your pregnancy, a company with more than 15 employees cannot rescind it; however, there may be feelings that you intentionally misled hiring managers, and the relationship could get off to a bad start. A better option may be to disclosure your pregnancy at a point in the interview process where it’s obvious there’s serious interest in you.

Offer Reassurances

When the issue of your pregnancy arises, offer the employer reassurances about your commitment to your work. A hiring manager will be naturally concerned about how much time will be taken off work for medical appointments and how long you’ll be out for maternity leave. There may also be worries about whether you’ll return post-pregnancy on a full-time basis. Address these issues to the best of your ability to convince the employer that you have long-term aspirations with the company and will make every effort to not let your pregnancy affect your overall performance.

Consider Temp Work

Consider the benefits of taking a temporary job during your pregnancy. This gives you flexibility, and you won’t have to worry about leaving a new employer in the lurch as your due date approaches. You might even be able to transition a temp job into a full-time role when you’re back in the workforce post-pregnancy.

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