FIRED FOR BEING PREGNANT
During my 5th month of pregnancy I was fired from my job as a VP of sales for a start-up company. The laws in the U.S. did not protect me as an expectant mother because the company I worked for had less than 15 employees. Of course, I was traumatized with: 6.5/ 7 months under my belt, thousands of frequent flyer miles racked up, a sales territory spanning 8 states, and a baby coming soon. My sales pipeline was active, robust, and I was progressing thru the sales process; clasping approximately $30M in sales opportunities that I had built from the ground up.
THE PHONE CALL
It was an eerie afternoon phone call in which neither owner could justify their termination of my employment. They merely stated that things weren’t going to work out. In the back of my mind, I had recalled telling one of the owner’s that I was expecting two weeks prior to this phone call and his reply showed me it was not well received. He stated “You’re going to gain 30lbs; ‘what are you going to do; how are you going to do your job?” In shock, I replied I’m still going to do my job, be and look professional, and bring in the deals I’m working on. Once home I expressed my anxiety about the matter to my husband. He attempted to reassure me that there was no way they would/could let me go because I was pregnant, could they?
WHAT ARE WE GOING TO DO?
After the phone call took place, I sobbed and bemoaned the situation the entire weekend. When Monday arrived I spoke with several attorneys to find out that I had no rights to compensation of any kind. I know that it is not a conventional ideology for a woman to attempt to get a job while pregnant or even get hired while pregnant. However when circumstances occur that impact our financial well-being then you have to act.
LANDING A NEW JOB
Thus, I took action and with these actions I landed a job offer 6 weeks later. Considering that I was now 6.5 months pregnant I decided to not take the job and focus on my pregnancy. I would again implement the following tactics to land another job which I accepted 2 months post-partum.
Here are 10 simple steps to follow to land your next job while pregnant or after:
1.) Seek and link up with recruiters. This is one of the reasons I’m a fan of LinkedIn. You can connect and interact with recruiters directly about opportunities in your industry. At no monetary expense to you build connections and trust with recruiters. Other sites that you can find recruiters on are: career builder, indeed, simply hired, and the ladders.
2.)Let the recruiter(s) that you are working with know of your situation. They will be able to help you cater your message and give you pointers on how to approach being pregnant with HR, the Hiring Manager/Hiring team. They are your lifeline to HR/HR Hiring Manager at the organization you may end up interviewing with and working for etc.
3.) Keep your resume polished. Do the work to make sure that the resume you are presenting showcases you as the best of the best. If you are working with a recruiter they can also help you with this.
4.) Prepare, prepare, prepare. Listen to the recruiter, Human Resources Manager, and Hiring Manager about the job expectations. Ask questions and get answers. Do the same research for this job that you would do if you weren’t pregnant. Remember what you did to get your previous job.
5.)Be confident. Even if you are 5 weeks, 20+ weeks along, or 2 months postpartum be the authority the job will expect you to be (the Manager, Sales Rep, VP, Director, Analyst, Nurse etc). Pregnancy isn’t a disease or permanent. It is a beautiful life exploration that many of us take into motherhood.
6.) Know your strengths and let them shine. You are the industry expert. There is no better candidate for this job than you. Let every person you talk to see it and know it.
7.)Dress for the occasion/interview. Find a suit/business attire that doesn’t focus simply on the bump. If your belly is expanded a little or a lot don’t let that hamper you.
8.)Have a concrete plan. Have a plan in place for when the baby comes (whether it be a nanny, daycare, baby sitter, family help etc) so that if the question arises with certainty you can let the organization know that you have things taken care of.
9.)Breathe. Getting the job may take numerous interviews depending on the opportunity you are going after. Envision the end but stay prepared and focused each and every step of the way. Don’t forget to celebrate the milestones.
10.) Stay engaged. Particularly with the recruiter(s) you are working with and all persons you interviewed with. Continue to sell yourself and your capabilities until you have locked down/landed the job.
***These may not work for you given your industry but are steps I have followed to land numerous jobs.
Do you have any tips you want to share that you have used to get hired while pregnant or shortly after? We would love to hear from you. Subscribe and also find us on Facebook and twitter at growingupgupta.com