Gone are the days of hiding your baby bump from your potential employer while wearing a shirt fit for a whale to a job interview.
With over one million new millennial women (those born from 1981 to 1997) becoming moms each year, and the fast rate with which they move on from jobs, employees are starting to realize that a baby bump on an interview isn’t such an odd sight.
The question is all over the web — to tell or not to tell. That depends, says the work advice site Monster. They break it down into a trimester-by-trimester look at the job search process as your baby bump continues to grow.
Here’s what they advise:
In the first trimester, there is “plenty of time to find a role, delve into it and make significant contributions before taking your maternity leave. Don’t be afraid to search for jobs at this stage, and it’s completely fair not to disclose your pregnancy.”
In the second trimester, it gets more complicated. “You may be showing a bit and your working months are slowly coming to a close. When it comes to disclosing your pregnancy at this point, the main consideration will be how you want to be perceived by your future employer. As mentioned earlier, you are completely within your rights to not disclose it, but how will you feel if you have to begin your relationship by telling your employer that you’ll be leaving within three to five months?”
For the third trimester, it’s “the toughest part of your pregnancy in which to look for a role. Health-wise you will likely be drained, and employment-wise you’ll be a tough sell with your fully baked belly. Sit back, relax and enjoy the rest of your pregnancy.”
But what if you desperately need the money, are a single mom, or your household needs two incomes to operate at a level that is comfortable for you?
Workplace expert Dan Schawbel tells Personal Space that while legally, you do not have to disclose you’re pregnant (even if you are about to burst), you really should be honest for a variety of reasons. One, being they can see your stomach and you really don’t want to start off hiding information.
“The reason why employers don’t want to hire pregnant women is they know they’re going to request time off, and they want employees who are fully productive off the bat,” Schawbel says, “It already takes six months to get up to speed at a new job, it’s going to take someone with maternity leave much longer to catch up.”
He says that the smaller the company the less likely they are to hire a pregnant woman, but the larger the company, the more likely you’re in a situation where there are other people who can fit the role. Either way, bad timing.
Schawbel says what is worth considering is how crucial the role is, and how well you can perform it.
“What’s critical is this role, what’s the demand, how many people are qualified [and] if you’re the only one qualified, you may get it,” he says.
As for what the employer is really thinking when you walk in with a big bump?
One, bad timing, two this is a mom who needs additional income, and is either a single-income home or this family needs a two incomes.
“They know there is economic pressure there,” Schawbel says. “But if you’re the best fit for that role and it’s hard for them to find someone else in that time span, they’ll wait for you [and] that has a bigger benefit.”
You want to always be honest, he adds, “at a minimum, you want them to know you’re valuable and they’ll remember you for being a good candidate and will remember you. Always promote the fact you’re valuable and can get up to speed quickly.”
With so many millennial moms, Schawbel says both potential employers and employees are seeing this situation more and more.
“If you lie and get the job they will hold it against you in the future they have their ways, whether it’s a promotion or a bonus or a raise,” he says.
Never say you’re “not qualified currently,” and leave them with “I’m the best candidate,” no matter what size your bump.
By law, a company can't deny you employment because you're pregnant, and you're not legally required to let potential employers know that you're expecting, but still, there are countless articles and blogs about how to hide your bump on an interview and when if to reveal your news.
Business Insider advises the following:
“You have every right to look for employment without mentioning it … Job search like you would if you weren't pregnant. If you are in the later phases of pregnancy and are clearly showing, you may want to address the issue during the interview phase. However, if you are in the first five months and your baby bump is not clearly visible; your best option may be to wait until you receive the offer.”
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