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While some have the luxury of taking it easy during the last weeks of pregnancy, others have important business to attend to -- getting a new job. While it may seem that walking into an office and applying for a job with a visible baby bump is pointless, it isn’t actually as hopeless as it seems. Though you can’t completely eliminate the challenges associated with job hunting while pregnant, you can minimize the degree to which these challenges stand in your way of getting a job by moving purposefully and confidently through the application process and quelling any concerns employers may have.
Mail Application Materials
Getting that first interview is often the hardest part of the job search process. If you are visibly pregnant, mail -- or email -- your application materials. While entering a workplace with your pregnancy on display may not prevent you from getting an interview -- as legally employers can’t refuse to interview you simply because you are pregnant -- mailing your application materials allows you to keep your pregnancy on the down low until you have landed the interview.
Know Your Rights
As a pregnant woman, you are protected under the Pregnancy Discrimination Act, reminds Lily Garcia for “The Washington Post.” This law makes it illegal for an employer to refuse to hire you because of your pregnancy. It also requires that your employer accommodate any pregnancy-related medical needs. While it is often difficult to prove that you didn’t get the job because you are pregnant, if the interviewer makes comments about your pregnancy and the difficulty they would have accommodating it, you may have sufficient evidence of discrimination. If you strongly feel that you were not offered a job simply because you are expecting, speak to legal counsel regarding your litigation rights.
Share your Plans
Even if it is painfully obvious that you are pregnant, you are under no obligation to mention your pregnancy during your interview -- and they probably won’t ask as doing so can make claims of discrimination easier to substantiate. You may, however, benefit from mentioning the elephant in the room. When discussing your future plans, include a broad mention of what you will do once your baby arrives. The interviewer doesn’t need the details -- she certainly doesn’t care that your great aunt Jean is going to watch the infant -- but sharing your plans in a broad sense can prove that you have a plan to prevent the rigors of mommyhood from impacting your work life.
Offering a little flexibility can make you a more promising candidate. With your due date fast approaching, consider offering to work as a consultant until the baby comes, suggests Cheryl Dahle for “The New York Times." With this convenient arrangement, you can enter the workforce and start to absorb some of the duties you will later take on without assuming all of the rigors of the job.
Erin Schreiner is a freelance writer and teacher who holds a bachelor's degree from Bowling Green State University. She has been actively freelancing since 2008. Schreiner previously worked for a London-based freelance firm. Her work appears on eHow, Trails.com and RedEnvelope. She currently teaches writing to middle school students in Ohio and works on her writing craft regularly.
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