With Mother’s Day approaching, it’s a great week to honor moms and the work they do—not just in raising their families, but in the workforce. It can be tricky navigating the balance between the two. At Penmac, we’re here to help. If you’re a mom or soon-to-be mom, read below for some answers to some of the questions that might have crossed your mind.
When you’re applying for work, should you disclose that you have kids?
It depends. Your children are a big part of your life, so its natural if it comes up as part of the discussion. It’s good for a potential employer to know you have family obligations up front. It also might help you build a connection between you and the interviewer. However, while hiring laws prevent discrimination against parents, some managers may express hesitation if they think your role as a parent will interfere with your productivity at work. You’re not obligated to let the hiring manager know you’re a parent. Each interview, job, and employer will be different. Use your best judgment in deciding how much personal information to reveal.
Do you have to tell potential employer you’re pregnant during the job search?
Legally, no. However, if you’re several months into your pregnancy and are beginning to show, an employer is going to know so it’s probably best if you bring it up first. By law, a business can’t deny you employment based on your pregnancy. Unfortunately, though, some employers may view your pregnancy (and doctor appointments, maternity leave, new parental obligations) as an inconvenience. If possible, it’s probably best to start your job search early in your pregnancy before you start to show.
The job search can be hard enough, but if you’ve been out of the workforce for a while it may seem even more intimidating to return. Will potential employers understand the large gap on your resume? Most hiring managers will. Simply be honest—highlight the skills you had in previous jobs before you left the workforce and talk about how your experiences raising a family could translate to a job. Did you help the PTA with fundraising? Volunteer to organize school activities? You’ve probably developed fundraising skills, time management techniques, strong leadership, and more.
What types of jobs are good for pregnant women? For moms?
If you’re pregnant and looking for work, temporary employment might be a great place to start. Temporary positions are typically more flexible, and you don’t have to make long-term commitments if you’re unsure about your immediate future. Many temp agencies have clerical and office positions, which have fewer physical demands for pregnant women. The entire workforce is open to mothers. Just evaluate what is important to you in a career, and look at company cultures when you’re considering a new position. Do you want to work somewhere with flexibility and a focus on a work-life balance? Evaluate what your goals are and go from there.