Disclose Pregnancy in Interview?

Erica writes:
I have enjoyed reading this site and looking through the archives but haven’t seen much regarding my situation. I am 5 months’ pregnant and have been trying to switch career fields for several months. I have been conducting a selective search without luck and am concerned about getting hired now that I am visibly pregnant. Do you recommend that I am upfront about my pregnancy in an interview? Or are my chances
of being hired so slim that I should just stick out at my current position until after my maternity leave. I am well aware of the sexual and pregnancy discrimination laws but what are my chances of being hired when I will need 8-12 weeks off in a few months?

The Career Doctor responds:
You’re right — this topic is certainly not one we’ve covered before! There are a lot of issues for all parties involved. For me I guess the biggest ones center around you:
First have you thought about your health benefits? Many employers have a waiting period for coverage on all benefits and some medical plans have limits on “preexisting conditions.” If this is not an issue for you then move on to the next issue.
Second are you truly visibly pregnant? I’ve known several women who went much longer than five months without showing. Perhaps you feel as though you are because you are excited about the pregnancy — or perhaps because of some mixed feelings about job-hunting while pregnant.
Third have you thought about the ramifications of getting what might be your ideal job just to then go on maternity leave? This view may be a man’s perception but I also think it’s an employer’s perception. Most new employees need several months to really get settled into a position and a company — and you would be leaving just as you hit that point.
Fourth since you are trying to switch careers — perhaps the toughest form of job-hunting — maybe you need to look at why you’ve already been having some difficulty. I suggest you read my article The 10-Step Plan to Career Change.
Best of luck — with your job hunt and with your pregnancy.


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