One of the hardest things I had to deal with in 2020 was to find a new job while I was pregnant. First, let me explain more about my situation at that time.
Everything started in New-York
I moved from France to the USA for a job in a French company. I signed for an 18 months contract, and I was planning on staying in the USA after that if I was able to get sponsored. Just to be clear, I had a good job in France, as a Web Developer, I just moved to a new apartment, my husband started a new job. So we dropped everything for this experience because we believed it would be great for us.
However, the company closed the New York office that hired me after only 6 months we moved, and they gave me only two months to deal with this situation. My options were either to be able to find a new job in New York or move to another country. My visa was very limited, it made my job hunt in the US very hard. I applied to offers in Canada, Europe, Malaysia, Qatar…
I was under a lot of pressure because I realized I was 2 months pregnant. Therefore, I wanted to find a stable situation as soon as possible. In the end, I decided it would be better to go back to France, take some rest with my parents, and then decide where we would like to settle.
Back to my home country France
The advantage for me in France is that it is very easy to find a job in tech as there is a high demand in this field. I studied in France and already had a first experience there. That helped me find a lot of good opportunities. I was relieved. However, the thing that made me stress like hell was how I would tell HR that I was pregnant before accepting their offer, or if I should hide it. I started to read articles online to see what I should do in this situation. I was afraid to announce it too soon and lose the job opportunity. Or announce it too late and get fired while I was still on probation in the new job. I was sooo frustrated because I believe no woman should feel this pressure in this situation. I almost felt it was a shame to be pregnant and look for a job, but that’s definitely not normal to feel that way. The society we live in needs to evolve and break this kind of taboo.
My plan of action
So I looked for advice on how to tell HR and at what stage of the hiring process. I thought I would wait until they offer me the job, and tell them before signing so if they want to retract they could. I would tell them that I’m pregnant but that doesn’t change anything for me, I still want to work and settle for a few years in the same place, I’ll have to take maternity leave for a few months and I will be back, I’ll do my job the best I can as always.
I got a job offer
I was so happy and relieved when one of the companies interviewing with me made me an offer pretty soon. The company Norsys. Therefore, I went to their offices and once they finished explaining their offer I told them that I was very interested but they needed to know I was pregnant, even though it doesn’t change anything for me. I was relieved because the two HR reacted very well. They were very happy to hear the good news, they didn’t think for one second to cancel the offer. I was lucky because this company is very human, from the CEO to the people they hire. It made my experience with finding a job while pregnant end well. At the same time, the two HR were women, so maybe it also helped because as mothers they understand how normal this situation should be. I was stressed a lot but in the end, I got the job, and they reassured me that it doesn’t matter to them, and I don’t need to feel this stressed and pressure.
One company never answered to me
However, I had made interviews with another company that also interested me, and before accepting the offer Norsys gave me I wanted to check with them and see if they would also give me the job. I emailed the HR telling him I was pregnant and asking if the offer was still on. I never got an answer from him. I am still wondering if it’s because the whole hiring process was only managed by men, so they didn’t know how to handle the situation, or if it was just the company’s politic not to hire pregnant women. It didn’t affect me that much because they were not my only option, nevertheless it still felt frustrating and unfair.
That was my experience looking for a job while pregnant, even though it was a difficult period for a few months with all the pressure, I finally got a very nice job in a very human company. I’m very thankful for that.