Addressing the bump in the room
Is your family growing? If you’re pregnant or thinking about becoming pregnant, there’s a lot to plan, particularly if you’re also considering a career transition. Should you tell a prospective employer about your pregnancy, or keep it covered up? If you’re already showing, how will employers react to the obvious sign that you’re about to take a maternity leave?
If you’re planning to find a new nurse practitioner job while pregnant, there are a number of things to consider. Making the transition may be a bit tricky, but with some foresight, it can be done. Here’s what you must think about if you’re looking for a new nurse practitioner job, and pregnant.
Check Your Calendar
Pregnancy is accompanied by a slough of obligations. There are numerous doctors appointments, visits to prospective childcare centers, and fitting in a babymoon (we hope!) into your already packed schedule. Do you have the scheduling capacity to accommodate a job search as well?
Unless you currently have a flexible employment arrangement, it may be difficult to sneak job interviews on to your calendar given that you are already taking time away for pregnancy related obligations. Before moving forward, make sure a job search will be feasible.
Don’t Forget About the Future
While you may be unhappy in your current nurse practitioner job and ready to get out of there STAT, don’t forget that your circumstances are about to change (here’s one NP mom’s take on going back to work after baby). Landing a job that’s ideal for your current scheduling needs, for example, may not be your best option.
Consider what new career requirements you’ll have post-baby. What will your schedule need to look like? How far are childcare facilities from prospective employers? Keep your upcoming needs in mind, rather than your current circumstances, as you move forward.
Changing your nurse practitioner job will almost always affect your health coverage. And, you’ll want insurance when the big day comes. Before you sign on with a new employer, find out how the switch will impact your healthcare. Is there a waiting period before your new insurance kicks in? Is your favorite OB in-network on your new plan?
The way an employer administers maternity leave can have serious implications for your paycheck. Some employers give unpaid time off, others comp women for time taken to care for a new baby. Yet other employers offer short-term disability plans with which women may be compensated for maternity leave. How do the maternity leave options from your current and prospective employers compare? Which plan is the most favorable?
Given the costs of taking time away from work, if your current employer offers a better maternity package, it may be worth postponing your job search.
Discrimination is illegal, but let’s face it, you’re going to have an easier time finding a job early in pregnancy rather than later when your bump is in full effect. Employers are interviewing for the nurse practitioner position at hand because they have a gap to fill. They’re going to take into consideration that they will once again be short staffed while you’re on leave.
The earlier in your pregnancy you start a job search, the better. This keeps the playing field fair for you in the interview process, and ensures that things like health insurance changes and maternity leave benefits fall into line before you deliver.
If you’re looking for a nurse practitioner job while pregnant, you’re going to need to market yourself like crazy. Show that the value you have to offer a practice far outweighs the inconvenience of finding someone to cover your shifts while you’re out of work for a couple months. Get great references. Send thank you notes. During interviews, don’t lead with your pregnancy, show off your skills and shining personality first
When do you plan to disclose your pregnancy to an employer? If you don’t disclose it at all, you risk damaging workplace relationships. Your new employer may feel duped. So, you should reveal your pregnancy at some point rather than try to hide it.
Ideally, if you are early enough in pregnancy, you can let your employer in on the news when you receive, but before you accept, a job offer. If your pregnancy is obvious, you’ll want to make note of it earlier in the interview process.
Remember, you are not legally obligated to share your news. It is against federal law for employers to ask you about your pregnancy or future family plans.
Hold Off…For Now
In some cases, it may be best for you to hold off on your nurse practitioner job search until the baby arrives. Perhaps the timing of benefits is unfavorable should you switch jobs. Or, maybe you aren’t sure what your new scheduling needs will be. Pressing pause on making your next career move is always an option. If you can’t stand your current position for one more day, consider taking on a PRN or short-term opportunity to get you through until a permanent position makes sense.
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