Saturday, March 8, 2008

An Ethics Q

Is it unethical to embark on a job search while trying to get pregnant?

I met with a job coach /advisor for a free consultation last week and told her my sordid tale about my job and my TTC quest.

She was a sweet older 'het' woman who has been in the job coaching business for over 20 years. She advised me that it would not be cool to start a new job and announce that I was pregnant. She suggested that I put the TTC on hold, wait until I get a new job, work hard for the first 90 days, get settled, and then start the TTC again. She said that straight people have the benefit of the 'oops' factor but that a new employer would be pissed if I, as a queer woman, started the job with a bun in the oven.

What do you think?

I disagree but am open to hearing what you think. I am inclined to get back on the TTC hampster wheel as soon as I can because let's face it, no one knows when the stork will arrive. I don't think it makes sense for me to put my life on hold. Do you?

She also suggested that I stay at my job until I get prego. But, my job is very stressful and I am starting to think that it might be impacting my TTC.

What would you do?


Gia said...

Hey, I'm in the same boat as you. I have been at my job for 11years now and have NO benefits. My last pregnancy i had to be back to work a week after my loss and with a pay cut and she threaten my job, she never said congrats or sorry to me. I have been looking for a job even since.
Nothing is going to stand in my way of TTC. If I were to get a job and be with child I think it would be a good thing. Now a new job is stressful and so is my present job.

queerstork said...

I'm with you - life comes first, jobs come second.

(Great stork graphic, btw.)

R and J said...

Life definitely comes first. You have to do what you feel is best. Life is too short.

Lizzie said...

I'm in a similar situation. My partner and I recently moved (for her job) and I'm sort of consulting, sort of job searching, definitely TTC. If getting pregnant impedes my job search, then so be it. But I'm not putting it on hold. And I think it is ridiculous that straight people get a pass for the "oops" factor. We know the odds are against us, so we should get to try early and often and too bad if it happens when we've just started in a new job. And, um, is it any of their business if I'm queer and it wasn't an "oops" ???? I have a straigth friend who was trying for a LONG time, having fertility issues, got a new job and then got pregnant right away. It wasn't an oops, it was something they'd been trying for a long time. She just explained it and apologized for the timing without apologizing for the pregnancy. I think we can do the same.

vee said...

Personally, I don't think her advice is good advice. To some extent, I suppose it depends on your plans for working after the birth of any future child, but I don't see why you can't convince any potential employer of your worth and commitment regardless of a pregnancy. Our team took on someone who informed us she was pregnant when she was offered the job. She worked hard and was a committed team member, coming back after the birth of her child and continuing to be a valued employee.

We put a lot of our lives on hold in our pursuit of pregnancy, in the hope that a pregnancy will herald the start of a new stage in our lives. I can't see how work can demand a greater priority than that.

Lo said...

I agree with previous posters that you can't put your life on hold. And I think it's really lame to say, well straight people are allowed to have an "oops." Lizzie is right, you can apologize for timing without apologizing for pregnancy. No one knows when you will get pregnant, for your sake I hope it's right away, but it could be several months after you've started the job so it wouldn't be such a huge issue after all.

Co said...

I agree with previous posters that you should *not* under any circumstances put your life on hold. You are not new to TTC, so sadly you know all too well that just because you're trying doesn't mean you'll get pregnant. And looking for a new job doesn't mean you'll find and be offered a job you want either. Both could take a while, so why put either on hold?

And saying that b/c you're queer means you have less right to be pg after starting a new job is wrong.

sara said...

I definitely DO NOT think that you should put anything on hold. Your life is first, the job stuff is second and you should not put what you want on hold simply because you are queer (and therefore cannot claim that you "accidentally" got pregnant). That is just bullshit.

Sarah said...

I'm a former HR person, and I can tell you that if an employee tells you they are pregnant, no matter how you feel about the timing, you keep your big trap shut. You can't descriminate because someone is pregnant. Furthermore, how you get pregnant, and by whom is not your employers business, so 'oops' or not, its BS to tell you tow wait. Also, I don't have your history right at the top of my brain, but if your TTC journey is going anything like mine, waiting at a bad job is not worth your time.

calliope said...

Well I totally agree with all of teh sage comments here- if you are ready to look for a new job go for it. & if you think the current job you have is toxic & possibly preventing you from getting knocked up I would ditch it.

go for it!!

Mrs. Bluemont said...

ditto the brilliance already said. you have to take care of yourself that includes working in less stressful environments and concentrating on bringing your baby on.

i wish you much strength and peace with whatever decision you make. ox

jessie said...

I totally disagree with what that woman said. I am CONSTANTLY job searching and TTC will not stop that.

oneofhismoms said...

That woman probably had no problem getting pregnant. I'd keep looking for a new job and keep trying to get pregnant. I have a straight friend who did the same thing. The only problem is, you need the insurance and time off to kick in before the baby comes. This did not work out so well for my straight friend.

Just keep trying for both changes, I say. And get on your partner's insurance if you can.

EggDropBlogger said...

Thanks for all of your help, gals! The verdict is unanimous: the job search continues and the TTC continues.

I wouldn't have it any other way.

Travelher and Pufferfish said...

I was in the same boat as you not long ago. My partner was fully supportive of me looking for another job if that's what I wanted.
It was very conflicting b/c I would really like to stay after I have a baby as the conditions for a working mom here at my job are great. I agree that there is a double standard for a straight woman who accidently gets pregnant vs. a lesbian couple trying.
But no one needs to know how we are trying.

Thankfully, we hired a new director and that has made the world of difference and I decided to stay.
It's a tough choice, but I don't think you should put your personal life on hold. Your family is more important.