How Switching Jobs when Pregnant Affects You
Switching jobs from one company to another has both benefits and risks. The switch can mean good things for your career-wise and financially. Taking a different job at a different company when you are pregnant is good and can bring benefits to you. On the other hand, the switch can mean taking a risk of moving to a new work environment.
1. You Earn More when you Switch Jobs
One of the benefits you will gain by moving jobs and companies is potentially getting a bigger salary pay than you would if you stayed at the same job. You may earn more and enjoy more financial benefits, which makes the switch of companies, even when you are pregnant totally recommended and worth it.
2. Switching Helps Align your Career
Also switching jobs when you are pregnant is recommended and good if it aligns with your career. When you get an opportunity to work in a career or a company that aligns with the goals you have for your career, take the job.
In such a case, you stand to benefit your career through faster growth when you move jobs even when pregnant.
3. Switching Jobs Leads to Loss of Benefits & Insurance
However, the switch can lead to loss of benefits and insurance. Also switching jobs when pregnant will affect your insurance. Switching insurance can be really hard and you have to consider the impact of this on your job move.
There may be a bit of time between switching insurances and when the insurance takes effect which can come as an inconvenience to you.
If you think the new role is more favorable to you financially and career-wise, then it’s worth making the switch even if you are expectant at the moment. Compared to moving jobs between companies, switching roles within the same company is relatively easy and will adjust easily.
While switching jobs between companies is more common, it is also possible to switch jobs within the same company. A new position or a vacant post can come up that you are interested in.
It is Unsafe or Crazy to Switch Jobs when Pregnant
The switch of jobs from one company to another can come with its risks. It is especially unsafe and uncertain because you are moving from a known to an unknown work environment. The changes and time it takes for you to adjust can be too much.
Nonetheless switching jobs when you are pregnant is not quite an unsafe or crazy move as many working moms may term it to be. What happens when you change jobs while pregnant is that you must adjust to the new changes. The new changes can be beneficial in the long term and hence you should not regret the move or call it reckless.
You should not feel guilty about moving companies when pregnant. You only owe yourself to make decisions for yourself. Just because you are pregnant doesn’t mean you don’t deserve to take risks that can help your career in the long run.
You should feel bad for leaving one company for another, even when you are expecting or trying for a baby. If your current job is not paying well, is stressful, or is not aligned with your career, what you can do is leave this job and move forward.
Do I Lose Maternity Benefits when I Switch Jobs when Pregnant
One of the disadvantages of changing jobs when pregnant is that you stand to lose your maternity benefits from your old employer. Depending on your state or country, you may be entitled to some benefits such as paid maternity leave or job protection.
If you are in the USA, FMLA only covers you if you’ve been at your current job for 12+ months. Some maternity leave programs only go into effect if you’ve been at your employer for a certain amount of time. You stand to lose all this when you switch jobs when pregnant.
You are unlikely to enjoy these benefits at the new company that you are switching to. For this reason, many working moms prefer to wait for their delivery before switching jobs so that they do not lose these benefits.
Your new company when you switch jobs while expecting may not offer these benefits. This is especially if they were not aware of your pregnancy before hiring. As such switching jobs when expectant is very risky and has negative financial implications.
Should I Wait till Birth Instead of Moving Jobs when Pregnant
You do not have to wait till you give birth for you to move companies. A good job opportunity can come at any point and if this happens when you are pregnant go ahead and make the switch. The opportunity may not happen again in the future and hence instead of waiting out before making the move, take the job and switch to a new company.
However, if you feel that moving companies or changing jobs when pregnant may affect you negatively, it is recommended that you wait it out till you deliver. Switching jobs when pregnant can cause more pressure on you and become harder for you to adjust. If you think that the transition between two jobs will be stressful and difficult for you, you should wait before you can make the switch.
Also if you have good maternity leave at your old company, wait till delivery. If your company offers, say a 4 months paid maternity leave you should wait till you deliver the baby and then switch jobs then.
When Can I Easily Switch Jobs when Pregnant
The stage of your pregnancy also does not really matter when changing jobs. You can switch jobs at 2 months pregnant or 5 or 6 or even 7 months pregnant. If you are capable of working and in perfect health then you can switch jobs at any point in your pregnancy.
Do not be terrified or scared that you are moving in a different direction when expecting or trying to conceive. Be confident in your ability to deliver your best at work, whether pregnant or not and you will be fine even after your move jobs.
You don’t have to tell your old employer that you are pregnant or that you are leaving. However, there are benefits of letting your employer know you are expectant so that they can make the necessary work-related adjustments.
Read: When and How to Tell your Employer you are Pregnant
If you do decide to tell your new employer that you are pregnant, you can do it during the interviewing process or disclose it when you have signed your employment contract.
Disclosing pregnancy after the job offer is more common as your new employer is unlikely to back down their offer after you have signed. While you are protected against discrimination, disclosing that you are pregnant during the interview may put you at a disadvantage in getting the job.
Do’s and Don’ts Rules of Changing/Switching Jobs when Pregnant
Rule 1: Negotiate for a Maternity Leave before Starting the New Job
Before starting any new job, you must negotiate benefits such as maternity leave. You should not accept this new job at face value without asking HR important questions about maternity leave. Ask after how long of working at the new job you need to qualify for their maternity leave benefits.
You must be aware of what maternity benefits you will get by making the job change. Without clarity on this matter, you may not be able to compare what you stand to get or lose at your old job versus what you may get at the new job.
Do not sign the contract before understanding what your maternity leave will look like. It will be crucial in deciding if switching jobs when pregnant is the best decision compared to just waiting till you give birth before moving to another company.
Some companies will offer these benefits after you have worked at the company for over 1 year. This may not apply to you since you are already pregnant.
The loss of these benefits should help you decide if you need to wait at the old company so that you can enjoy these benefits. You may still choose to forfeit these benefits and switch jobs.
Rule 2: Negotiate for Work Balance and Work Travel before
Before you switch or move companies when pregnant, it is important to discuss important work dynamics. As a pregnant mom, things such as work hours, work travel, benefits for breastfeeding moms, etc. are important to you. You are worthy of basic accommodations at your new job, but you need to ask for them.
You need to understand if the new company that you want to switch to is mom or family-friendly. You need to know if your new employer will be willing to make changes for your flexibility as a pregnant woman or breastfeeding mom. The information will help decide if the job change especially now that you are pregnant is worth it.
Rule 3: Do not Quit before Signing a Contract for New Job
To ensure that the transition is smooth for you when moving jobs when pregnant, do not quit your current job before signing the contract for the new job. Getting an offer is different than signing the official contract. You may actually not get the job even after receiving the offer letter.
For this reason, do not quit your current job yet. Always wait until you have signed everything and have a start date so then you can quit your old job and give the last date.
Waiting till you have signed the contract is important to minimize the risks there is of switching jobs when pregnant. It also eliminates wasting time before the end date of your old job and the new date for the new job.
Rule 4: Do not Feel the Pre-Leave Pressure for Changing to New Job
Because the job and the company are new, you may feel the pressure to validate and show your worth. Often this pressure is self-imposed and you should not put yourself under unnecessary pressure.
You may feel like you really want to make an impact fast to make your statement. Stop feeling that maybe your new job may not have seen your value yet and might replace you.