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New Job vs. Family Planning

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This topic contains 13 replies, has 6 voices, and was last updated by avatar va-in-ny 3 days, 3 hours ago.

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  • #726612 Reply
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    va-in-ny
    Participant

    Looking for some insight and a place to lay down some gripes!

    I’ve been with my current company for 4 years. Last year, I received a promotion, but it wasn’t really within the lines of what I was looking for. It was basically “You can take on the extra work, we’ll give you a small amount of salary increase, but you can’t completely remove yourself from your previous position (mostly admin).” It was disappointing, but my plan has always been to prove myself through the first year and ask for the full promotion and raise this coming January. (For transparency, I was trying to go into a full-time account management position, but ended up getting something like “office girl that helps with accounts”)

    There are a lot of changes happening within the company currently (new management on my level, as well as the upper-upper levels), people retiring, etc. so there are some opportunities on the horizon for better things coming. It just might be a little bit of a bumpy road to get there.

    This week, I was approached by another company that has an open position. I met with the man yesterday to get more information, and they’re offering a LOT more. I increased my current salary by 10k and they beat it by 30k! It would be 100% working from home, though a fair amount of travel would be required (at least twice a year to Asia). It seems a bit too good to be true (which, I will certainly look into before making ANY decision), but I was immediately hesitant because my husband and I are currently trying to have a baby.

    At my current company, I would have some leniency because of the amount of time I’ve put in with the company. I would be able to work from home on days I might be sick or have a doctor’s appointment. I would likely be able to take an extended maternity leave or delay/postpone trips if needed. And, it would be something that would be understood by my colleagues (they wouldn’t be disgruntled about it, I mean).

    I’m still intending to approach the new management with the prospect of moving me into a full time account manager position (with the salary to match), but I’m seriously considering the new job offer. I just don’t know how it would work with a child. The new company has a pretty rigorous 1 year training program where you do a lot of travelling to meet customers, visit satellite offices in Europe and Asia, and work in the production factories. What would happen if I had to take 6-12 weeks off during the first year? And then how would I handle leaving my infant for 2 weeks while I go to Asia?

    Most of all, I’m annoyed that this is even something I have to worry about. Why does a potential new job offer have to accompany this? A man would never have to think “Oh my.. they offered me more money for this job, but what will I do if we have a baby??” They’d just be excited that someone thought that they wore worth $40,000 more than they currently make.

    I know I don’t have to make any decisions right now, and I certainly wouldn’t until I have all of the facts in front of me. I also know that I shouldn’t count the fertilized eggs before they’re “hatched” – it’s just on my mind and I thought I’d get some insight from the DW readers experiences.

    #726619 Reply
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    dinoceros
    Member

    I’d say to continue with the interview process and ask those questions if you get an offer. Asking before can open you up to discrimination. Asking after can help you make your decision. It sounds like it hasn’t been formally offered yet, right?

    Right now there are a lot of unknowns, which understandably make a person worry. But it sounds like right now, it’s just assumptions and worries, rather than evidence that they would be unsympathetic. There’s enough externally imposed limitations on women — don’t limit yourself just because you think there’s a possibility they might not work well with working mothers. Also, if you’re on an interview and get a chance to talk with any women, ask them about their experiences.

    #726628 Reply
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    Northern Star

    What does your husband think about you potentially leaving for weeks at a time? What kind of support system do you have at home? Does the increase in pay make up for the increase in stress and time spent away from family?

    I probably wouldn’t bring the topic up with other women in the job at an interview; if being on maternity leave will make their job more difficult (having to cover your work), they will not recommend you to the hiring manager.

    #726650 Reply
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    Fyodor

    I do know a fair number of men in my profession whose job hours and inability to contribute to family live have played a big role in their divorces. So maybe they aren’t thinking about it. But they should have.

    Seconding what other people said:

    1. I think that you need to carefully evaluate your child care and support networks and think about how you and your husband would be able to handle it

    2. You should wait until you get your offer and then have a discussion with your employer about how these things would be handled. Ask if there is someone else similarly situated who works there with whom you can speak.

    3. You should think critically about how you’d be able to handle leaving say a three month old behind for a week or two. Many I’m sure would be fine with it, but I do know some women for whom it would have been difficult.

    #726655 Reply
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    Sarah

    I don’t want to be that person but you are setting yourself up to fail. If you are set on having a baby now, then now is not the time to move into a full time account management position. 9 months will not give you the time to learn your job while taking off for doctors apps and getting ready to change your lives with a 3rd person. You need to choose to either move up or get this new job or have a baby right now. This too good to be true account management job is most likely a workhorse job, meaning that they put a lot of work on you quickly and keep adding and the pay makes that enticing. That also means that they let go of people quickly when they can’t do their job. You need to find out the expectations for the job and the probation period. High paying sales jobs out the door don’t usually keep employees that take a lot of time off, so keep that in mind and also find out what areas in Asia and other countries you will be in and talk with your physician about what types of immunizations you will need and your baby will need to be around you when you return. And while men wouldn’t be asked the same questions they also can’t physically be pregnant, and most men don’t have the same attachment to their baby as women do. Its also very hard when a baby is under 6 months to get childcare and a new job is not likely going to give you that much time off for a baby. So child care is going to be something you and your husband need to anticipate.

    #726659 Reply
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    dinoceros
    Member

    In terms of talking to other women, I was thinking more along the lines of just asking how the company values work/life balance stuff. Not to tell them all of your business. I don’t think it’s unreasonable to general questions about the company’s values. It doesn’t automatically translate to “I am going to have a baby soon.” But if you aren’t comfortable asking for other employees to describe the environment/culture, that’s fine too.

    #726661 Reply
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    Kate
    Keymaster

    I would research the company thoroughly as a first step. Have they been in the news? What does a Google search turn up? What are the reviews like on Glassdoor.com? From what you described, it sounds like it *could* be fishy.

    And sure, continue with the interview process, for practice and also because it’s nice to get an offer. If you know what you’re doing, you could use it to get a counter from your company.

    I hate to tell anyone to lean out, and I’m not, but a brand new job that requires international travel isn’t conducive to having a baby immediately. You’d be miserable, and you can’t travel after what, six months? To succeed in a job like that, you’d need to be ON, 100%. They would not cut you any slack. If you take it, and it’s what it says it is, you may want to get through the 1-year break-in period before conceiving.

    #726663 Reply
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    Kate
    Keymaster

    Also, did the guy actually make you *an offer* after one conversation and not meeting anyone else? That would be a red flag. I’ve also never had anyone tell me the salary for a job during the first conversation. I’ve had HR ask me my range I guess, during a phone screen, but that’s a different thing.

    #726789 Reply
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    SpaceySteph
    Participant

    Ugh VA, like Kate I want to tell you to take the job and have the baby and that you’ll work it out. But honestly, it would be very hard.
    There’s practical considerations:
    1) you won’t qualify for FMLA until you’ve been there for a year and won’t have built up vacation so taking time off for appointments and post-baby may be difficult
    2) You may not be performing your best while pregnant (nausea, exhaustion, etc) and a new employer won’t know its uncharacteristic for you, they may just think you’re a slacker
    3) It’s a lot of work caring for a baby and running a house, and for you to leave on a lot of travel it would be a lot of burden on your husband to run things. (By the way, the same is true the other way… it would be a big burden on me if my husband traveled for work a lot, too!)
    4) It’s hard to go away if you’re breastfeeding. I don’t respond well to the pump so I have a hard time getting enough milk for bottles while I’m gone for a day, let alone a week!
    And then there’s the emotional considerations– it’s hard to leave your baby. And that kind of travel is hard on a marriage even without a kid.
    That said, for 40k extra a year, that’s enough to hire a maid and some childcare help while you’re gone. And if you do have a family support system in the area, you could make it work. But is it worth it? I don’t know.

    #726849 Reply
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    K

    If you do more research into the higher-paying job and it seems legit, are you willing to put off trying for a baby for a while while you’re undergoing training? I don’t know how old you are or how immediate your want for a child is, but if you put off trying for a year, or even 8-9 months, then you could have the training over with and also have a better salary to help support your child.

    #726854 Reply
    Lianne
    Lianne
    Participant

    I think you need to weigh your priorities here. Take the pregnancy and maternity leave aspects out of the equation. Being a working mother is HARD. There are not enough hours in the day to do everything and to do it well. I have an 18 month old with another on the way and I travel for work on average once or twice a month. All of my travel is on the east coast and I can usually do a day trip. If I do have to do an overnight, it’s typically one night max. Sometimes that break is welcome, and sometimes it’s torture to be away. I cannot imagine being several time zones and thousands and thousands of miles away from my baby. I had one trip planned to Oregon (I live in MA) and was glad that my son got croup so I had a valid reason to cancel the trip! And I am not one that wants to be a SAHM. I love having a career and don’t want to give that up.

    Just consider all of that before you take a job with significant travel.

    #726867 Reply
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    Ange

    My old boss and another coworker had two babies each while running international sporting events and attending those sporting events (and their attendant lead up events) overseas for several weeks at a time so it can be done, the question is do you want to do it. They had fantastic support from the organisation and from their husbands, do you know for sure you’d have that? Australia has very strict rules about how new mothers are treated at work so I don’t know what you have but I’d look very carefully into what protections you might have under law. Also you and your husband would need to also go through what provisions his job has to ensure you’re both able to manage childcare in case anything unexpected comes up.

    It’s not about leaving the kid so much, if men can hop off with a spring in their step you can too and to hell with it being hard on your husband – why shouldn’t it be, it’s his kid too! But the fact is you very much have to have your ducks in a row.

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