Wednesday, 17 April 2013

To hunt or not to hunt that is the question

Job Hunt that is....

Let me begin by saying how much I LOVE my current job.  I adore it here.  I love my boss.  I love the support staff and coworkers.  I even love what I do.  It has been my dream come true ever since this job fell, quite literally, into my lap about 2 days before I was supposed to start looking for work.

My current boss is a contact from my last job.  A job that was a 4 hour commute (each way) from my home.  It was a commute I did on a weekly basis which meant that from 4am Monday morning until 4pm Friday night I didn't get to see my boyfriend cum fiance.  When we got engaged things started to get tough at my job.  They were pushing for me to move to the far away city and I flat out told them it would not happen.  My fiance had been in the same job for 24 years, a union job, good pay, excellent vacations and benefits, he was not going to start again.  And while I enjoyed many things about my last job the hours were not on the list.  When I left I was gifted with my overtime payout.  It equaled a month for every month I had been employed.  I worked a minimum of 70 hour weeks.  This I do not miss.

Unfortunately my current job is a contract that is going to expire at the end of July.  I know my boss likes me, but I also know that there are funding issues and cutbacks and all the rest.  I have to be realistic about the fact that he may not be able to keep me around.

Then there is the problem, the dream that so many of us face.  I am pretty sure, at some point, some how I have a chance of being pregnant.  There is that concern... how will it look if I find a new job and I get pregnant after only a few weeks?  What about the time I may need to take off for fertility treatments?  Is it fair to accept a job with the clear intention of trying to leave it almost immediately for a maternity leave?  It is entirely possible to blow off good reference and future employment possibilities this way.

It isn't that we can really afford for me not to work.  In fact I bring in a higher income than my husband does so he is not even completely sure I should get the maternity leave (in Canada this can be split by the parents - don't worry, he will be convinced otherwise... unless he is willing to try out breast feeding).  But there is this constant worry that if I do find a job, the next job and then get pregnant right away that there will be a lack of trust from my employer and create a difficult work environment.

We also can't afford to wait... even a month without trying.  I'm just getting too old... :( sad face.

I read a "Dear Abby" style column a few weeks back where an expectant father who was hoping to be offered a permanent contract should inform his current employer of his intention to take the parental leave before a contract was offered.  The advice was he needed to come clean with the employer so as to not put the employer in a difficult position.

In my mind this is poor advice.  If no offer is made then he has put himself at a disadvantage unfairly, perhaps jeopardizing the job offer.  I think he should wait until the offer is made and then inform his employer.  If the employer then rescinds the offer surely that is grounds for discrimination?  But having said that is it much harder for a woman to hide the fact that she is expecting a child and it is much easier for an employer to terminate a woman who is within her 6 month probationary period because of noticeably protruding belly.  He can easily dream up any excuse, in fact he doesn't even need an excuse just that she didn't "fit in".

So the question is... do I start looking for work?  Knowing Hoping that I will be pregnant soon.  Knowing that we need the money to bring our dream to fruition.  Knowing if I am not working it can interfere with my maternity leave.  In Canada we get 17 weeks of maternal leave at 55% pay and then 35 weeks of parental leave which can be taken by either parent.  HOWEVER, it seems that this is contingent upon having worked a certain number of weeks since the last unemployment insurance claim.

My best and most hopeful dream is that they offer me a job here, and it is permanent... and sure... throw in covered infertility costs as part of my benefits package... it is still just a dream after all.

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