Deciding to be pregnant while unemployed

Finding out that you’re pregnant is very galvanizing. I didn’t feel any instant connection to the little speck deep inside my abdomen, but I knew very clearly that I didn’t want an abortion. If this embryo had survived Plan B and evaded my first pregnancy tests, it was a keeper. And in addition to all the scariness that pregnancy, childbirth, and parenthood always bring, it was also going to be very inconvenient, since I was still unemployed and no one was going to hire someone visibly pregnant. And still, I knew I didn’t want an abortion.

But I’d had reason to want to prevent the pregnancy in the first place. Being unemployed was the main one, and would have been my reason to get an abortion, if that had been what felt right. I have always known that if I ever became a parent, I would want to be a working parent. I’ve never ever seen myself as a stay-at-home mom, much less a stay-at-home pregnant person. But here I am.

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I’m pregnant…

…and this is how I found out. It wasn’t like most of your married, hetero, thirty-something pregnancy discoveries. Closer to a clueless, irresponsible teenager.

This past summer, my partner and I decided to go ahead and try getting pregnant. A year earlier, I’d set a not-so-arbitrary date of my 33rd birthday as the point at which we should start. I’d done enough self-educating to know that the longer you wait, the harder it is to get pregnant, and the higher the chance of birth defects. I’d also learned that I had endometriosis, which can make it more difficult to conceive. So while we might not have felt totally ready, our biological alarm clocks had run out of snooze buttons.

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Things I’ve been asked in job interviews

In the months since I started my job search, I’ve gotten interviews with about half a dozen companies in London. I haven’t gotten a job offer yet, but I have gotten plenty of unprofessional questions and comments.

“So what do your parents do for a living?”

They root out class-obsessed bigots like you and educate them on appropriate questions to ask in a job interview. It doesn’t pay super well, but tbh they’ve never been in it for the money.

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Starting over, again

It’s been more than three years since I finished my PhD. Almost three years since I last posted here. And just over three years since I entered the post-ac job world. But I feel like I’m back where I started: I’ve left a job that felt familiar and now I’m unemployed in a city where I don’t have much of a network.

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I have a job

I got the offer about 2 weeks after I wrote my last post, and I started less than 2 weeks after that, so it’s coming up on my four-month anniversary. I didn’t blog about any of the hiring process–I was scared of jinxing it. And it’s taken me awhile to be able to write about it since then–partly I’ve been so busy, and partly I’ve been gathering my thoughts.

The Case of the Disappearing Phone Interview

Here’s something that happened:

A few weeks ago, I applied for a job with a local nonprofit. The next day, Thursday, at lunchtime, I got an email from HR: “We’d like to schedule a phone interview next week. Please reply and let us know three time slots you have available from Monday to Thursday.” No length of time was specified, so I gave as broad a range as possible – a total of nine hours spread out over two days. I waited all afternoon, but got no response. No response the next day (Friday), either. Since interviews were going to start on Monday, I was a little concerned, but figured it was okay since the days I gave didn’t include Monday. And maybe the HR person was swamped and going to be working over the weekend. So I waited and sent a quick follow-up email on Sunday. Monday morning came and went, and still nothing. At 3:00 I called the HR person (his direct phone number was in his email signature). It went to voice mail, so I left a very polite, brief message. Tuesday came and went; no response. On Wednesday afternoon I called again, and left another brief, polite voice mail. I also sent another follow-up email.

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The entry-level MBA, or, Why I don’t even feel bad about not getting an interview

A few weeks ago, there was a job opening at one of the major performing arts organizations in my city. (I’ll call it the Metropolitan Hand-bell Choir.) I would really like to work for the Metropolitan Hand-bell Choir, and this was an entry-level job that, really, anyone with a brain could do. But it was in the industry that I’d like to work in, which I’ll call TPS reporting, so it was a great match.

It gets better: I have some connections at the Hand-bell Choir. I know one of the ringers in the choir (P.), and I know someone on the administrative side (W.) who works with some of the TPS reporters. And I know another person (S.) who knows the head of the TPS reports department.