She Says… Pregnancy and Job Security

I work in Human Resources. I started with my current company fresh out of college and full of enthusiasm about the idea of a “real” job. I began as an HR assistant, and quickly worked my way up the ranks to HR Generalist and now my current position working in Training & Development. While the work was always “work”, I found ways to challenge myself and prided myself on learning new technologies, skills and expanding my horizons in the HR field. I even started a Masters program to follow my interest in organizational learning and intended to take that knowledge into corporate training. Now, after 3 years, I am bored. B-O-R-E-D. I could do my job with my eyes closed, and have not learned anything new in several months (except maybe how to do my work so efficiently that I can spend several hours poking around the internet without lowering my productivity).

If this were any other time in my life, I would most likely be scouring the internet for job postings and considering a career shift. However, the reality is that most employers require one year of service before they grant you maternity insurance benefits. Ay, there’s the rub. If I switch jobs now, and get pregnant soon, I may be left without proper insurance. I’d rather be bored than unable to pay my bills. (This is all compounded by the current economic slump, of course! No guarantees I’d even be able to find a job right now, even considering my shiny, new Masters degree).

That certainly got me thinking, though, that I’d better hold onto my current position as tight as I can right now. Bored or not. Because being laid off right now would put me in an even worse predicament — no health insurance (for me or my husband, as he works for himself, so we both get health insurance through my company), not to mention disability insurance, life insurance, retirement funds, etc.

In these scary economic times, it is no secret that employers are looking for anyone they can cut from their payroll to reduce costs. And I can only imagine that employers who find out their employees are pregnant might be tempted to cut them before non-pregnant colleagues, due to the hefty costs they will undoubtedly incur through doctor’s appointments and the time off they must provide. Now, you don’t have to be in HR to know that is illegal, but it happens all the time.

So, I’m going to sit tight. I’m going to do my best to ask for new projects and new challenges and try to be content with my current position. Lord knows I am thankful just to have a job right now, so if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. Right?


3 responses to “She Says… Pregnancy and Job Security

  1. This blog’s great!! Thanks :).

  2. oh my goodness – I could have written this post!! (except that I’m not in training, but other than that…) I know exactly how you feel. My husband and I talk about it often because it just doesn’t make sense to look around yet the day-to-day work life can be a little tedious.

  3. Tabitha, I know! I guess it helps that, given the current economy, there are very few jobs posted out there that I would want to take. That makes it easier to tell myself not to look 🙂

    But if that perfect opportunity DOES happen to come along, I think I would have to take it, despite concerns about insurance and potentially getting pregnant early on in my new career. That’s life!

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