Pregnant and working?
Are you a pregnant career women? Would you like to be? Career Coach Lisa O’Brien talks through some of the challenges and how to rise above.
Have you heard the stories of pregnant women who have walked into shops but then forgot what they came to purchase? Then there is the folklore story about the pregnant woman who actually forgot how to drive whilst she was midway through a journey. Terrified she stopped right in the middle of an intersection. Whist pregnancy memory loss only happens for a couple of seconds or minutes at the most it can cause havoc especially at work.
Tip to minimise memory problems
Plan your day
At the beginning of each day make a list of everything that you must complete. As you complete each task tick it off your list. By being organized, you minimise the chance of forgetting something important.
Keep a list of important contacts
Do not rely on your ability to remember all important phone numbers and contacts off by heart. Key a list handy just in case you need it.
Use the database diligently
Almost every organisation has a database. If you forget any details, your database will be your best friend. Just look it up.
The challenge: Pregnant Girls Morning Sickness
I will never forget when a former work colleague Felecia was pregnant she would come in to work with all sorts of morning sickness horror stories. The time she had to shove her way off a crammed train during peak hour so that she could vomit. Then there was the time she missed her train because just as it pulled into the station she had to run and vomit. The stories went on and on.
Tips to manage morning sickness
Identify and avoid triggers
In the case of Felicia she realised that the unpleasant smells on the train were making her morning sickness worse. By identifying this as a problem she was able to change her method of traveling to work and minimise the morning sickness.
Plan the fastest route to the bathroom
By planning the fastest route to the bathroom you can avoid possible morning sickness induced embarrassment.
Schedule meetings around your morning sickness schedule
Where possible plan important meetings at times that don’t clash with your body’s morning sickness schedule.
The Challenge: Managing the Boss during pregnancy
Whist pregnancy might be an exciting time for you it can be a harrowing experience for your boss. Sounds ridicules I know but think of it this way. Your boss has a well functioning team with you in it as a high performing team player. Then one day you announce that you are pregnant. From the bosses perspective this is an unknown and an unknown is dangerous. Your boss wonders if you are going to continue to hit the mark at work? If you will you have to run off to Obstetrician appointments? If you are going to be as committed and focused on the job? The answer to all of these questions is yes. But it is your job to ensure that the boss is reassured and that your pregnancy does not cause unnecessary havoc with your career aspirations.
Tips to manage the boss during pregnancy
Keep your boss informed
Keep your boss informed and reassured. Before leaving for any Obstetrician appointments give your boss a round up of the day. Tell him or her what you have achieved during the day and advise the boss of how you have scheduled the rest of your day. Take this opportunity to emphasis any special contributions that you have made to the team.
Minimise Baby Fuss
Chances are some if not all of your workmates will be excited about your growing pregnancy. Colleagues with children will want to share their pregnancy stories, as baby fuss will grow in the office. Be aware: uncontrolled baby fuss could drive your boss crazy and may cause havoc to workplace productivity. Keep fuss to a minimum by restricting the baby talk.
Plan for the future
Use pregnancy as a time to prove that you can adjust to changing situations whilst continually performing at your peak. By doing this you will be positioning yourself to successfully negotiate future workplace flexibility.
By Lisa O’Brien – Careers Coach