Baby proofing my career

(18 Posts)
anonNorth85 Tue 28-Feb-17 12:37:34


I've had a look through the posts and can see a few questions around returning to work. But nothing on career management before TTC.

I'm a few months out from my wedding and my hard fought for career is feeling a bit of a shambles. I'm a head of division for a large corporation. Currently the business is undergoing a huge amount of change and as a result my job will change. (I've been through this before so the prospect of this doesn't phase me). However Im worried about my job role as from what I'm seeing my role is being downgraded as standard across the company and that isn't part of my career aspiration.

Separately I've been approach by a competitor about a very interesting job. That would be a promotion on my current role (with increased responsibility and more travel plus more work in London which I don't do currently).

All things being normal I would leave my job and take the chance on this new opportunity. But I'm getting married in 3 months and then we want to start trying for a baby. So my head is in a mess. If I don't act now I might miss this opportunity and find myself stuck in a job that is more than likely a step back in my career. But if I leave and we get pregnant quickly it seems pointless to have made the move. Along with not being eligible for paid maternity. Plus would I want to work in London after?! Do I have to give up my career?

I have no women near me who have a senior job and children. I don't have anyone to talk to. My partner knows how I feel but he Doesn't have the same ambition as me and I don't think quite understands how confused I feel career vs baby. My mum was a stay at home mum and none of my friends are as career driven as me. To be clear I wouldn't want to do a role reversal with him staying home. I very much want that time.


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anonNorth85 Tue 28-Feb-17 12:38:56

I should add I'm in my 30s and my partner is late 30s so we don't want to wait years to try.

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HopefulHamster Tue 28-Feb-17 12:44:06

how long until you'd be eligible for SMP?

It's tricky. I stayed for a long time in a job for the same reason but it took me years to conceive. I should've moved. But you could conceive first month.

anonNorth85 Tue 28-Feb-17 12:45:53


I don't know the new company policy but the standard maternity paid leave starts with 26 weeks service (or similar rules c 6. Months service at a certain number of weeks pregnant). Chances are I wouldn't move jobs until after the wedding as logistically I can't see it processing before that anyway v

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tinkiiev Tue 28-Feb-17 12:46:22

I think take the job.

Better to have too many good things and have to deal with that if and when it happens than to have passed up a good job for the sake of a baby which doesn't exist yet. Also would just add pressure to trying to get pregnant if you'd made important decisions based on already being pregnant by X date.

rightsofwomen Tue 28-Feb-17 12:47:15

Both are uncertain, so I would pursue your career and family ambitions and see how it goes.

My only suggestion would be to wait until you are eligible for mat pay before trying for a baby if this is money you will really need.

tinkiiev Tue 28-Feb-17 12:47:20

Ps but I've always worked loads confused and have stressed myself out. But am now in a good place both career and family-wise.

anonNorth85 Tue 28-Feb-17 12:49:04

How have you achieved that?

The job offer is something I think I want. My current job is just making me so sad (all that effort and dedication for nothing).

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Hedgeh0g Tue 28-Feb-17 12:51:28

You'd probably be eligible for maternity allowance if not statutory mat pay?

Barbadosgirl Tue 28-Feb-17 12:52:48

I would go for the new job as you don't know how long it will take to get pregnant.

purpleviolet1 Tue 28-Feb-17 12:55:29

I would take the job, start trying maybe 3 -6 months in and hopefully it'll be a straight forward journey. In the grand scheme of things 6 months is nothing.

toffeeboffin Tue 28-Feb-17 12:58:39

Take the other job, do a year there and then start TTC.

GieryFas Tue 28-Feb-17 13:03:02

Does the new job come with a pay rise? If so, can you save that rather than spend it, and fund maternity leave that way? Or wait just a few months before ttc, so the timings are right?

I've noticed a lot of women getting to a certain (senior) level in my field, then becoming pregnant very soon after. I wish I'd been able to do that - I've lost years of career progression and am only now (with a 5yo at school) back to where I was (ie ready for the next promotion) nearly 9 years ago when I first went on maternity leave.

I don't regret my kids, and you can't choose the timing precisely anyway, but I do think that companies tend to be more flexible about maternity leave, coming back to flexible working etc if you are more senior (and if you've got a track record, which I appreciate might be more of an issue for you).

savagehk Tue 28-Feb-17 13:28:00

I'd take the new job. And (possibly) take a short break before trying for a baby so you can settle in (and be eligible for maternity pay). It's worth a chat with your doctor now already re your contraception, if it's something that could take a while before your hormones are back to normal and you might be able to conceive, you might be better placed stopping sooner and using (eg) condoms until you're ready to start trying, to avoid delaying too far?

anonNorth85 Tue 28-Feb-17 13:37:44

Hi yeah Good point. I came off the pill a year ago and we've used condoms since.

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Mehfruittea Tue 28-Feb-17 15:09:19

I've sort of been in this position. I was offered redundancy while having my final round of NHS funded IVF. Take the money and be able to afford 2 more attempts, or stay and hope I'm pregnant. I wasn't allowed to wait and see.

I chose to stay, and was really pleased I did. IVF worked and when I returned to work my role had been simplified for my replacement. I eased my way back in to a not quite as stressful job.

I hope you manage to work out what's right for you.

Brightsideisbetter Fri 03-Mar-17 10:55:48

I rarely comment but your situation moved me to do so because I was in such a similar situation.

Its so hard and there is not a right or wrong answer. In my situation i stayed put so got benefit of decent mat leave and because i have been there for a while i was able to negotiate working 4 days and one from home when i went back. I also had a difficult pregnancy and they were understanding (which they have to be by law) which maybe a new job where i was proving myself would not have been.

All of this is very positive but i am pretty bored in my role. Doing only 4 days helps as the sheer volume i need to fit in keeps me busy as i basically do still my full job in 4 days a week. This also jars me a bit as i only get paid for 4! Therefore i have decided to job hunt now - and try and secure a new job which will offer me more interest and same working hours. The fact that current employer has offered me this has given me confidence to ask for this when job hunting. My issue now is i need to find something pretty quickly as i would ideally be there for at least a year before start trying for baba two!

I work in London 3 days a week and have a 50 minute train ride in - its totally fine as i get a seat so can do make up/check emails etc...i also am only 12 minutes from our station. if it was a lot longer journey or i had to do more changes i think it would be far harder.

So i don't have an answer but from my experience i think the things to weigh up are:

-value of staying where you are on top of mat money. will your current employers be more open to a flexible working request - should you want one?

-The potential extra travelling time and how that would impact on your time with family time.

_-long term do you want to have more than one baba. This will effect you sooner than you think in terms of working etc

_-lastly what will make you happiest? if the new job truly will then i think v important as happy mum = happy baby. but if it would also bring lots of extra stress and long hours maybe not so ideal when you have a family.

hope its helpful - good luck with everything!

anonNorth85 Sat 04-Mar-17 16:02:41


Thanks so much for the thoughts. It's good to understand how others have coped. I have been reading into some career planning tools too this week which have been beneficial. Gaining a different perspective.

It's become increasingly clear over the course of this week that my current job is going to be hard work. Not that I'm scared if hard work. But it's really going to be like starting over. All that goodwill and reputation I've built over many years. well that's gone ( hard to explain but they've sacked all the top management so there's no history with any of the bosses if that makes sense). So whilst I have continuity of service I don't have much else. In a neutral period I would with a doubt leave. And the last comment about being bored after returning to work is a factor too. Whatever happens now I think I'm going to have to work in London more to some degree. It's just where my industry is. I feel a bit more at peace with it. The fact this happening at a really inconvenient time is of my hands. But I do believe in fate so maybe, maybe this is taking me somewhere I'm supposed to be? I met my husband to be the first day at my current company. I'm just going to have to see how this unfolds I suppose!

Thanks everyone. I'm so glad I found this website. It restores my faith in people too. X

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