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Help! Am pregnant. Should I disclose it?

Q. I am two months pregnant and job hunting. Last week, I received an email to invite me for an interview in one of the companies I had sent a job application. Should I disclose to the prospective employer that I am pregnant?

Not at this stage. You have been invited for an interview for skills and competencies you have demonstrated in your resume. Go with an open mind and conduct your interview professionally. At this point be sure to get more information on the role, and be sure it is something you are well equipped to undertake.

If you are successful and are at the stage of discussing a job offer, it would be prudent to disclose your status.

Not because it is a legal requirement, but because it is good, to be honest with a potential employer on a matter like this from the start as it will soon be evident to those around you have life growing in you.

Another reason you should disclose this relates to the kind of tasks that you would be assigned.

Some roles that may require you to stand for long, or drive for long distances, or drop and pick heavy stuff may not be suitable during pregnancy.

The environment needs to be right, including a comfortable working chair.

Employers are likely to react differently to your news. Some will be focused on your competencies and the value you would add to the company, in the long run, hence may not see your pregnancy as a challenge.

Others may look at the short-term and see doctor appointments, maternity leave, nursing time and nanny issues and choose to focus on another candidate.

It is, of course, wrong to be discriminated against like this, and sometimes in ways that you cannot prove to warrant legal action. But you know what? Any employer who declines to extend a job offer because of your pregnancy is not worth your skills and time.

Keep searching and you will find the right company and a supervisor who will be understanding.

I would rather you are honest and forthright than be terminated for fictitious cause a few months down the line, or not be confirmed at the end of your probation. As you know, employers view candidates with short-term stints in their employment history as high flight risks or incompetent. Listen to your conscience and you will make the right decision.

By MWIKALI MUTHIANI

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