My back was aching and my feet had grown an entire half size, but that’s not what was keeping me up at night. I sat in bed with my eyes open and head-spinning because I was completely unsatisfied with my job – and six months pregnant.
If you’ve ever felt stuck in your career, this feeling is compounded 10x when you’re pregnant. You can’t help but wonder…
“Who would want to offer me a position knowing I’ll be out for maternity leave in a few months?”
“Why would anyone invest in me when I have weekly doctor appointments, daily nausea and hourly hot flashes?”
I decided to be content with being content. No, I wasn’t in my dream job. No, I didn’t feel professionally challenged, motivated or driven. But, I had a job. I could deal with monotony for the time being. I could wait this out. What choice did I have?
I realize now that my situation is all too common. The pregnancy test slowly turns to that little plus sign (or in my case, the word “Embarazada” – we were in Mexico at the time!) and there’s an instant feeling of overwhelming joy followed closely by a million, “how am I going to make this work?” emotions.
My professional career has always played a significant role in my life. For me, it’s a very meaningful piece of who I am as a person. It’s what I fight for, how I grow, what I rant about after a few glasses of wine.
Accepting the mindset to be satisfied in a role that I didn’t find fulfilling went against every core belief I had as an individual. And yet, I found myself, stepping into a powerless state, choosing to focus on the joy from those little kicks in my belly over the dissatisfaction of my day-to-day.
That was until I was introduced to Melanie Fellay, the CEO and Cofounder at Spekit, a Denver based software startup that was just getting its feet off the ground at the time.
We met by chance, connected through my husband who thought my startup marketing background and Mel’s need to amplify Spekit’s product story aligned. “At the very least,” he said, “Mel’s a badass female leader you should be friends with.”
For those of you who have ever worked in a startup, you know there isn’t downtime. It’s all hands on deck, around the clock. You’re bringing an entirely new product to market, you’re breaking into an industry with old players, or often, redefining that industry itself.
It’s a rollercoaster that I find incredibly challenging and rewarding. But, not one I had expected to jump back into for some time.
When I met up with Mel it felt as though the stars aligned. I was inspired by her vision for the company, excited for the opportunity to build something new and slightly shocked that I was even being considered while my bump was squeezed into the booth.
She said, “ for Spekit, being a female-founded company wasn’t just a label we could slap on. It’s engrained at the core of our beliefs. It represents how we behave, what we respect and the way in which we support other females.”
I walked away with two important lessons from that conversation:
- There are people who will see you for your long-term potential and are willing to invest in that
- You should never feel like you need to “wait out” finding happiness in your career
The number one fear for pregnant women looking for a new position is they’ll get passed over (even if they’re the most qualified for the position). The remaining fears (at least for me) we’re all some variation of this. But, this experience shows that great companies – the ones you want to be a part of – care only about hiring the best people and are willing to make upfront sacrifices on their end to support a larger, long-term vision of hiring the best people for their organization.
Ready to make the leap? Looking for an organization that will invest in you while respecting the daily challenges of balancing motherhood and a professional career? Find companies that have priorities aligned with yours.