Thursday, 2 July 2009


I apologise for having been awol for the last week or so. It has been officially Too Hot To Blog. As an added bonus I had a job interview earlier this week, which threw up the whole question of what to wear as the temperature crawled towards 30 degrees. I settled on black maternity trousers, a smart maternity vest top and funky necklace and a much too small jacket over the top. I managed around 3 minutes, clutching a bottle of water, in the interview room, listening wiltedly (what do you mean that's not a word?!) as the panel introduced themselves before I asked whether they'd mind if I lost the jacket. They took pity on this tomato-faced lightly sweating lump and told me to 'take off whatever I wanted'. I stopped at the jacket, this being an interview for a senior management post, and was marginally less pink for the rest of the hour long ordeal, including, rather cruelly, a presentation to be delivered 'without visual aides'. Waffle aside, I came out thinking I'd done quite well. There were no surprise questions. I managed to shoe-horn almost all of my pre-prepared practical work examples ('tell me about a time when you were particularly creative') into my answers and definitely didn't feel like I'd embarrassed myself.

I'm not sure what the elephant thought though.
What elephant?
Well the one up my maternity vest top of course.

Before applying for the role I spoke informally to the team manager and told him I'm pregnant. I could almost hear him rustling the pages in the 'Book of Appropriate Things to Say' before finding the page which said 'of course you should apply, finding the right candidate, irrespective of circumstances, is the most important thing'. I did believe him, I'm very lucky to work for an organisation that's as family friendly and committed to staff development as the BBC. I knew though that the interview might be a challenge. The panel were unable to refer to my pregnancy. In the interests of fair selection, all candidates must be treated equally and asked the same questions. I felt ridiculous talking about how I'd approach my first six months in the job, knowing I have only three and a bit before starting maternity leave. But what's the alternative? At least the current set up prevents women being unfairly prejudiced. It did feel odd to say the least though.

I haven't heard anything from the panel, or HR, and the interview was Tuesday. This isn't a good sign, as the successful candidate is always told before the unsuccessful ones. I know realistically that changing jobs a few short weeks before going on leave for what I hope will be a full year would have been a strain, especially making a strong start during the period I should be winding down and handing over. But I'm also a little torn. At any other time this would have been my perfect job, I'd be on tenterhooks waiting for the phone to ring, clinging on to the slim hope that no news is good news. Why should this baby make me feel any different? I will have to go back to work, eventually putting two children in childcare for at least a couple of days a week, so why not to a job I am passionate about?

A kick from the elephant reminds me where my priorities lie. Timing is everything, and I have plenty of time to worry about promotion once my next major production is out of the way.


Muddling Along Mummy said...

Oh Mama B I feel your pain - I've been job hunting through this pregnancy and have found it so frustrating. I may be pregnant but I have a good thirty years of active service in me, great experience and am someone you'd hire in a flash if I didn't have a ball shoved up my jumper!

Hope they get back to you with good news soon

And REALLY hope that it gets cooler soon - pregnancy and heat really aren't a good combination

b said...

Good luck, hope you hear back from them soon. I hope it cools down for you a little bit.