The news that Marissa Mayer, Yahoo!’s newly hired CEO, is pregnant and was pregnant as Yahoo courted her away from Google has raised all sorts of discussions in the blogosphere and traditional media about the challenges of being a working mother and about whether she should have been job hunting while pregnant to begin with.
My answer is she definitely should have been job hunting. My book is called Always Be Job Hunting, after all, not Be Job Hunting Except When Life Events Get in the Way.
Pregnancy is a major life-altering event for women, of course, but so are many others, for both men and women. The care of a sick parent comes to mind as a situation that may require tremendous commitments of time and energy, for example. I changed jobs in 2005 as my mother’s health was deteriorating and I eventually needed to secure live-in caregivers for her. It was a strain but it was something I managed.
Life doesn’t make it easy for us to advance our careers or to stay employed. I recently saw a poster on a friend’s Facebook page that says: “If you wait for perfect conditions, you’ll never get anything done.”
I echo that when it comes to job hunting, there is no perfect time to do it. The perfect time is every day, even if you only spend 10-15 minutes scanning ads, answering one ad or networking with one potential employer.
John N. Frank