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    Anxiety, Fear of Failure? You’re Not Alone: How to Overcome Imposter Syndrome

    Have you ever felt like you’re in way over your head in your career? Or maybe read a job description and thought, ‘there’s no way I’m qualified for that’? If so, you may be experiencing imposter syndrome. 

    Imposter syndrome is the appearance of anxious thoughts and feelings leading you to believe you’re out of your depth in a certain situation or like you’re a fake who may be discovered at any point. You might feel like you’re not deserving of success, praise, or even a new job or promotion. 

    While imposter syndrome doesn’t gender discriminate, this scientific study explains how imposter syndrome manifests within professional women: “Despite objective evidence of success, these women had a pervasive psychological experience believing that they were intellectual frauds and feared being recognized as impostors. They suffered from anxiety, fear of failure, and dissatisfaction with life.” 

    Imposter syndrome has become a bit of a buzzword in many tech and business circles — but it’s not without reason. It is a common underlying fear in many professionals with up to 82% of people experiencing it. Imposter syndrome is especially prevalent in those looking for new jobs. Read on to understand the root causes of imposter syndrome, how to detect it, and actionable tips on how to combat it during the job search process.

    Identify ways to spot imposter syndrome

    These feelings of inadequacy can be insidious and not altogether apparent. You may not even realize you’re experiencing imposter syndrome. 

    As Jessica Bennett, author of Feminist Fight Club, explains in her FastCompany article, imposter syndrome comes in many flavors. Bennett outlines the most common ways you to identify you’re experiencing it: 

    Feeling sure you’re going to fail or embarrass yourself.  

    Feeling like you’ll be exposed at any moment and tricked people to get your position.

    Devaluing your worth or minimizing your accomplishments, even if others are actively championing you. 

    Underestimating your expertise, like thinking you’re not qualified for a new job (more on this in the next sections).  

    Understanding the impact on underrepresented groups

    Unfortunately, imposter syndrome is more common amongst women and underrepresented groups. Studies show female entrepreneurs experience imposter fear to the degree that it hinders career growth. Even prior to entering the professional world, college students found links between imposter feelings and certain ethnic groups, leading to mental health problems. 

    We recommend Sheryl Nance-Nash’s BBC article for a deep dive on how oppression, systematic racism, and unequal representation leads to more instances of imposter syndrome for women of color.

    In a personal reflection from a member of our partner Diversability, Puneet S. says, “I only apply or do something if I am 110% sure and prepared. At times, I still doubt if I am good enough for the project. Some say historically marginalized groups tend to self-select opportunities so we should apply even if we don’t meet every criterion. This has helped me become aware of my unconscious bias and pushed me to show up and self-advocate.”

    In a conversation on imposter syndrome, it’s important to recognize and understand the impact of structural issues embedded in it. Addressing imposter syndrome is really tied to fixing these broader societal institutions. An article from Harvard Business Review urges the narrative to switch from fixing people to fixing bias, as feeling like an outsider is often the result of systemic issues. In this context, the onus is on leaders to help stir change. 

    Shifting from a big picture view, let’s review how amid these larger structural problems, you can practice self-care and resilience to face imposter syndrome. 

    5 ways to defeat imposter syndrome in the job hunt

    Imposter syndrome may manifest itself within your job search. If you’re on the hunt for a career change, but find yourself doubting your experience, abilities, or strengths, it may keep you from applying to certain roles. You might look at a job description and think there’s no way you could measure up, even if you have both the preferred proficiencies and experiences listed in the description – that’s imposter syndrome rearing its ugly head. 

    Qualify yourself 

    Brittany King, Senior Manager, TA-Talent Intelligence & Diversity, and a member of our partner Sista Circle says, “As someone who has been in the Talent Acquisition space for some time, I often hear about the effects imposter syndrome can have on jobseekers, namely early career talent or talent looking to break into a new industry. 

    Ultimately, the circular dynamic of “experienced required” vs “I need a job to get experience” leaves many feeling hopeless and lost. After all, how should one actually get experience without experience? 

    For me, it’s a simple answer: ‘Qualify yourself.’ I don’t mean wake up tomorrow and pursue the role of CEO fresh out of college, but I do mean checking-all-the-boxes is not required for success in a role. Good companies know that. This is especially important if you’re a member of a historically marginalized community. 

    For example, research has shown women only apply if they meet nearly 90% of the requirements of a role whereas men tend to apply when they meet only 50-60% of the requirements. This is a good case for the reality that it’s not always the “qualified” who get the job, but those who had the temerity to qualify themselves.”

    Below you’ll find our tips for countering feelings of inadequacy and gaining the courage to confidently apply to more positions.

    1. Keep a “Wins Folder”

    When you’re feeling unqualified, it’s easy to forget the amazing things you’ve done. Cataloging your accomplishments and milestones is a great way to reinforce your worth. Start a “Wins” folder, either on your desktop or in Google Drive. The idea is to organize and track your professional achievements. 

    If you’re ever feeling unsure and incompetent, open the folder and scan some entries. Pull it up before you go into any intimidating situation—an important meeting, performance review, or even a casual catchup with someone impressive in the office. As a bonus, you likely need some of this information for job applications, so it will be easy to access.

    Ideas of the collateral to save:

    Collect any positive feedback from colleagues, supervisors, clients, or customers, i.e., performance reviews or project assessments. You could even screenshot encouraging emails as a PDF. 

    Keep track of benchmarks and goals you hit in your previous roles (sales quotas, effective campaigns, etc.). 

    Notate any promotions you’ve received and any positive evaluation accompanying it.

    LaShawnda Rodgers is VP of Community Outreach for Blacks In Technology RDU among other roles including Founder, Leadership Coach, and Corporate Trainer. Based on her experiences with clients, she shares advice for jobseekers.

    “Keeping a detailed list of your accomplishments is imperative in job hunting to defeat imposter syndrome. It allows you to see and acknowledge how brilliant you are… I have my coaching clients ask themselves where those negative thoughts come from and if they are facts. Facts can be proven. If the answer is no, then they aren’t true. 

    Remember, the unfamiliar is scary but necessary for growth. Change your language about things that are unfamiliar. Instead of saying, ‘I have no knowledge of XYZ,’ say ‘I am in the processing of learning about XYZ.’” 

    2. Develop constant feedback loops

    People who experience imposter syndrome are often hesitant to ask for feedback. It makes you more vulnerable. Yet, getting frequent feedback is actually a powerful way to combat insecurities at work. 

    For starters, good feedback loops surface constructive criticism and an opportunity for positive reinforcement. Setting up the right feedback mechanisms with your manager and colleagues helps you see what you’re doing well in the eyes of others. It also offers up more evidence to add to your achievements (get it in that Wins Folder!). If you notice particular instances when you feel imposter syndrome creep in more, try to establish feedback around those events. 

    Further, frequent feedback gives you more real-time input into how your performance and behavior comes off to others. If you get nervous in meetings, for example, ask for feedback on a specific meeting or presentation soon after it happens. Those who suffer from imposter syndrome might dwell on a minor detail (like stumbling over a sentence) for months. Hearing from someone else on what went well and what didn’t will help reframe your thoughts.

    3. Set and track achievable goals

    Setting small, realistic goals, allows you to identify tangible accomplishments and celebrate meeting them, effectively bolstering your self-esteem. 

    As the productivity experts at Hubgets explain, “without specific, decisive goals to point you in a clear direction, it can be a challenge to find motivation and purpose… Establish your main target each day and set out to achieve it before working hours are over. The thrill of pursuit and the pride of success are excellent motivators.”

    When job hunting, your goals might be small tasks like: update my resume or apply to three positions this weekend. Then, make sure to recognize and celebrate when you meet those objectives. This consistent reinforcement will help boost your self-confidence and keep you motivated during the job search, especially when feelings of doubt or low self-worth pop up. 

    As we all know, looking for a new job can be a discouraging process. This practice will help!

    4. Network with peers

    Comparison may be a dangerous habit during the job search. Keep this in mind: the goal of networking isn’t to measure yourself against others in your industry. It’s more so to give you perspective. 

    When you join new groups or attend events, you’ll receive a broader sense of the current job landscape. Additionally, you’ll create invaluable relationships with folks who may be outside your current organization but still understand what you’re going through. As such, you’ll receive support, positive reinforcement, and validation.

    Also, look for those who’ve successfully completed a job hunt and ask about their experiences. You might be surprised how many others felt imposter syndrome during the process only to end up in a role they rightfully deserved. 

    Related: Hired Partners: Community and Networking for Jobseekers

    5. Fill up your tool box 

    There are many tools to incorporate into your daily life to reaffirm your worth. You just need to understand them, experiment with them, and see what works for you. 

    To get started, try these practices:

    Meditate while asking yourself questions to gain clarity. For example, “What am I trying to achieve? What am I doing that works?”  

    Focusing on abundance by listing what you’re grateful for in your life and career.  

    Take self-assessment tests to better understand your personality, strengths, and weaknesses, i.e., Meyers-Briggs, Enneagram, PATH Assessment.  

    Journal to dig deeper into issues or release negative thoughts. 

    Avoid imposter syndrome and find the perfect role

    Imposter syndrome can rob you of your confidence and make you doubt your unique skills and experiences. Even worse, it might make you second guess applying for a new position that’s perfect for you. 

    Instead of beating yourself up or getting lost in negative thoughts, take action against imposter syndrome. Use the above strategies to reinvigorate your mindset and banish thoughts of skepticism and worry. Know you’re not alone when you feel doubt, and remind yourself of your qualifications. 

    Happy job hunting! 

    Continue reading our Ally Series: More

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    How to Get Approved on Hired

    Hired is a closed, curated marketplace that strives to create the best experience possible for jobseekers and hiring managers alike. In order to achieve this, our machine learning algorithm vets candidates and companies before they receive an invite to go live on Hired. 

    Candidates must have an in-demand skill set (meaning active Hired employers have open roles requiring those skills), ideally 2+ years of relevant experience, and a completed profile with a resume and/or LinkedIn URL included. Candidates must also display an intent to start interviewing right away.

    Companies must have a clear need to hire, and be willing to provide compensation and role details in the offers they make on our platform.

    In which locations can I find a job through Hired?

    Hired works with companies primarily in the US, UK, and Canada. Traditionally, we see our strongest presence both in terms of company and candidate volume in major tech hub cities. However, Hired now offers remote talent around the world. Provided candidates are open to remote work or the possibility of relocation while meeting our other criteria, they can go live to employers whoo source talent from all over the world. 

    What skill sets are companies looking for on Hired?

    Our primary focus is technical roles but we recently added some customer-facing positions, such as account executives and customer experience manager. Currently, open roles favor candidates with 2+ years of full-time experience in software engineering, product management, engineering management, data analytics/science, quality assurance, devops, design, and sales with a wide variety of specialties for each role. That said, we are constantly working with employers to scale their teams, so check this list periodically for additions.

    What type of roles does Hired support?

    Companies on Hired are looking to fill full-time/permanent and contract roles. These roles can be on-site, remote, or hybrid. Currently, we do not support internship, part-time, or C2C roles. 

    I am looking to begin my career in tech or transition into a technical role. Can Hired help me?

    Our companies are typically seeking jobseekers with 2+ years of full-time experience in a relevant role. As a result, Hired isn’t best suited for jobseekers fresh from a career transition or graduation. However, we partner with General Assembly and graduates of their software engineering and data science immersive programs can go live to our companies with less than 2 years of full-time experience. 

    I’m just interested in seeing what I’m worth. Is the Hired platform for me? 

    The Hired platform is meant for candidates who intend to start interviewing right away as the companies we support are looking to hire immediately. If you’re ready to start a new role within 30 days, we encourage you to create and submit your profile (for free!). If not, you are welcome to check out the Hired Salary Calculator to view offer salary data from others with similar skill-sets, specialties, and years of experience.

    Once approved, the platform promotes your profile to employers ‌for at least 2 weeks. When the platform detects a potentially good fit, the employer can request an interview and your job search progresses from there! More

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    Tech Candidate Spotlight – Manuel Cheta, Senior Software Engineer in the UK

    Can you start by sharing a bit bit about your educational background? 

    After finishing Aerospace Engineering university courses I decided to go into the web development world instead. I am a self-taught Front-End Developer. I learned about HTML, CSS, Javascript after opening my first WordPress blog and learning how to modify the website and manage my hosting space as a webmaster. 

    Being self-taught, accessing Youtube videos and development blogs helped enormously. The biggest impact on my career was my decision to press on, inspect the websites, and see how they were built. 

    What would you like to learn more about?

    I recently became interested in psychology and how to help people work together to reach a common goal. In addition, I am interested in deepening my Front-End dev knowledge and connected areas like DevOps, Backend, cloud, and even AI.

    Of course, because I work in fintech, I am also interested in learning as much as I can about personal finance and investing.

    What led you to pursue a career in tech?

    I always had an interest in computers, ever since playing Prince of Persia on an Intel 286 PC in the 7th grade. Since then, I spent time learning how to install an operating system, how to debug programs, and how to help people set up their own computer or home network. 

    How has your skillset evolved over the course of your career?

    Each year, I start with the hopes of learning a lot. I do learn quite a lot and at the end of the year I feel more stupid than I felt at the start, so the cycle repeats. From learning regular HTML/CSS to working on full-scale single-page apps in various frameworks, I am always on the lookout for a better understanding of the basics and new stuff to learn.

    If you chose to specialize in one area, what was it and why?

    I specialise in Front-End and web accessibility. I love working in Front-End because it gets me as close to the user as possible. My open nature lends itself to creating code, which can be seen, read, and felt by the end user. I am also keenly interested in promoting web accessibility because I firmly believe that when you make your website accessible, you make everyone’s lives way better.

    Is your new role different from previous ones?

    This year, my focus was on fintech and as such, I worked in fintech. I call myself a nano-investor because I am just learning how to better invest my time and money. That was why I moved away from the e-commerce industry to fintech. 

    What are you most excited about in your new role or company?

    We’re starting a new project and I can have the biggest impact right now since my experience as a senior dev can bring in the most value in setting the direction of development. Having worked on many projects I can identify pain points and offer suggestions.

    What was your job search experience like before you joined Hired?

    When I was a junior dev, a number of years ago when sites like Hired didn’t exist, I would simply push my CVs to different platforms without any hope of actually getting a response. Now, Hired makes my life way easier because I can tailor my profile to the industry I am interested in and I receive interview requests only from the companies I would be genuinely interested in. 

    What’s your best advice for jobseekers on Hired? 

    Make sure to have a 1-2 page CV that’s not too long. Also, create a specific “keywords” section to help the automated system identify your domain of work. When setting your profile to “open for work,” make sure your short bio concisely explains what your interests are.

    Be sure to use the correct asking price for the role and industry you are in. In terms of the asking price, insert a specific number like 65,789 so you attract more inquisitive recruiter minds. 

    Related: Want More Interviews and Better Matches? 5 Key Tips!

    What would you tell someone who’s curious about Hired?

    Just sign up! Spend a bit of time writing the best descriptions you can in each section and make sure you indicate the specific industry you want to work in. 

    Any general advice you’d like to give other tech professionals?

    Spend time learning about the companies your are interviewing for and what their interview process is like. Being a good tech professional matters. However, companies are looking for people who are enthusiastic about their company and like to work with others. Therefore, soft skills are more highly rated than tech skills. Tech can be learned, but culture and caring for your colleagues is not an easily teachable and transferrable skill.

    Congrats on the job, Manuel! Interested in landing a great role in the UK like Manuel did? Complete your free profile on Hired today!

    About Compare The Market

    Compare The Market is a price comparison website and provides customers with an easy way to make the right choice on a wide range of products including motor, home, life and energy. Founded in 2005, Compare the Market has between 501-1,000 employees and is headquartered in London. In 2021, it made Hired’s List of Top Employers Winning Tech Talent.

    Tech Stack

    JavaScript, Node.js, MongoDB, AWS, C#, .NET, iOS, Android, Docker, Git, HTML, CSS, Scala, Java, Kafka, Kubernetes, Python, React, Redux, Big Data

    Benefits

    Life/disability insurance, work-from-home flexibility, volunteer time off, flexible working hours, employee discount programs, and more. More

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    Tech Candidate Spotlight – Robert Wells, Security Engineering Technical Leader in the UK

    Please share a little bit about your educational background and which educational opportunities made the biggest impact on your tech career.

    I earned a Bachelors in Electrical Engineering with Computer Science from University of NSW in Sydney. This was one of the first universities to be on the internet, outside of the US! I also did a lot of self study.

    I make use of numerous online courses and certifications as well as *some* great resources on YouTube. Beware of YouTube because the S/N ratio can be quite low so Caveat Emptor! 

    What would you like to learn more about?

    I’d like to learn more about Site Reliability Engineering to become a more well-rounded DevOps Engineer. Additionally, I’m interested in Golang.

    I’d also like to explore ways to improve having difficult conversations, as well as how to lead and inspire others. 

    What led you to pursue a career in tech?

    I’ve enjoyed programming and tech since I was young. I’ve especially enjoyed teaching and helping others.

    I think I got it from my dad who started programming in the late 1950s. Having to explain binary arithmetic to my 4th class teacher when I was nine was a highlight!

    How has your skillset evolved over the course of your career?

    I started out using various languages at Uni. Then, in my career I saw the common aspects across languages, which made picking up new languages quite easy. 

    Working on a project for Qantas and BA introduced me to Continuous Integration before the term DevOps was coined. It also made me a firm believer in the approach so my skillset has evolved from being Dev focused to being DevOps/ARE focused.

    If you choose to specialize in one area, what was it and why?

    I have chosen to focus on DevOps/SRE to enable solutions providing high-quality feedback to developers in a timely manner. Quick, timely feedback massively improves a developer’s working experience and attitude. I can confirm this through my own personal experience!

    Is your new role different from previous ones?

    I have moved away from consulting (telling and showing companies how to do something) to actually designing and implementing for a company (being hands-on!).

    What are some of the things you’re most excited about in your new role or company?

    I’m looking forward to contributing to a company and product responsible for so much of the internet and its continued smooth operation. I’m excited to actually build and run things as opposed to telling people how to build and run things.

    What was your job search experience like before you joined Hired?

    A lot of roles were quite scattergun. They were not really suitable for a DevOps professional. Hired brought a lot more focus so all requests were more tailored to what I was looking for in my next role.

    What’s your best advice for job seekers registered on the Hired platform? 

    Keep your resume up-to-date. Use tools like Calendly to advertise open time slots for your availability to have chats. 

    Accept requests for interviews even though you may initially think the role is not quite what you are looking for. You never know where you may actually end up after your initial chat with HR.

    Hired is a great platform to connect tech talent to high-quality companies. I highly recommend it!

    Any general advice you’d like to give other tech professionals?

    Never stop learning. The day you stop learning is the day you start dying! There are great online courses through Udemy, and other various suppliers such as AWS, Hashicorp, etc. I also recommend *some* tech channels on YouTube. TechWorld with Nana has a very high S/N ratio, and there are many channels from suppliers and conferences.

    Congrats on the job, Robert! Interested in landing a great role in the UK like Robert did? Complete your free profile on Hired today!

    About Cisco

    Cisco hardware, software, and service offerings are used to create the Internet solutions that make networks possible. Founded in 1984, Cisco has 5,001+ employees and is headquartered in San Jose.

    Tech Stack

    Python, Spark, Javascript, React, AWS, Kubernetes, Java, Go, Docker, Microservices, Kafka, iOS, Android, Kotlin, Kibana, Datadog, Terraform

    Benefits

    Health/dental/vision/life/disability insurance, 401k plan/matching, tuition reimbursement, paid time off, stock options, employee discount programs, job training, and more. More

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    Tech Candidate Spotlight – Fred Campbell, Software Engineer in the UK

    Can you share a little bit about your educational background?

    I earned a traditional degree in Experimental Psychology. I later trained in my late twenties as a Software Engineer through Makers Academy bootcamp.

    It was great and I learned a lot from this practical, hands-on experience. Joining a small startup after that provided a lot of educational benefits. I was able to try my hand in lots of different areas.

    What would you like to learn more about?

    Tech related: I’d like to skill up as a front-end developer. I only have back-end experience so far and feel I’m missing out a bit! Non-tech related: Gardening as ours is a mess!

    What led you to pursue a career in tech?

    I previously coded HTML sites in Notepad in the early 2000s and drifted away from it. I felt dissatisfied with my career in Education many years later. 

    I then decided to take up coding again since I enjoyed it so much. Needless to say, things have changed since the turn of the millennium!

    How has your skillset evolved over the course of your career?

    Developing soft skills has been important alongside technical skills. Good listening and communication skills are so crucial but often overlooked in favour of blunt technical output. Working to become a well-rounded developer rather than just technically proficient is essential.

    If you choose to specialize in one area, what was it and why?

    I ended up moving into back-end through circumstance rather than choice. However, I’ve always had an interest in design and would like to pivot more into front-end if I have the opportunity.

    Is your new role different from previous ones? 

    It’s in a very different industry. I’m moving from fintech into hospitality. Sometimes it can feel daunting dropping all that domain knowledge and ‘starting again’ within a new industry.

    What are some of the things you’re most excited about in your new role or company?

    A highly-skilled and friendly team, a great product with clear direction, and a collaborative working environment. I am also looking forward to learning new technologies I have not worked with previously.

    What was your job search experience like before you joined Hired?

    I spoke to a few recruiters but nothing felt particularly targeted and nothing fit my overall experience level. I found the process much more frustrating than it needed to be. There was so much noise and it was hard to find a good match.

    What’s your best advice for job seekers registered on the Hired platform? 

    Be responsive and get back to recruiters regardless of whether the job is one you’re interested in. When you do find something that seems to be a good fit, it’s important to be clear about what you’re looking for and the skill set you can provide.

    What would you tell someone who’s curious about Hired?

    Go for it! The process was so smooth and straightforward, and the companies on the platform are very high quality.

    Any general advice you’d like to give other tech professionals?

    Take a break from your screen every once in a while. Don’t work into the evening. Focus on developing core tech skills rather than chasing the latest trends.

    Congrats on the job, Fred! Interested in landing a great role in the UK like Fred did? Complete your free profile on Hired today!

    About Triptease

    Triptease is a SaaS startup building software to help the hotel industry increase their direct bookings. Their industry-leading products bring the right guests straight to the right hotel so they can get the best price direct. Founded in 2013, Triptease has 51-200 employees and is headquartered in London.

    Tech Stack

    TypeScript, Node.JS, Python, HTML, CSS, React, Redux, Jest, Google Cloud Platform, Docker, Kubernetes, PostgreSQL, Redis, Airflow, Jupyter, Continuous Deployment, CircleCI, Test Driven Development (TDD), Pair Programming, Looker, BigQuery, Behavior-driven Development (BDD)

    Benefits

    Stock options, paid time off, maternity/paternity benefits, tuition reimbursement, career growth, diversity program, job training, and more. More

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    How Jobseekers Can Combat Pregnancy Discrimination in the Hiring Process

    Moms are a major part of the workforce at about one-third of employed women. It’s reasonable to assume many women will go through the application and hiring process while pregnant. Although family planning can add some complexities, it should not dictate the job search. 

    One concern of expectant mothers is bias against that from hiring managers, even if they’re the most qualified candidate. You may think “Who wants to hire someone that’s going to need 3-4 months off within the first year of their employment?” This is a legitimate concern. It might be difficult to imagine a company willing to do this. But the truth is, there are — and you are capable of approaching this process.

    To hear from women who have dealt with this firsthand, we asked the SheCanCode community about disclosing pregnancy during the job search. SheCanCode is a global community on a mission to close the tech gender gap. Most expressed concern based on personal experiences. One member said, “I would not feel comfortable disclosing a pregnancy to a potential employer. I am currently in the job market and also undergoing IVF. I feel that disclosing this to a potential employer would immediately jeopardize a potential offer. If a job was offered, I would be fearful of being within the probationary period and that I wouldn’t be entitled to full maternity cover, should I lose my role within the probationary period.”

    While this is a common worry, pregnancy discrimination is illegal. If you’re trying to conceive or are pregnant while seeking employment, it’s essential to know your rights and look for the following signs of discrimination. Use this guide to empower you on your career journey.

    Understand the Protections for Pregnant Women

    The Civil Rights Act of 1964 prohibits discrimination based on race, color, religion, sex, and national origin. Over the years, two additional amendments strengthened the legislation.

    First, in 1978, the Pregnancy Discrimination Act (PDA) amendment required employers to treat pregnancy using the same rules applied to other short-term disability cases. 

    Then, in 1993, with the passage of the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA), new parents became eligible for 12 weeks of unpaid leave to care for a new child. To qualify, an employee had to work for the employer for 12 months. This rule applies to businesses with 50 employees or more.

    The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission enforces these laws. Most states have additional rules to combat pregnancy discrimination in hiring and the workplace.

    Recognizing Pregnancy Discrimination

    The PDA not only protects pregnant women, but recent mothers as well. It also covers discrimination based on medical conditions caused by pregnancy or childbirth. 

    It’s important you know what discrimination may look like during the application, hiring, and onboarding stage of a new job. A nerve-wracking aspect of job searching might be telling your new employer that you’re pregnant once hired (another phase when discrimination can occur).

    To further your understanding, here are a few examples of pregnancy discrimination:

    Refusing to hire pregnant applicants 

    If a candidate can perform their job, an employer cannot refuse to hire a woman because of pregnancy. It’s also against the law to ask a candidate about her childbearing plans. So do not feel like you need to answer any questions related to family planning during the recruitment process. However, employers may ask when and how often a candidate is available to work.

    Failing to modify duties

    Pregnancy is not a disability. But according to the law, employers must apply the same rules to pregnant workers as employees who are temporarily disabled. A pregnant employee may need to modify her job, for example, sitting rather than standing. Employers must make the same accommodations they would for any other employee with a short-term disability. So don’t worry if an aspect of the job may become difficult later in your pregnancy. 

    Withholding maternity leave 

    If a company allows an injured employee to take disability leave or unpaid leave, it must do the same for a pregnant employee. After a pregnancy-related absence, employers must hold open a job for the same amount of time they are held open for employees on disability leave. In other words, you can’t be fired after coming back from your maternity leave (without other due cause). 

    Offering inadequate health coverage 

    Making sure you have the right health insurance when starting a new job while pregnant can be stressful. While you don’t want to disclose that you’re pregnant, you also want to ensure you have adequate coverage. 

    Employers must provide health insurance coverage for pregnancy-related conditions in the same manner as other medical expenses. The Affordable Care Act, passed in 2010, prohibits insurers from declining to cover pregnancy as a pre-existing condition. 

    Regardless of your policy, it’s crucial to do your research. As HealthMarkets explains, “Maternity care is an essential health benefit, and all qualified health plans must cover it, even if you are pregnant before your coverage takes effect.” They recommend checking the Summary of Benefits and Coverage Page which will detail costs of pregnancy both before and after birth. While in the offer phase of a job, ask to view documentation for a company’s health plans and ask if they have any type of waiting period before coverage takes effect. 

    Firing you for being pregnant 

    The PDA prohibits discrimination based on pregnancy for any aspect of employment, including termination. So a company cannot fire you based on the fact you’re pregnant. There must be some other valid reason.

    FAQs About Job Hunting While Pregnant

    Don’t let some of the challenges the job search might pose discourage you. Here are frequently asked questions about launching a successful job hunt while pregnant.

    Do I have to tell potential employers I’m pregnant?

    There is no legal obligation to tell potential employers you’re pregnant. Moreover, candidates in their first trimester generally keep this information to themselves.

    Okay, I know I don’t have to disclose, but should I?

    It depends. If it’s early in the pregnancy and you’re not showing, you could wait until you’re a final candidate or receive an offer. If you’re in your second or third trimester and visibly pregnant, it might be obvious when you come in for an interview. Just remember that you’re under no obligation to discuss this during the interview process. 

    How should I facilitate a conversation with my potential employer, should I choose to disclose? 

    When the time is right, it helps to have a plan to disclose your pregnancy with an employer. If you disclose while interviewing, mention that you’ll manage your projects, so your leave will cause minimal impact. Emphasize your commitment to the job and that you intend to return after the maternity leave.

    To address any concern about work, reassure management you love your job and look forward to picking up right where you left off upon returning.

    Moreover, don’t stress out too much. Remember, companies want to hire you for the long haul, and make an investment in your future with their organization. A supportive employer with the right mindset won’t see a few months leave as an insurmountable issue. If you frame your pregnancy as exciting news (you’re expecting!), a good employer will more than likely be happy to hear about this new chapter in your life.   

    Can I take maternity leave immediately after starting a job?

    This depends on your employment situation. Under the FMLA, you’re not eligible for leave until 12 months of employment. However, many companies have individual maternity policies, so speak to the HR team to understand those. 

    Additionally, employers must treat pregnancy like any other disability. So if other employees are allowed to return after a short-term disability, you would be as well. You’re entitled to the time off your doctor advises for recovery. (Typically 6-8 weeks depending on your birth.) 

    How can I assess how supportive a company is of working parents? 

    For parents, the definition of a good job includes a family-friendly culture. Here are a few clues that indicate a company with a good work-life balance.

    Look for family-friendly words: If the company description or job post mentions words like “family-friendly,” “work-life balance,” or “flexibility,” that’s a good sign.

    Check the benefits: See if the ad mentions childcare, comprehensive insurance coverage, help with adoption, or other family-related benefits.

    Note the responsibilities: Pay attention to the percent of travel required and if long hours or weekend work is mentioned.

    Be observant in interviews: Ask questions about a typical workday. Do they have flexible work schedules that include remote work? You can also ask about the work culture and current employees to get a sense if other parents enjoy working there. 

    Last year, theSkimm’s #ShowUsYourLeave campaign launch sparked a flood of opinions and personal stories around parental leave, garnering 1,000 hashtag followers on LinkedIn. Progressive companies took this opportunity to showcase their generous policies (see Hired’s here). The campaign’s success proved leave as a point of interest, validating it as demand from jobseekers and an opportunity for companies to support employees and attract talent. 

    Related: Check out employers like theSkimm on Hired’s 2022 List of Top Employers Winning Tech Talent 

    Overcoming Pregnancy Discrimination While Job Hunting

    Even though it’s illegal, pregnancy discrimination is, unfortunately, still prevalent. According to survey data, 20% of moms report they have experienced pregnancy discrimination at work.  

    Conducting a job search while pregnant might not be ideal timing, but many women have successfully done so. Try to start early in your pregnancy, when possible. Become informed on your rights so you can confidently navigate the job search. Look for a family-friendly company. Most importantly, don’t worry! Not only is stress bad for an expectant mother, but the law protects you and you should be treated with respect and courtesy throughout this process. 

    Happy job hunting and family planning! 

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    Common FAQs from Jobseekers: The Importance of Upskilling for Tech Talent (VIDEO)

    In the current tech talent pool, candidates are searching for ways to upskill for that competitive edge. Upskilling is the process of continuous learning and an excellent way to stand out as a candidate. But with all the resources available, where do you start?

    Hint: with this blog! 

    We shared answers to common questions about upskilling in our AMA-style discussion (now on-demand!). Keep reading for an inside look into what the experts had to say. 

    You’ll hear from these Hired team members:

    Sophia Koehl, Partnerships

    Simon Mackie, Publishing Manager, SitePoint 

    Nate Becker, Candidate Experience

    Read the beginning of the conversation here and scroll down to access the full webinar. 

    How does upskilling apply to my career path?

    Nate

    Your field is always growing. It’s always changing and evolving. In your role and your company, there might always be new opportunities and if you look at your own role you can look at where it is now versus where it was when you started. You can get an idea that companies want you to specialize your skills and employers are always specialized in your role. You can see the importance of it even looking at your growth in your one role. 

    On Hired, employers put these skills directly in the job descriptions. On your candidate profile, you’re going to put these skills directly on there and that’s how we match you – according to this tech stack and these hard skills. It’s important in how you get matched and how you get seen. 

    Simon

    One of the great things about tech careers as a whole is you don’t necessarily need to go back to school to improve your skills, to upskill, or to transition roles. Once you’ve mastered those programming skills, development skills, and engineering skills, you can then shift your focus to look at learning frameworks and libraries, and keep moving on a path forward.

    When you’re looking at a career path as a whole, you definitely need to be upskilling to reach the end goal. Upskilling tends to involve projects. When you’re looking at the projects you’ll be working on, you need to identify the skills you need to be learning for your employer to achieve those project goals. Working on those projects is a great way to learn new skills and learn what you’re interested in to see where your career path could go in the future. 

    People in tech have a bunch of different skills they need to learn at different times. You could be a developer who needs to learn some Scrum skills. In the future, if you’re interested, it could lead to a career as a Scrum master or a product owner in Scrum. Upskilling is vital to you figuring out how you navigate your career path going forward. 

    Sophia

    I like what you said: you might just figure out what you’re interested in. That’s an important call out, especially in a tech role where the career path might not be as linear as another domain. You need to be in tune with your interests and when you upskill and you experience new skills, you might find something that you really like. That might help you carve out your career path. Hired partners with organizations like SitePoint, that provide workshops and upskilling opportunities. There are a lot of organizations out there wanting to support you through this. 

    Other key topics from the conversation include: 

    Upskilling vs reskilling

    Why now is a good time to upskill

    How to ask your company for upskilling opportunities  

    The best technical skills to upskill for 

    And more! 

    An inside look into SitePoint’s toolkit

    What technical skills should I upskill for? 

    Simon’s picks:

    There is so much to learn. How do I prioritize which skills to learn? 

    Simon’s picks include developer surveys like: More

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    How Recruiters Can Find Opportunity Amid Uncertainty

    The forecasts are in, and economists paint a gloomy outlook for the UK economy in the coming months. It has been predicted that Britain risks being the first G7 nation to slip into recession – and the last one to get out of it – which is undoubtedly causing concern amongst business leaders.
    To prepare for challenging times ahead, many organizations are already making tough decisions about where to prioritize investments as budgets tighten. According to new research from LinkedIn, three-quarters of business leaders in the UK are anxious that the current climate will force companies to wind back progress made during the pandemic on important areas of working life such as flexible work, as well as skills development (76%), and employee wellbeing (83%).
    However, this is at odds with what professionals want and has the potential to significantly impact a company’s ability to attract and retain talent. LinkedIn’s Global Talent Trends report finds that flexible work is the biggest factor UK employees value in employers today, even before compensation, with skills development and work-life balance, also featuring high on the list.
    Opportunity for recruiters
    Despite the economic outlook, we’re still seeing a very active labor market with low unemployment levels and a healthy level of job vacancies – with the term ‘jobful recession’ being coined to describe the current climate.
    However, with uncertainty front of mind for many, it has a knock-on effect on how people respond to new opportunities. LinkedIn labor market data reveals that job-seeking behavior in the UK is down compared to the first half of the year, suggesting that people are becoming increasingly reluctant to change jobs during this time of uncertainty. Furthermore, recent LinkedIn research found that 4 in 5 UK business leaders say it’s been difficult to attract talent in the current environment.
    Recruiters play a pivotal role in helping businesses navigate labor market changes, but during periods of uncertainty like the one we’re collectively experiencing now, they have even more of an opportunity to play a strategic adviser role to clients. They are uniquely positioned to help reduce the disconnect between what candidates want and what many employers are now offering by helping companies understand what candidates need in order to consider and pursue new opportunities actively. This is particularly pertinent at a time when many businesses are struggling to find and recruit talent with specific skill sets needed to grow their organizations.
    In a tough hiring environment where people are potentially sheltering in their roles and reluctant to make a change, recruiters can help companies make sense of the hiring market. Here are four key things recruiters should keep front of mind during this time:
    Helping companies understand what candidates want
    The pandemic has changed the world of work as we know it and shifted the needs and wants of employees. This means that it’s more important than ever for recruiters to understand what job seekers want. The biggest shift is the increased desire for greater flexibility in the workplace. For many job seekers now, flexible working arrangements are a deal breaker when considering a new role, let alone accepting one. Recent LinkedIn data highlights the growing preference amongst candidates for flexible working, showing that demand outstrips supply for remote roles – with remote roles making up less than 12% of job ads in the UK, but receiving more than 20% of applications.
    Flexible working will be a key talent magnet for the foreseeable future and can be a core differentiator for recruiters when reaching out to candidates, so featuring an organization’s flexible working policies front and center is going to be key.
    In addition to flexible working, LinkedIn’s recent Global Talent Trends report shows that skills development is a top priority for employees and job seekers. By highlighting a company’s commitment to skills development and the different L&D initiatives that are available, recruiters can help candidates see how a job move can help them develop new skills and progress in their careers.
    Encouraging companies to think skills-first
    For decades, candidates have been assessed on their formal education, experience, and previous job title, which has resulted in companies missing out on high-potential talent. There’s an opportunity for recruiters to help organizations transition to a skills-based hiring approach, where candidates are considered for their skills and future potential. This can help ease the challenges of recruiting in a tight labor market.
    Our data shows that LinkedIn members globally have added 365 million skills to their profiles over the last year, up 43% compared to the previous year. By using skills to screen and search for candidates, rather than relying on direct previous experience, recruiters can help companies unlock new talent pools and source talent from non-traditional backgrounds, which may also help them to improve the diversity of their organization. In addition, recruiters that adopt a skills-based hiring approach will help companies take a ‘select in’ approach to their recruitment, actively bringing in candidates who might not have realized their skills qualified them for the role – rather than just filtering out unsuitable applications. Given we’re still seeing labor market tightness, drawing in new talent this way will be highly valued by businesses.
    Bringing a company’s purpose, culture, and values to life
    More than ever, job seekers are attracted to companies that align with their personal values. When looking for new roles today, it’s more common than not to see candidates challenge and evaluate where a company stands on particular issues they value most, such as DEI or environmental sustainability.
    Recruiters, therefore, need to be well-versed in understanding a company’s purpose and values, ensuring these come through during the hiring process. Recruiters will also need to partner with companies to help them best highlight these attributes to job seekers through their employer branding.
    Data-driven recruiting is the future
    With so much change in the labor market, businesses are increasingly looking for partners who stand out from the crowd and can be truly consultative – providing them with actionable insights grounded in data.
    This means there’s a huge opportunity here for recruitment firms to arm their teams with the right tools to source this data and the skills they need to be able to decipher it. By equipping their teams with these abilities, recruiters can earn a higher seat at the table, providing their clients with strategic advice on workforce planning.
    There is no denying that these are challenging times, but recruiters have a right to be cautiously optimistic and can provide a huge amount of value to clients by playing a more advisory role. By providing counsel and guidance, recruiters can help organizations navigate a tough economic environment, unlocking new talent pools and successfully attracting top talent.
    By Adam Hawkins, Head of Search & Staffing EMEA & LATAM, LinkedIn.
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