Author Topic: How early is too early?  (Read 3884 times)

2bor!2b

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How early is too early?
« on: October 30, 2015, 12:31:41 PM »
I have been thinking about a job change for at least a year if not more. But I never got to it as I wanted to start a family and decided the pressures of a new job plus the reduction of maternity benefits was not worth it. Now I am expecting and due early next year.

When do you folks think is a good time to start looking around after the baby is here. I work in tech in Silicon Valley so the jobs are aplenty but I will need to do some serious studying before I start interviewing.

I am currently taking courses and I am planning to start looking for jobs within 4 months after baby is born. Is this plan feasible? I am a first time mom so I am not sure what to expect.


Lucky Girl

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Re: How early is too early?
« Reply #1 on: October 30, 2015, 12:55:24 PM »
I would recommend waiting at least 8-9 months post baby to start looking.  I have two kids, and I found that it took at least that long to start to feel like we had reached a state of "normal" where I was able to think of things outside of pure survival. In the first six months you are so sleep deprived that you are barely rational most of the time--not a great time to be trying to make a good impression with a new employer.  Plus, your goals and wants can really shift post-baby and I think it is good to get to the point where you have the ability to reflect before jumping into something new.

I moved to a new job a little over a year after my second child was born, and found that I was able to do that successfully, but did feel like the first few months there I still needed to "pretend" to be committed to the job because the baby still took lots of my mental energy and focus.

mm1970

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Re: How early is too early?
« Reply #2 on: October 30, 2015, 01:30:42 PM »
I would also wait 9 months to a year.

It's all about baby brain, which is a real thing.  That nobody told me about.  Because they forgot.  I am not joking, but it is funny.

Hormones and lack of sleep. I  tell you, right after you have a baby is the LAST time you want to take on something new.  Both babies, I was able to hold my own doing the job that I had been doing (though realistically, I was doing about 25-30% less, because I was tired).

I told a friend this once.  She's my age, no kids, and chastised me for even suggesting such a limitation.  I just said "man, you just don't know until you are there.  With a new baby is NO TIME to be trying something new."

YMMV of course.

2bor!2b

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Re: How early is too early?
« Reply #3 on: October 30, 2015, 02:14:06 PM »
Thanks for the replies. I will have my parents and in-laws helping out with the baby for the first 6 months . At least that is the plan. Do you still think 4-6 months is too early?

I see new dads moving around all the time. But not so for new moms. I think that it is unfortunate that women have to sacrifice their career growth in order to start a family. I shouldn't complain though, I have wanted this baby for sooooo long :)

KCM5

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Re: How early is too early?
« Reply #4 on: October 30, 2015, 02:21:52 PM »
I really think it depends on how the baby sleeps. The parents and in laws help will be awesome, but a new baby really does occupy so much of your thoughts - it is kind of crazy. I think the previous posters are right. I'd wait until 6 months at least, a year wouldn't be out of the question. At a year I'm sure I would have been totally comfortable taking on new roles and responsibilities. But at 6 months - sure I could have faked it until I made it. But why do that if you don't have to?

ysette9

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Re: How early is too early?
« Reply #5 on: October 30, 2015, 02:47:35 PM »
I think the posters so far have a lot of good suggestions. Having parents and in-laws around to help can be great and it also can be exhausting. In the beginning their were helpful to us to have them around but after a while the introvert in me became overwhelmed and it was more stress than not to have so many people over all the time.

I hope you have an easy baby but you really don't know what you will get until you are thick in the middle of it. We had a preemie who struggled to nurse for the first six weeks and then has been a dreadful sleeper. I went back to work after 14 weeks and was a COMPLETE zombie for a good six months or more. I was extremely grateful that I had been at my company for a long time and wasn't new to my position because I absolutely was not operating at peak capacity.

It may feel like a long time to wait now, but keep in mind that a year in your career isn't really that big of a deal. I coasted my first six months or so back at work, but around the year mark I applied for and got the promotion and am doing just fine. The first year of your kid's life on the other hand is huge and you really want to be there for that as much as possible.

Finally, what someone else said about your priorities shifting certainly is true in my household. Pre-baby my husband would talk about career development and wanting to get into management. Post-baby he says he is very happy where he is at now and has no interest in working harder. While I am still advancing in my career, it is not a passion for me the way it was before; I find that doing well at work doesn't satisfy me to the same degree that it did before. I think that giving yourself the time and space to get through this huge life change with as much sanity intact as you can is a good idea without the added pressure of work.

ysette9

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Re: How early is too early?
« Reply #6 on: October 30, 2015, 02:48:08 PM »
Note: we are in Silicon Valley also

2bor!2b

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Re: How early is too early?
« Reply #7 on: October 30, 2015, 03:10:58 PM »
Thanks for all your helpful replies. I should have put this out there before but my team is going into maintenance mode pretty soon(probably within the next 6 months-came as a total shock because we were doing well) and although I think I should be good for a year, come 2017, reality may be very different. Hence the urgency.

Also, I do not enjoy working with this team. I hardly have any friends and the work is boring to say the least. Ah well, maybe I should suck it up and be here as long as possible. If I do get laid off, I will take my time to start looking again. You guys/gals are right, I do not want to miss my baby's early years just to make some extra money and prevent a break in my career. If I am smart enough, I should be employable a year from now as well :)

Bearded Man

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Re: How early is too early?
« Reply #8 on: October 30, 2015, 11:25:28 PM »
I think you should wait until you are back to a routine and comfortable again, whether it be a year or 9 months.

La Bibliotecaria Feroz

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Re: How early is too early?
« Reply #9 on: October 31, 2015, 09:16:01 AM »
Babies are unpredictable. I have two, and they were TOTALLY different babies.

Why not make a Plan A and a Plan B?

Plan A could be start looking 4 months after baby, and you could have a little checklist--like if baby is healthy, sleeping, nothing has changed at your current job, you feel ready, etc.. Plan B could be to wait 8 months.

Congrats on new baby and good luck with job search!

Zamboni

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Re: How early is too early?
« Reply #10 on: October 31, 2015, 10:23:58 AM »
It really depends upon you.

I got a call for an interview while I was in the hospital giving birth and started a completely new job 4.5 months after my twins were born. It was only 2 days per week, and their grandma watched them on those days. I did not go back full time until they were 4 years old and enmeshed in preschool, and even then I was lucky to have a pretty flexible job in terms of when I worked my hours.

Although it was hard in some respects, I do not regret that I did that. The timing was perfect and that job allowed me to make a career change.

YMMV.