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I'm thinking about not coming back to work after my maternity leave -- even if I have to pay some of the pay I receive during leave. Nobody has asked me about whether I'm going to come back (they are just acting as if this will definitely happen when we talk about longer term projects) but I feel hugely guilty....and sometimes I think I should just quit now. Anyone been in this situation? any advice?

Tags: Career advice, Career change, Pregnancy

Does anyone here work for a major financial institution in the new york metropolitan area? I have yet to find a straight answer on the internet or the company website regarding when my eligibilty for 16 week paid maternity leave would start. Are paid maternity leave benefits usually the same across the board for all major financial firms? I just found out I am pregnant (in my first trimester) and by the time I take my maternity leave I would be only nine months in my new job. Would like to hear about your company's eligibility requirements for paid maternity leave here please. Thank you so much...


Tags: Maternity leave

I recently got engaged, will be married October 2017. My fiance and I want to start a family right away. My job does not have paid maternity leave. Would it be premature for me to advocate for paid leave? My initial thought process was to figure this out as soon as possible. Maybe I should start looking for another job; researching other companies I noticed that most (all the one's that I saw) require employees to have been employed for a year before being offered paid maternity leave.

If I could have my way I would stay where I am at and get paid leave.

I have a positive relationship with my boss and can talk about this with him, however; he isn't the one who ultimately makes this decision, corporate does.


Tags: Maternity leave, Negotiating, Pregnancy
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It would not be premature because the internal approval process will likely take a while, and you are helping other women who would benefit from a paid leave period. I worked with other women at previous employer to advocate for paid family leave even though I had no plans to have a child while working for that employer because it's the right thing to do. Connect with other employees that could make the collective case with you.

Also, you raise the one year employment condition to receive paid leave. You should know that in most states that one year employment condition is also a condition for unpaid FMLA protected leave. So if you don't work for the employer for a year prior to going on maternity leave they are legally not obligated to continue to pay your health insurance and other employer benefits.

Good luck!


My company recently put in a nursing room/mother's room but it was designed in a way that the majority of the room is fogged glass - except one strip that runs right at sitting level that was left as transparent glass. I don't think it was done intentionally (men designed the room) but I now have to put up sheets of paper to cover the transparent strip of glass. Any idea on how to address this with my (all male) management team?

Tags: Pumping, Women in Tech, Working moms
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What are you wanting to achieve? You say that you have put paper up in the room. Are you wanting a permanent solution?

How have you addressed other issues with your male management team in the past which was similar to this? If that approach worked try it again.

Personally I think honesty is the best policy and I'd just say that it's great that they have added a nursing room and is it possible to have some 'fogged' paper put in there permanently would be great!


I recently had a child and worked out an arrangement with my manager to work from home 1-2 days/week. I'm the only female on my team and none of the co-workers have a similar arrangement. There have been discreet comments made about my schedule (mostly in a joking way) but it still feels uncomfortable. Has anyone else ran into this?

Tags: Women in Tech, Working moms
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Yes I have, and there are other women in my team, just not mothers. I completely understand it feeling uncomfortable since I believe that behind the "jokes" there is a "you are not working as hard as me" kind of sentiment. But, for me, I just say things like, "you could do it too". My company is great at flexible hours, and I personally know other people, men included, that do similar arrangements, and it doesn't have to be about being a parent. Some people do it because they live far from their offices and want to reduce time-in-car/carbon footprint, or they like having a day or two to be quiet and get some work done in a home office, or they work with global teams and "work hours" can be all over the place. In my case, these reasons actually play more into my desire of flexible hours than being a working mom. If your company is allowing you to have this arrangement then it is likely that is a company wide accepted work arrangement, encourage them to do the same if they feel it would benefit them and therefore the company.


A man who I work with recently asked me out. It was so awkward. I have never done anything to signal that I would be interested in a date with him, and I'm not. Now it's even more awkward between us at work. Was I sexually harassed? And if I was, what should I do about it?

Tags: Women in Tech
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If he asked you out, you politely declined, and he hasn't pushed the issue any further, then you have not been sexually harassed. If he continues to ask or bother you about it, or tries to convince you to go out with him, then this would constitute harassment. If that is the case, you should notify your manager and HR immediately so they can address the situation before it progresses. I'm sorry that it's awkward, but I'm sure it's probably uncomfortable for him, too, after being rejected.

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I don't think this qualifies as sexual harassment unless he persists and you keep saying no. If he took your rejection well, then there should not be much awkwardness. All you have to say is "no thanks" and that should be an acceptable answer to him. If he continues to persist despite you saying no, then get HR involved.


Like so many women in tech, I work with a LOT of men. I often feel like the outsider, and they're definitely a bit vulgar. I feel like they collaborate with me fine for the most part and handle our interactions professionally. Still, I feel really isolated - and it makes me not want to go to work some time. Does anyone else feel that way? Any ideas on how to make this situation work better?

Tags: Colleagues, Sexual harassment, Women in Tech
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The "a bit vulgar" part needs to be quantified. Are they talking about sexual encounters, female anatomy, rating female bodies, etc. If so, tell them you think that it is unprofessional (can say it in a joking way, but make it clear, these comments are not ok at the workplace.) If it continues, take it up to HR. If it is just vulgar, say "you might think it's bonding, but I think you are completely disgusting and create a middle school boys atmospere at work. Please, act like a man."

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I have also been in this situation before. It can be uncomfortable. We are all there to perform a job and are compensated for that reason and as long as we collaborate without issue and the job gets done, then what is the issue?! That is my mantra. Unfortunately I've always been a bit thin skinned and emotional, whereas most men aren't. When I felt left out, ignored, disrespected, and well, just not part of the group, I check myself. What were my expectations and were they realistic? Am I more emotional than usual right now? I remind myself that I am there to perform a job, that I am a professional, and that my feelings may be inappropriate and may not be entirely accurate. Feelings can lie to us. While I do believe they have their place and serve us well sometimes, I am cautious when it comes to mixing too much emotion in the workplace. Ultimately, we are responsible for how we feel, how we choose to perceive a situation, how we choose to act on our feelings, etc. Maybe taking a step back and evaluating if this environment is a good fit for you is in order. Maybe re-framing your perceptions, thoughts, and feelings during the day could help. Ultimately I decided to find a more moderate work environment. While I still get excluded from lunches, outings, conversations, am the only female team member, and so on, I don't take it personally and get too bent out of shape over it. I am using it as an opportunity to leave my introverted comfort zone and get to know women on other teams and departments that I would ordinarily never get a chance to interact with. :)


I need some advice. I recently took maternity leave, which ended up turning in to Temporary Disability Leave because of some medical complications I had after the baby was delivered. I returned back to work after being off for 24 weeks. I have returned to the same job and have tried to get back into the swing of corporate life + new baby (first time mom here) and have the opportunity to take an additional 4 weeks off paid by the state, but it needs to be taken and completed before my child turns 12 months old and that's fast approaching.

I submitted a request to HR to take temporary leave of absence and my HR department is denying me the ability to take this leave, stating that I exhausted the 13 weeks FMLA that the company offers (has to offer) to all employees. They are saying that I don't qualify for this leave until a full 12 months after my initial leave started. Everything I have read online and everyone I have talked to say that FMLA and TCI leave are completely different and separate. Technically, I think I am allowed to take this leave, the State says I qualify for it, but it's now in my employers hands and I am afraid if they deny me, and I choose to still take the leave, that I will not have job security. The brochure talking about TCI doesn't say anything about FMLA being the deciding factor "http://www.dlt.ri.gov/tdi/pdf/TCIBrochure.pdf."

Does anyone know what my rights are? Can I legally take the 4 weeks off, and still have a job to return back to? Given that I had to take so much time off, do I still qualify for job protection and benefits?

Thank you for any an all help.

Tags: Work-life balance, Working moms
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If you're in California, there's a Facebook group that can help. Join the "California Maternity Leave Support" group and ask your question there. Usually get answers back quickly. Best of luck and congratulations new mommy!


I am currently 36 weeks pregnant and gearing up to go on maternity leave at the end of the month. I recently came across a new job oppurnity that would be better for my family. I'm at the finishing stages of interviewing with this new company and I am worried that I will find out I got the job while on maternity leave. My question is, what happens to my maternity benefits and how do I go about leaving my current job without issue?


Tags: Career change, Maternity leave, Working moms
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Wow, that's a tricky situation -- I'm afraid it depends a great deal on your employers' benefits policy. You are entitled to 12 weeks unpaid leave by the government. But it's likely that if you change jobs while on leave, any paid leave you're currently eligible for will end. Assuming the new company knows you're about to have a baby, can you negotiate a signing bonus from them to cover the cost of your lost leave?


I am trying to change career paths. I was laid off in Nov. 2016. I spoke with a master resume writer yesterday who recommended an entirely new resume, LinkedIn overhaul, valuation letter and summary/biography all for close to $3000. I also received a call for an interview for a part-time job, $10/hour, no benefits. Needless to say I burst into tears by the end of the day.

I had high hope when I obtained my law degree (especially after working full-time & attending night classes). I've tried contacting the law school and my undergrad career centers but have received only nominal assistance. They both wished me luck, gave me login's to their job portals and had nothing more to suggest.

Someone mentioned networking & I agree that is an option but here in Michigan is comes with a fee to attend events, seminars or join associations. I understand we are all trying to make money but I graduated from law school during the recession and have 6 figures in student loans. I also am running out of unemployment.

The master resume writer explained only 15% of people get hired from online applications. Is that true? If so then why are we even bothering with an online system at all? She suggested I find the hiring manager & connect with that person. The hiring manager is sometimes 2 people deep in the company so how do I find the person who told HR that they need a person for X job?

I've reached out to people on LinkedIn and have not gotten much response or advice. Are there any mentors or HR people that can suggest anything that is free? My mom thinks I should go back to school but with a BA and JD that I am still paying for adding to the debt with no promises that another degree will land me a job doesn't seem wise.

I am frustrated, disheartened and angry that the process of finding a job has become so convoluted but understand why it has. I've read so many articles on LinkedIn that they conflict with one another...you need a cover letter, no you need a pain letter, don't bother you don't need these because HR won't read it. Your resume needs skills, don't list your skills, list dates, don't list dates, take off references. Which article do I believe? Adding insult to injury the unemployment agency here requires your resume to be uploaded to the talent network. Do you know what companies contacted me expressing interest in my skill-set? Tru-Green lawn care as a fertilizer sprayer and a local manufacture as a line-worker. Is that all I am capable of and are they even reading my resume?

If there is anyone out there who can help please respond and as 1 talk-show host says everyday at the end of her show remember to "be king to one another".


Tags: Career change, Job search, Mentorship
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just accidentally came across this post. and felt like writing out to you. :)

regarding networking, there are ways to do it without any cost.
List out all the people you know. List out prominent people (that are ready to help others) they in turn know.
start touch basing with them slowly and steadily (over mails / whatssup/chat/linkedin/facebook etc).. initially to start with, as catching up with friends after a long time. do not discuss about your need in the initial touch up. though, if they ask you.. you may tell them you have been doing some freelancing and in parallel looking out for a firmer ground.

after 2-3 conversations, get to know about their work.. and their contacts that can help you with your skills... hint to them that you are interested in working in those lines... and follow up with the relevant contacts. this much networking is really more than enough to land you with an opportunity.

however, you can first nail down what are the roles you are willing to take up and only talk about those lines of interest with your networks.

i am sure, your list will have 5-6 very positive contacts to start with and once you get a positive reply, your confidence level will be boosted as well.

hope this helps :) wishing you all the very best.

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Hi there, sorry to hear about your experience and your frustrations.

You mention that you are looking to change careers and that you have a law degree however don't mention what you do want to do. Depending on what you are wanting to do and with whom will have an impact on your approach.

I'm a HR professional who is also a career coach, very happy to have a (free no-obligation!) discussion with you for 30 min to see if that gives you any clarity. My mail is Karen@promoverecoaching.com

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Network, network, network. Message contacts on LinkedIn. Friend HR recruiters at different companies you're interested in. Go to the networking events and professional societies even if it costs money. Sometimes it's the only way in...don't give up, keep applying, and don't be afraid of contract positions to get your foot in the door (obviously not $10 an hour though)

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Sorry to hear you're having such a hard time. I'm freelance writing and in the middle of a simultaneous job search, so I know how demoralizing it can get!

I found myself in a similar position with contradictory advice in the freelance writing industry. There's so much information out there that it's overwhelming and stopped me from actually being productive. What I'm trying now is to mostly stick to what I've been doing while adding one or two new pieces of advice at a time.

For you that might mean focusing on getting your resume or LinkedIn to match those of professionals in your new career path (easy to view their LinkedIn accounts). In other areas like the cover letter, stick to whatever you usually do. At least until you have the mental energy to try another new thing.

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It is convoluted, and there is no one right answer - which is why there is probably so much advice. I think it is about networking. In person. Go get coffee with someone and ask for introductions to 3 other people. And so on, and so on. And somewhere along the way, you'll find a fit. Also, do get aggressive with social. Start conversations with people that you think might have connections or advice to give. - Romy

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