Working Moms

New job offer - long

I know I have to make this decision on my own, but I sure would like the input of some other working moms.  Neither of these jobs are glamorous at all, they are just government jobs and my plan is to stay in government for ten years for loan forgiveness.  Pay is virtually the same.

My current job is as a child support enforcement attorney.  I just started this year and it's my first job out of law school, so I am lucky they took a chance on me in this market.  So far, they have provided thorough, slow-paced training and I don't even have a full caseload yet. 

Pro's:

-lots of flexibility with my time

-I know what to expect

-I actually kind of like what I do and the idea of it

Con's:

-I am technically indefinitely temporary, which means NO health insurance for me, DH, or baby, no paid leave or holidays.  There is no guarantee whether or when they might promote me to permanent status, and they have a reputation for hiring from outside instead of promoting from within

-If I were "promoted," I would have to sign a two-year commitment and would not receive any kind of raise.  After this "promotion" there are NO other promotions available in our office.  Ever. 

-lots of car travel (I am reimbursed but it's still a pain)

-my coworkers/environment are gossipy and hostile

 

The new job would be as a public defender.  It's a smaller office with a relatively light caseload (I clerked there for a few months).  I would probably be thrown into court with minimal training.

Pro's:

-much closer to home, and NO travel

-I would be permanent with benefits immediately

-It would be nice to have developed experience in two practice areas rather than just one, for future use

Con's:

-The hassle of switching jobs

-The joy of figuring out how to tell them I'm pregnant (I haven't told my current employer yet either, and even though that conversation won't be easy, there's nothing like having it at the negotiation table)

-Don't know what to expect, dealing with (accused) criminals isn't fun, and I might hate it

-Immediately under two-year contract

 

So there you have it.   I have until Wednesday to decide.  I'm not in a huge hurry for the insurance because I have Medicaid for this pregnancy, but my husband is emphatic about it because he needs medical attention, can't get insurance through his job, won't leave his job.  What are your thoughts?  Is there a tactful way to tell my current employer that I have another offer in attempt to get them to promote me to permanent?  If I accept the new job, should I inform them immediately about the pregnancy and the leave I'll need so as not to have to tell them in a couple of weeks anyway and appear subversive?  I know the laws about hiring pregnant women but I want to be fair.

Thanks in advance!

Re: New job offer - long

  • Honestly I'd stay put. I was a DA for 2 years, so I've got some experience with criminal. Being in trial is grueling and exhausting. I have many friends on the defense side and they have super long days since they often need to meet with clients at odd hours.
    I was at a Mother Attorney Mentoring Association event this last weekend. Everyone there had at some point been a PD or DA. No one wanted to keep doing the trial work once they had kids.
  • Personally H & I have 2 major priorities... #1 mortgage to keep the roof over our heads and #2 health insurance with good coverage. Take into account your entire family when looking at health- you, H, and new little one. How will your LO be covered with health insurance when you have him/her? Good coverage is essential for your family's financial health just in case something happens to any of you.

    So I'd say #2. 

    You didn't say what type of government but I'm guessing Local (city/county/state) from your descriptions of the options. Most government has slightly different rules about handling pregnancy and is (in my opinion and 15 years of government experience) less likely to be volatile when dealing with maternity leave. They tend to be more secure positions and handle it just fine. Most policies are posted online- look at them.

    I just switched jobs a few weeks ago and I'm on my 7th job in 14 years  (of varying lengths due to promotions, moves, and just temporary jobs). While there are challenges it's been fun and totally doable. 

     Good luck in your decision.  

  • Your DH needs medical attention and you are starting a family, you don't have insurance and you have the option to have medical insurance, how is this a question? It is possible that you will hate the job and that would suck, but it is two years. You can do a crappy job for two years for insurance, trust me. I don't understand why your DH is refusing to look at other jobs but it doesn't really matter, you have an offer and he doesn't.

    Normally I would not recommend playing the "I have another offer" game with an employer, but in this case I don't think it would hurt to try if you would rather stay in your current position. But I would definitely make getting a permanent job with insurance a priority.

    Good luck with whatever you decide.
    Lilypie Third Birthday tickers
  • Thanks for all the responses.  I should add that I'm unlikely to receive any paid maternity leave at either position because of the timing.  And yes, I do find the prospect of trial work to be very daunting and uninteresting.  I think I'm going to bring up the offer to my current workplace in hopes they'll give me the benefits so I don't have to switch.  Insurance is important to me, but so are my sanity and work/life balance.
  • While I do support a work/life balance I have worked a crappy job for a year and half merely to ensure my health insurance. The job was not challenging but I viewed it as a means to the end.

    Good luck and I hope you the solution works for your whole family. 

  • image cjrobbin:
    Insurance is important to me, but so are my sanity and work/life balance.

     

    I disagree.  your family security is much more important than your happiness.  you are already on medicaid which leads me to believe your financial situation is serious and unsustainable.  

    If your DH needs medical attention he needs to go to a free clinic. then maybe get a second job to pay for insurance so yes Id take the job for insurance.

    PS how will you pay for child care if you cant pay for insurance? do you have a plan? 

    My little girl is growing up! (born 12/09) Little brother is here! (born 5/2012) .  Missing our sweet baby lost in December 2013.  Thank you Lord for my precious family!
  • Medicaid has a special program for pregnant women with no health coverage. No financial need. I think part of healthy babies program. 
  • My financial situation OK, thank you.  One reason I prefer for DH to stay at his current job despite having no insurance is that he can take the child to work.  They have a sort of nursery there at no cost.  Am I thrilled about being on Medicaid?  No, but if I can keep covering my child through it later (I pay a deductible because I actually make money) and not have to have a job I hate, I'll do it.  Purchasing private insurance is an option later, but I've found that most don't cover pre-existing pregnancies, so that's out for now.  Call me selfish but it's not worth misery to me.  Not that I'm positive that the new job would be miserable, I have no way of knowing -- but there is a reason they make you sign a two-year contract (at both jobs), and that is turnover.

    Thanks again for all the thoughts.  It's going to be a pensive weekend!

  • image LibraryChica:
    Your DH needs medical attention and you are starting a family, you don't have insurance and you have the option to have medical insurance, how is this a question? It is possible that you will hate the job and that would suck, but it is two years. You can do a crappy job for two years for insurance, trust me. I don't understand why your DH is refusing to look at other jobs but it doesn't really matter, you have an offer and he doesn't.

    Normally I would not recommend playing the "I have another offer" game with an employer, but in this case I don't think it would hurt to try if you would rather stay in your current position. But I would definitely make getting a permanent job with insurance a priority.

    Good luck with whatever you decide.
    Yup, this. Health insurance trumps personal happiness any day of the week.
    image
  • Those are very hard choices, but I would probably go with 2 because of the insurance. Once your baby is born you will stress out about a million additional things and worrying about insurance coverage should not be one of them. However, with that being said I think 2 will be a difficult job as a new mom. I've only been back at work for two weeks but I can tell already that I view work much differently than I did before and court work brings with it a much more demanding schedule. Also, not everyone is cut out to be a PD. So if you think that you can't handle the job you may be better off sticking where you are at and keep putting your rsum out there. If you are willing to walk from your current job then it can't hurt to tell them that you'd love to stay but you have a permanent job offer with benefits and getting benefits is important to you. But, with the job market being what it is for attorneys I'm sure both places will have plenty of other people that are willing to fill the position.

    Regarding not getting paid for maternity leave that is not uncommon. I am an attorney for the federal government and I was paid based on leave that I have saved. We don't get any special paid maternity leave.
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  • image cjrobbin:

      Purchasing private insurance is an option later, but I've found that most don't cover pre-existing pregnancies, so that's out for now.  Call me selfish but it's not worth misery to me.  

     

    it is selfish to be using an entitlement program when you have  a job, a degree and the means to take care of yourself not to mention an offer to help your family. 

    My little girl is growing up! (born 12/09) Little brother is here! (born 5/2012) .  Missing our sweet baby lost in December 2013.  Thank you Lord for my precious family!
  • image wife07mom09:
    image cjrobbin:

      Purchasing private insurance is an option later, but I've found that most don't cover pre-existing pregnancies, so that's out for now.  Call me selfish but it's not worth misery to me.  

     

    it is selfish to be using an entitlement program when you have  a job, a degree and the means to take care of yourself not to mention an offer to help your family. 



    I agree! We had private insurance for a year and it was expensive and a pain to use but I preferred that to medicaid because DH and I made the decision for me to be home that year. It's not the government's responsibility to cover your family because you don't want to be a grown up and do the right thing for your family. Medicaid is for people who have no other option not people who choose to be irresponsible.
    Lilypie Angel and Memorial tickersLilypie Third Birthday tickers

  • Since 90% of my clients are referred to me for child support enforcement because of their public assistance applications, maybe my view of Medicaid is a little different.  But today I am leaning toward taking the new job.  It isn't as easy as some of you make it sound, it's not just a matter of "suck it up," trust me, I have done my share of that in the workplace.  I didn't go to law school to become a courtroom criminal defender, I went to hide in an office and write contracts, so I have zero litigation training or interest, and being a PD has a specific reputation for being soul sucking, relationship-ruining, awful.  Growing up, my family was uninsured and NOT on Medicaid or assistance of any kind, and my husband and I have been without health insurance for years and have, until now, paid 100% of our costs out of pocket.  Maybe that's why I'm less afraid of being uninsured than I am of hating my life.  So it's actually the other factors drawing me to the new job at this moment.  Thanks again everyone for the feedback!
  • I think there are so many more costs associated with a child which you can't be expected to know because you don't have one yet. When Imwe decided I should stay home for a year we thought the private insurance was no big deal. Well a forty dollar copay is a huge deal when you need it multiple times a month. And when my daughter had an allergic reaction to amoxicillin we had to go back to the doctor and then get another prescription. The two visits and two prescriptions cost us 160. And that was just for routine visits and prescriptions. Having insurance was the deciding factor in my decision to go back to work because I can only imagine how much it would cost if DD falls and needs Xrays and a cast in private insurance. Just some been there done that perspective.
    Lilypie Angel and Memorial tickersLilypie Third Birthday tickers

  • As a current DA in the San Francisco Bay Area-

    1. I am totally shocked you got a PD job with such a clear disdain for the work. Out here, every county has a hiring freeze and our PD and our office has misdemeanor units staffed with people working for free that want the jobs so bad. As an aside, I am the one that gets funny looks for wanting to "put people in jail" and being a PD is considered a very noble and necessary job.

    2. All things being equal, you should take the PD job as it is the best decision for your family at this time. Its a two year contract, so worse comes to worse you can get out of there with no holes in employment and some amazing litigation experience, even if you do not want to do it.

    3. You need to re-frame your thoughts about the PD job. Again, I am kind of horrified your area would hire you with your attitude. Granted, there are some PDs who I think are slimy and have no morals, but most of them are really dedicated to the idea that they are upholding the constitution and providing counsel for those who could not afford it and not be able to navigate the system for themselves. If you cannot change your perspective on the job, it is going to crush you-but that is something you control.

    For the PP that called her selfish-well if she really hates the work and does a bad job with her clients, she runs the risk of committing misconduct. Her job calls for her to defend someone's rights, and if you just are not into it, you really shouldn't be doing the job. 

    4. Finally you said it was a light caseload and you know the office. If you know the workload is light, you can realize that you are performing a vital function in our system of justice AND you get benefits, I can see the next 24 months going quickly. 

    5. PS-my maternity leave was not paid, I am using vacation/sick/floating holiday/PTO to cover it and I get six months. 

    My .02.

    Lilypie Premature Baby tickers
  • Thanks for this. I am actually pretty sold on the concept and I don't find it slimy even though I know others do. I am mostly afraid I'm incompetent and I know that when I'm bad at something, I'm unhappy. And who likes looking dumb in front of others? I did not exactly communicate this lack of confidence in my own skills during my interview, which by the way was more than six months ago before I knew how easy I could have it in child support land.
  • Keep in mind that in Jan. 2014 the health insurance market is going to change because of the Affordable Care Act, which could solve your health insurance issue. Even for the immediate future your husband should check out www.healthcare.gov

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