No, not the American high street clothing store. The one in my CV.
So after mulling over the headhunter’s offer, I decided to go for it. The role was for a prestigious firm and the role itself was intriguing. And what have I got to lose? Fortunately, I did some file notes and updated my CV when I left work circa the summer of 2010 so I just had to dust it off, make a few tweaks and blast it off. I had literally just hit send when I got a call from the recruiter asking: “So, what have you been doing since the summer of 2010?”.
Hmmm, good question. What have I been doing?
Am I being paranoid with my unwillingness to divulge that I left my job to spend time with Little Miss A aka to be a housewife? I think for every open-minded employer there is equally one that is not; and I don’t want to be penalised for having a family because of their preconceived notions of a working mum. Besides, there must be a reason why you can’t ask a candidate if they have children.
But ask they will! Your interviewee may go on this particular fishing expedition while fixing you a drink (sorry, coffee or tea only). Share their morning woes about the school run. Ask you how you spend your weekends. Or better yet: “Did you work for XX continously for YY years?” Seriously?
I think the experience that validated this hunch the most was with a female interviewee. After politely smiling through her stories of her 2 boys under the age of 4 and still refusing to reveal my the cards on the family front, she suggested that I would not be as sharp/able/up to task to return to work after an 18 month break. I walked her through all the reasons why this would not be the case – I have kept current, strong track record, many (!) years of experience etc. etc. – before throwing in: “I’m sure your colleagues who have been made redundant or taken for example, a sabbatical or maternity leave, would also disagree”. Her beat red face said it all and she quickly admitted that she had taken two maternity leaves in 3 years (duh!). Come on lady, where is your support for the sisterhood?!!
Imagine my surprise when I got a call back with an offer. Thanks but no.
Me & Little Miss A