A recruiter from a high-profile company that I'd like to work for has reached out to me on LinkedIn.

The trouble is I'm going on maternity leave in September and it's probably not a good time to start a new role. My current company also offers maternity leave income top-ups as a benefit so it'd be foolish for me to leave right now.

I don't want to put the recruiter off but it looks like now is not the time to start a new role.

Here's what I have so far:

Thanks for reaching out.

I certainly am interested in talking about opportunities at xyz company. I should probably let you know that I'm going on maternity leave in September. I'm due to return to work next March.

If you want to say something, I'd change your current text to:

Thanks for reaching out.

I certainly am interested in talking about opportunities at xyz company. However, I am unable to change jobs before [date]. We can discuss what would be available at that time or wait until closer to [date] if that makes more sense.

I'd leave out the specifics of why you can't leave yet. It's medical information the recruiter doesn't need. Also, people can make bad assumptions around someone else's maternity.

  • I agree. No need to mention why, just that "now's not a good time, check back in 6 months." – Kevin Jul 11 at 15:59
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    If going on maternity is cause for anyone in a hiring position to decide not to hire you, you've dodged a bullet by not working for a company with incredibly questionable HR procedures – Michael Jul 11 at 16:03
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    @Michael Sure, but maybe working in a specific region, industry, etc. means you have to bite the bullet instead. Also, neither of the links in the post are about refusing to hire a pregnant person. The first is about male co-workers insisting a pregnant co-worker won't return and the second is about a female manager upset a pregnant subordinate plans to return to work quickly. Also, in the 2nd letter HR had the subordinate's back. It isn't necessarily the case that one person being inappropriate means the whole company is completely awful. – BSMP Jul 11 at 16:27
  • I also might suggest adding some "padding" time between your expected return date and your offered date at which you'd consider changing jobs. 1) you're giving your current company some time for you to transition out, and 2) it will feel less like you "took advantage" of their maternity leave bonuses and then bailed as soon as you had your baby. In today's culture people don't seem to value employee-employer relationships, but I've found that cultivating them has provided me with some invaluable connections down the road that I could've otherwise burnt! – Doktor J Jul 12 at 16:53
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    Fair; as a transgender woman, I probably won't be having that question any time soon. However, as a transgender woman, I establish new leads as my female self, and show up for interviews fully presenting as female even though I don't quite pass -- for me, it's a litmus test of the company. With the new job I just accepted, no one in the interview even looked twice, we just sat down and talked shop. An eager followup the next day from the recruiter asking what my desired salary was told me all I needed to know about their acceptance of my situation :) – Doktor J Jul 12 at 21:11

Wouldn't worry about it, to be honest. Just say you're happy in your current role and aren't seeking to move yet. Next year or whenever you feel up for it you can contact them again.

Not sure if I would bother letting them know why you aren't interested at the moment though beyond the generic - it's not really any of their business.

The fact is, I rarely respond to LinkedIn messages since they're usually just scattershot mails using autopopulated fields. The person who messaged you possibly doesn't even know that they did.

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    The problem with this answer is that OP is interested in joining them. You are suggesting a polite way to decline the offer, which is not what was asked for. OP wants to find a way to get the position but negotiate a delayed start date due to a maternity leave. – Alexandre Aubrey Jul 11 at 19:26

What you wrote in the question sounds fine. I can't see any harm at all in expressing your interest for the company now, and mentioning that you're going on maternity is not going to count against you in any way (except maybe at companies that you shouldn't want to work for anyway).

If you say that you're not looking to move right now then that's just a needless lie that, if anything, only makes you look disinterested in the company.

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    @user1666620 The question seems heavily based around the idea that if she weren't pregnant then she would be interested in interviewing for the job, which necessarily implies that she is at least somewhat interested in leaving her current role. – Michael Jul 11 at 15:23
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    @user1666620 No, she wants to leave her role but acknowledges that companies are simply not going to hire someone who is heavily pregnant and due to have a significant amount of time off. I don't get why this is a difficult concept for you. – Michael Jul 11 at 15:31
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    @user1666620 She wants to move now but can't because no one will hire a heavily pregnant lady. I don't want to discuss this any further. It's ridiculous. – Michael Jul 11 at 15:57
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    @user1666620 Wanting and being able to are two different things. I want to take a year long vacation on the other side of the planet, but I realize that it's probably not a good idea for several reasons. She wants to move to the new company, but she realizes that it's not gonna happen. – Demonblack Jul 11 at 15:58
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    Agreed. Just tell the dang truth. The original wording is fine. OP is overthinking it, inventing/imagining problems where there are none. People ought to do that less! – Lightness Races in Orbit Jul 12 at 14:07

You simply reply "I am not looking to change roles at this time".

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