I’m looking for a job. I’m a technical writer. I found the best job posting for a technical writer ever. So, I replied to it. I said, “I don’t know if you know this, but when that job description was written, it was written for me.” Yet, somehow, they still emailed me back. The recruiter’s first question was, “You do realize this job requires relocation to Sydney, Australia, right?”
I answered truthfully: I have always been fascinated with Australia. Well, at least since The Facts of Life girls went there. (I didn’t tell them that part.)
The recruiter asked three other questions. I answered them.
I got an interview with the hiring manager. I accidentally hung up on him with my chin.
But I still got to the next level – a writing test.
I’m pretty good at tests, so I was fairly certain I’d pass that round, and I did.
I got an interview with the hiring manager’s manager. I really couldn’t tell how it went. But, the practicalities of moving to Australia aside, I was hopeful.
Then, I got an email message:
Manager found you very passionate, motivated and enthusiastic. And although you had some relevant experience much of what we are looking for you had done in you Oracle and Netscape days. Manager felt that we are looking for someone with more experience whilst collaborating with Ux/Design in an agile environment.
So basically, I’m not getting the job (or at least, not advancing in the hiring process) because my relevant experience is from 2005 – before I became a mother.
I left Oracle to focus on adopting the child who would be Jackson. I also left because I was in the middle of the medication merry-go-round and disabled by CRPS. (Remember, it wasn’t until September 2005 that I found the miracle that is Xyrem, and my symptoms became manageable.)
I became a stay at home mom (SAHM) because I believed it was best for Jackson. I still believe that being a mom is the most important job I’ll ever have. Doesn’t mean it’s the best, or the most intellectually stimulating, but it’s important.
When Jackson was just about 18-months old, I decided to try to start a business creating adoption profiles and story books. But, there was no way that I was ever go to make as much money creating profiles as I could technical writing. I started looking for a technical writing job.
Every single recruiter asked me about my 2-year absence from the work force. I told them I left Oracle to start a family. One recruiter literally hung up on me. Several just stopped the conversation more politely.
I found a job that sounded decent with a company that wasn’t too far away. When they asked how much I wanted to make, I lowballed myself. I was convinced that no one would ever hire me because I was a mom. When they offered me the job, I said yes. I ended up making almost $20,000 less per year than I made at Oracle. I hated the job. I hated the company. It was not a good experience, and there wasn’t one heck of a lot that I did that was good for my career.
I don’t regret being a SAHM. I just would love hiring managers to look past that and see that I am a great writer. I know my shit. I get my work done on time. Even if I am a mom.