Last night I had an interesting conversation with Nataly Kogan, founder of WorkItMom.com, one of my favorite mom websites. Kogan (smiling in the photo to the left) was telling me that her husband just took at new job. Typically, she says, he would have emphasized his commitment to family during the interview and ensured the employer was onboard with his desire for work/life balance.
But these are different times.
Even though he feels that way, he wasn't willing to risk that conversation during a job interview.
Nataly and I both agree that there's an unspoken discrimination toward working parents. There's subtle undertone that workers must put in WHATEVER hours it takes to make a business profitable and any outside family obligations that interfere with that aren't appreciated. We all know that for every job right now, there are candidates lined up and willing to take it for much less than you earn. Anyone who wants a special accommodation, an openly asks for one, is taking a career risk. Is it better to quietly slip out early?
Kogan says she's a little afraid of what the recession will do for work life balance.
"It may not be a good thing," she says. "People are working more, bosses are squeezing more productivity...people are so happy to have job."
Along with work/life balance, I'm a little concerned what the recession will do for honesty in the workplace. Women are hiding pregnancy during job interviews and men are trying harder to look like they're in the office or logged on to their computers when they're having dinner with the kids. I can't see this changing anytime soon.
I'd love to hear your thoughts. Do we have to wait a year or two for jobs to be more plentiful before we can be honest about our balance needs?