Photo by Ryan & Denise photography.

These things outed me as a bad investment to employers.

Have you heard that I’m 30?

Oh, and I’m also married in case you didn’t pick up on that.

But you can just call me “pre-pregnant”.

Because, evidently, that’s how others see me.

I’ve always had an awesome track record when it comes to job interviews. With the exception of one nanny position in college, every job interview I’ve ever attended resulted in an offer.

Until I became pre-pregnant, that is.

Within the last six months, I entertained two opportunities for full-time positions (this required preparation and attendance to six total interviews).  On both occasions, I was assured I was a strong favorite. But both offers went to someone else.

After the second rejection, I spun myself in circles trying to figure out what went wrong. Maybe I should not have worn heels? Did I sound like an arrogant asshole when he asked about leadership? Should I go back to brunette?!

I tried to dismiss the creepy thought that this may be glass-ceiling-related. I didn’t want to be one of those women who blamed her inability to advance her own career on a convenient and external excuse.

A couple weeks ago, I was chatting about job interviews with my in-laws. I cautiously brought up the possibility that being married and 30 might have swayed things.

“It had to be a factor,” said my brother-in-law.

“Did you wear your wedding ring to the interviews?” my sister-in-law asked.

“Yes,” I answered.

They both exploded.

“You NEVER wear your wedding ring to an interview!”

Silly me. I was thinking like a man.

I believed my marital status would legitimize me. I thought my wedding ring would say, “I won’t show up to work in yesterday’s outfit, smelling like booze. I won’t make-out with a coworker after happy hour and throw off the dynamic of the team. And, with the support of a loving husband, you’ll have a confident and eager worker. You can count on me, sir!”

Instead, my wedding ring said, “Hire me, I’ll drain you for maternity leave, and then I’ll quit.”

(I just feel that I need to add that I’m proud to be married and it feels really fucking disgusting to have to deny my marriage for any reason…even one that would have paid me more than 60k per year.)

So, rather than stalling out for the next five years in my career due to my pre-pregnancy, my husband and I decided I should freelance.

It was the right choice. I’m happy.

Because we will cross over into babyland soon (fingers crossed) and, yes, it would have compromised my full-time employment.

On the plus side, I won’t have to shove my head into an office toilet when I’m barfing from morning sickness.

But, shit, it would’ve been nice to decide for myself when my career was to be compromised.