Dear Amy: I like my workplace, but I'm easily working 60 to 70 hours a week with no overtime compensation. The pace is unsustainable, especially now that I'm three months pregnant. There is no slowing down at my workplace — my profession is very time sensitive and demands me to be on-call all the time, including nights and weekends.

A dream job, in a related but different field, became open recently. I applied and got invited to interview. My question is, at what point in the interview process do I disclose that I'm pregnant? And what should I say when I get asked my reasons for leaving my current job?

I still don't look pregnant, and by my calculations, I would potentially get hired three months before my due date. — Preggers in need of balance

Dear Preggers: When seeking a job change, you should tell potential employers that you believe you have maximized your opportunities where you are.

Putting in 20 to 30 "extra" hours a week with no additional compensation reduces your net income considerably. Surely, you're seeking a job with better hours and appropriate compensation. (You would be a fool not to!)

In terms of your pregnancy, you are not legally required to disclose it at any time. You could walk in to an interview at eight months pregnant, and the hiring manager should not ask you about it. (At that stage of pregnancy, should a potential hire bring it up in an interview herself? It depends.)

Do not disclose your early-term pregnancy during your first interview with the company. It is not relevant to your professional skills. You should move forward in the process with confidence that you will make it to the next stage. The hiring process these days can last for many months.

If you develop a rapport with the hiring manager and are very obviously pregnant during a later-stage interview, you could address it and offer reassurances that you will handle your challenges readily — the way countless working mothers have done, since the dawn of time.

You might benefit from reading "Here's the Plan: Your Practical, Tactical Guide to Advancing Your Career During Pregnancy and Parenthood," by Allyson Downey (2016, Seal Press).

 

Dear Amy: I've been friends with "Marian" since grade school. We're now in our 60s and live in the same neighborhood.

Although our lives took different paths at times, I consider her like family.

We've always been there for each other, but lately I'm feeling a lot of negative judgment from her, even concerning trivial things.

Instead of being supportive or even just sympathetic, she's taken to chastising me in almost a parental tone, or by minimizing my discomfort.

Growing up, she made some bad choices (we all do) but I always helped where I could and stood behind her. I'm reaching the point where I have to avoid certain subjects because I don't want the criticism. The other night she responded to my defensive mood saying she can have an opposing opinion. But it's the way she goes at it. And sometimes all you want is to vent to a friend. I know there's more to this, it's not just about me, but what do I do? — BFFs?

Dear BFF: Yes, sometimes all you want is to vent to a friend. But are you venting too often? Are you listening as much as you are talking?

You should "rerack" this conversation, back up, and express: "You seem very frustrated, but I want you to know that there are times when I just hope for a sympathetic ear. Having you really hear me means so much."

You should also pay close attention to your defensive reaction when your friend weighs in. Often, defensiveness means that you are clinging to a position that should be examined — and perhaps abandoned.

 

Dear Amy: "Buzz Killed in Boston" complained about co-workers' incessant morbid ramblings.

I worked in a nursing home for 43 years. I helped residents with their mail. It seemed to me that all the old people wrote about was their aches, pains and death.

Now that I'm 66, I don't bore others with aches and pains. My mom had MS, broke her hip three times, and NEVER talked about her health troubles. Talking all day about troubles IS boring. — Learned From Mom

Dear Learned: My mother also had chronic health problems and NEVER mentioned them because she understood that this reportage IS boring.

However, "Buzz Killed" was referring to colleagues recounting losses (deaths and illnesses) of family members. I put this in a different category.

 

You can email Amy Dickinson at askamy@amydickinson.com or send a letter to Ask Amy, P.O. Box 194, Freeville, NY 13068. You can also follow her on Twitter @askingamy or Facebook.