‘My labour started during a job interview’

Unity Kgongoana
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Unity Kgongoana started feeling labour pains during a job interview. Luckily for her, she reached the hospital just in time! Not only did she give birth to a healthy baby, but she got the job as well.

For many women, the last thing you think about when you are nine months pregnant is applying for a new job.

But 34-year-old Unity Kgongoana decided to not be limited by her situation and applied for a job with her due date around the corner.

“My miraculous journey of job interviews while highly pregnant began exactly on the first day of my maternity leave – 1 February, 14 days before birth,” Unity says.

“Perhaps the moment of truth lies in my background prior to this experience. Nothing can prepare you for the moment you have nothing, especially if you had everything before. Maybe, even, everything you ever dreamed of! Soaring in my career – I had a job that I was both passionate about and also fulfilling as I introduced many changes within the company. You could almost call me a lady of firsts at that time, travelling which included overseas trips, until the light bulb suddenly went off!

“Then rebuilding was now part of my script. Starting over, either by choice or due to forces beyond your control is never fun and games. Luckily I could bank on my positively charged spirit and I knew that failure may occur, but it’s never the end of the story.”

Luckily for her, the pursuit of a better life came with a few good surprises.

Scheduled to give birth on Friday 17 February, Unity agreed to attend a job interview on the 15th, not knowing that her little bundle of joy was ready to come out.

Unity says that to her surprise, she started feeling labour pains a few seconds before entering the interview room and the pains continued during the interview. But this did not distract her from continuing with the interview and giving it her best shot.

After stepping out from the interview room, she was rushed to hospital where she gave birth within an hour.

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“It doesn’t end there. My third interview – a telephonic interview with a four-member panel sitting in various countries as the company I was about to join is a multinational – took place in a hospital ward. Yes, and this was two days after I had given birth and my baby was in ICU. The fourth and final interview with the HR Director took place exactly a day after we were sent home from hospital and she offered me the job on the spot and commended me for my “go-getter” attitude and “resilient spirit”.”

Unity says her experience taught her that “no matter what life tosses your way, do these things and do them in this order: Fall to your knees and cry, stop crying, dust yourself off, and start over. Reintegrate.”

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