Tuesday, August 19, 2008

the "not a two-body problem" problem

Lots of people I know, and read about, and hear about, have the typical two-body problem, wherein they and their significant other are both academics, sometimes in the same field. This makes it difficult to impossible to find adequate (read: fulfilling and career-relevant) employment for both of them in the same town/university/region. I feel for you guys. That totally sucks. And as Partner is a non-academic I originally thought, "awesome, this is going to be so much easier because he can get a job anywhere". Which while true in theory is not so true in practice.

Small Town is a decent place to land, it seems, since it's only a few hours from places we have called home and it's within a not-too-ridiculous drive of bigger places if Partner got a job he felt was worth the commute. However, the pickings are still relatively slim compared to City, where Partner held off on getting career-relevant employment following his most recent schooling because he knew we'd be moving to whatever random place decided they wanted to employ me. And now that he's free and clear to get whatever job he wants, he might find it more difficult to find a job he wants.

I've been told that I could have asked the Dean to help Partner find employment, but I think that's kinda silly, really, since there are positions he could take at College but none that would be his ideal, or even near the top of his list, and I think he would feel awkward in that situation. I also somehow feel that this doesn't qualify as an actual two-body-problem, but maybe it does, and maybe I should have treated it as such when looking for a job. But I don't think I would ever have had the balls to say to a Dean, "so, I have this significant other who works in industry, think you can make a few calls?"

I'm ok with him not working, maybe forever, and at the very least for the short term. The guy's been dragged from apartment to apartment for the past few years and lived in City (which he hated), so I owe him some down time, and we'll be doing fine on one salary, if perhaps not buying a summer home on the beach. But I can understand that he might end up feeling a little aimless without a job, and I know he has his own hobbies that he'd like to fund. So we'll see what happens, but I'm hoping he keeps his standards high, because it just isn't worth a two-hour commute if he's working somewhere with shitty managers or making peanuts.


T said...

Schools make those calls to attract visiting faculty. If they want to keep you for the long haul, they'll be happy (and they're doing themselves a favor) to make those calls.

Liberal Arts Lady said...

You really think anyone at a private company is going to care that the Dean of College said some guy should get a job? I kinda doubt it. I mean, yeah, people will probably keep us informed of openings they hear about, but I don't know that anyone can really do more for us than that. But maybe there are secret systems that I have not been informed about. :)