Saturday, November 15, 2008

two bodies update

I noticed that most of the google searches bringing people to this blog involved either the blog name or some combination of terms related to the two-body issue and unemployment anxiety (and now I'll probably be increasing that component of my traffic). Which made me think that an update might be in order regarding my non-academic yet still two-people-needing-work situation.

Partner is still on the lookout for work - applying for jobs, hearing very little back, and for the most part being told that he'll have several months to wait before some companies will be calling people, assuming they call people at all. It's still early(ish) to be worried about him not having a job - we've only been here a few months, and it often takes that long no matter what the economy is doing. As the economy stands at the moment, I'm feeling lucky to have a job that is likely to be reliable (i.e., still mine and/or still in existence) for the next several years.

In the one-year term, we have tentative plans to let him go do something fun if he hasn't found something more worthwhile to do by early spring - we were both (in our more fancy-free days) long-distance hikers, and it would be great if we could afford for him to go walking for a few months if he had the time. I also hope to be able to drag him along to my far-off fieldwork if we can afford the plane ticket. Or, if he finds a job that he likes, that would be great too.

This is probably a more fortunate two-body problem than most people deal with - we can survive, if carefully, on my salary. We have no little people. Etc. Extra income would help, but I'm more concerned with Partner being bored and/or frustrated by lack of employment.

In the long term, I have some plans, but I hope to not worry about it until next fall. If Small Town turns out to be a wash for him, I could consider looking for other options in bigger places, though I worry about how that might look to my current employer -- especially if it's just a "let's see what we can find" kind of situation. We could also consider moving to the closest Bigger Town, where I would have an approximately 1 hour commute but he would be within not-unreasonable distance of some other employment options (right now we're too far away from those employment options to make them feasible -- the commute would cost too much compared to what he would make).

Right now I'm liking this job. I'm becoming more comfortable, I like my students, I think I could do some really awesome things with them and potentially help SLAC as far as their grant record is concerned (or at least I hope I could!). I already have a number of research options that have opened up with other SLAC faculty. I'm looking forward to my future here.

Given that aspect, I might wait for tenure (or lack thereof) before making any significant moves. It might depend on just how miserable Partner is when he runs out of rooms to paint and ends up sitting around twiddling his thumbs all day. Basically, a lot of things are up in the air and will depend upon the next year and how things go. I'm trying not to dwell on these issues too much, not yet.

To those out there who need that second job, or who have little people in the equation, good luck. I have hope that come springtime things will be shaken up enough to make more opportunities for all of us. Or, at the very least, that tax season will send me some love in monetary form.

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