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12/10/11
Career Discussion. Dual Career couples
Filed under: Position Searching, Networking, Job Offer (Situations), Post-docs, Observ. Trends
Posted by: site admin @ 5:10 pm

At a certain point many of us face a decision when
both participants in a couple have professional careers:
 > who is the leading partner,
 > who is the following partner,
 > or should we have a temporary separated existence?

It is a difficult decision.  Some couples make the decision
strictly on a monetary basis.  That is not the only way.

This past week several couples, both near to graduation and
recent grads spoke to me about where they are in
their career decision processes.
This blog entry describes case studies and tries not
to prescribe.  It will offer quick background summaries,
recent results and follow up discussions.

WORK IN PROGRESS:
ACADEMIC POSITION SEEKING PARTNER,
 DISTANT POST-DOC PARTNER
One couple has “partner 1″ finishing his degree in
January and “partner 2″ already finished in a nice
post-doc 500 miles away from her partner’s current
location.  Partner 1 is interviewing for full time tenure-track
positions.  Two interviews have recently been completed
and results should be announced within about a month.

They recognize the temporary nature of the 2’s post-doc
and feel, if successful, they would likely choose a
safe, secure, nearest-to-partner-2, full time position
for partner 1.
Their thinking is that partner 2 is better able to find
a strong position within the local area of 1 and 2, if
they are closely located.  They seek fewer moves.

DISCUSSION
Another tactic looks two steps ‘down the road.’
Look at the eventual offers of the full time positions
from both and evaluate the greater geographic areas
of the offers — which one provides greater long term
hiring.
-Get your networks working about this.
-Get connected to people who can be a hub in the
new location.  [ACS is a terrific national resource for
this.]

DEFERENCE TO FULL TIME POSITION:
TWO PH.D. GRADUATES:  BOTH WITH OFFERS
Partner 1 has received a full time offer in Cincinnati.
Partner 2 has a promising post-doc in her field that will
propel her career 500 miles away.

They have decided not to split up but move to
Cincinnati.  They will inquire with the firm and
ask for help finding a position. 

In a similar tactic, involve your networks in finding
hidden positions for partner 2. 

There are differences between these first two cases
1.     one of the positions is a permanent position
in an industrial firm.
2.     offers have been made and relocation trips
have been taken, the permanent position has been
accepted.
3.     Cincinnati has a regional presence of Fortune
500 companies and industries which can be
opportunities.  {More significant factor}

It is possible that the security of the academic
position might be just as long/short as the industrial
firm, in these economic times.

JOINT DECISION OF TWO PH.D.S ONE
POST-DOC, ONE PERMANENT POSITION
Partner 1 is in his second year in a TN post-doc. 
Partner 2 was offered a less than median salary in
a  two-year rotational assignment role
(1000 miles away from TN). 
Partner 2 also has a post-doc offer in a top 20 university,
less than 2 hours drive away (100 miles from TN).

She decided the location of the permanent position
was too far (1000 miles) and salary did not justify
continued separation and expected costs.  The post-doc
offers higher longer term prospects and allows the
couple to delay the more permanent location choice.

Action items:  Consider a permanent location which
has a diversity of industries that can allow better
career management.  In larger, growing metropolitan
areas a person can move from one company to another
without having to relocate.  This is where the post-doc
position is located.

DEFERENCE TO LONG TERM GOAL
ONE PH.D. MARRIED, SPOUSE IN AUSTRALIA
Partner 1 expects to graduate very soon and has
interviewed and been offered a full-time position.
Partner 1 has applied for proper Australian visa. 
If the visa is granted within a couple of weeks of
the offer,
evaluate the trade-offs the full time position
provides in terms of experience, expanding
her network and compensation.

Recently, Partner 1 received her visa notification.

ACTION ITEMS:
Recast the resume into a form for the Australian
job market.  Begin marketing, finding openings
and leading employers in Australia.

This topic is not given enough attention for our
foreign born graduates and post docs.  You have
to be in their shoes to understand. 

One Response to “Career Discussion. Dual Career couples”

  1. site admin Says:


    Couple 4: Reported that Ph.D. was offered a position in Australia. Feb, 2012

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