Job vs Living with husband?

posted
23-Jul-10, 17:36
edited about 4 seconds later
Avatar for sushidave
posted about 9 years ago
Quick summary of my situation: writing up at the moment, hoping to submit Dec/Jan this year. Keeping my eye out for postdocs in my area. A great position has come up – relevant to my interests, good conditions and colleagues etc. However, the location is not great. I’m married (no kids) and husband needs to be within 2 hours of London. This post is 4 hours away and in a city neither of us is wild about. What to do? I know this is an eternal question, but would I be daft to ignore this opportunity, or should being together take priority? I know the employment climate is really tough right now, and I have other irons in the fire (grant applications etc), but nothing guaranteed (or even likely, if I’m honest). We really don’t want to live apart, so if there’s any 3rd way which you guys know about or have tried, I’m all ears. Thanks!
posted
23-Jul-10, 20:10
edited about 29 seconds later
by sbcc
Avatar for sbcc
posted about 9 years ago
Hi, it sounds like a good opportunity and you should definitely give it a go, there are not many great postdocs around (or so I hear from people who are applying for them)! Couldn't you settle on something in-between? How much time would you have to spend at this other town? Maybe it could be arranged that you spend around half a week there, the other half where you are now with your husband? It's not for forever. How long is this postdoc?
posted
23-Jul-10, 23:33
by Sheena
Avatar for Sheena
posted about 9 years ago
Find a place in-between,although moving is a hassel it can only be done when you have no children or mortages (hope u r renting) so talk together and leap to the opportunity. you will both get paid in the end rather than you job hunting ever & ever...
posted
24-Jul-10, 08:21
by sneaks
Avatar for sneaks
posted about 9 years ago
I would say find a place in between, or negotiate flexible working.

I find this decision very hard, although me and my hubs seem to have this wierd bond that I don't see in other married couples. We've been together nearly 10 years and we can barely stand being apart from 8 hours while he's at work - it is unbearable! So I just couldn't do a job elsewhere, its a sacrifice that we both make, but to be happy and be together, which is more important for us. I guess you just have to decide whether you want the academic career and how much, and how much it could affect your relationship. I know me and hubs would be deeply unhappy living apart, but it all depends on your relationship.
posted
24-Jul-10, 08:28
by Sue2604
Avatar for Sue2604
posted about 9 years ago
Hi, I'm in the same situation, except that the job I want to go for would take me 15 hours drive away from my partner (or a 2 hour flight). I'm thinking the relationship is more important than the job, and I don't want to be unhappy living by myself, but with a good job. But for you, if you only have to live 2 hours away from your husband, I think that's doable. If your husband's in London and you're 4 hours away, that's still manageable, but all the travel would be tiring.

Maybe see if your employer would be open to letting you work one day a week from home, so then you could spend 3 days at home. If I were you, I'd go for it.
posted
24-Jul-10, 09:16
edited about 18 seconds later
Avatar for sushidave
posted about 9 years ago
Thanks for the replies all. The postdoc is for 2 years – not so long ultimately. Me and husband spent a year in different towns before and found it really hard, so it’s nice to hear some reassurance that others prioritise their relationships, when all around me at work and at conferences people tend to belittle a few hours’ distance because they spent years transatlantic or whatever. It’s easy to lose sight of the fact that wanting to be with the person you’ve chosen to be with is really quite normal!

I vaguely know the PI advertising the postdoc, so I think I’ll write to him honestly and ask whether he’s looking for someone to be in the lab every day, or if there’s any flexibility. It might make me look less committed, but I’d rather say now than further down the line (if I get gat far!). How are you dealing with this Sue, are you asking right away or waiting to see how your application goes and then negotiating?
posted
24-Jul-10, 12:34
edited about 18 seconds later
by Baltar
Avatar for Baltar
posted about 9 years ago
======= Date Modified 24 Jul 2010 12:37:55 =======
I'm in the same situation but decided to go for it after discussing it with my partner. It all depends on how far away you'll be from each other, how often it is possible for you to get together and on your relationship with each other. My partner's really understanding and knows that this is an opportunity that I can't let slip away. We have discussed, at length, the nature of the academic job market and were both very realistic about the prospects of having to constantly move wherever work takes me. We also considered the possibility of having to live separately at some stage so this didn't come as a surprise to either one of us. It will, of course, be very hard for both of us but we are very much in love and know that we want to spend the rest of our lives together. That said, neither one of us wants to ever feel that we stopped each other from growing and from progressing towards our goals. We have shared goals, and we each have our own personal goals - we try to accomodate both where possible and not let them clash. If I ever find out that work is getting in the way of our relationship then I'll, of course, dump the job. But until then, we're both willing to try and give it a go. That's the understanding we've come to - hope it works for us, and fingers crossed for you too.
posted
24-Jul-10, 12:36
edited about 25 seconds later
by Sue2604
Avatar for Sue2604
posted about 9 years ago
======= Date Modified 24 Jul 2010 12:42:21 =======
Hi again

Yeh, it's difficult to know what to prioritise - being with the spouse or going for the perfect job. I've always been really career-driven, but I think at the moment it would be too hard to have a long-distance relationship. This PhD has been so incredibly long and difficult, and for the past few years I essentially haven't had a life outside of studying. So the idea of having to do a long-distance relationship just sounds like more of the same, isolating and continuing with a hard life. I want to relax for a bit, spend some time with my partner and any friends I might have left, and rebuild a normal life!

I'm only going to apply if I really am willing to move and live without my partner for a while. The application for the position and preparing for an interview would be a major, major, piece of work,  and I'm not going to go through that, maybe get offered the job, then decide it's not workable. I have another couple of weeks to get an application in, so will keep thinking. Let me know what you decide SD, am interested to see how you go.


And Baltar, am interested in your comments too. Is your partner ok with having to move to where jobs take you? Mine followed me to our current city, and now really doesn't want to move to the next one I'm proposing. He's also a bit resentful that I seem to be deciding on where we go next. And yep, we're also in a really good long-term relationship, have managed a long-distance relationship before, and but this doesn't make the situation any easier...Apologies for hijacking the thread...
posted
24-Jul-10, 20:20
edited about 4 seconds later
Avatar for stressed
posted about 9 years ago
I think a lot of this depends on your priorities, for me its my husband and family (so a bit different - I have kids!) I am wanting a career but if it had to be a career or my husband he would win hands down every time. I simply can't function without him, he's my rock and to live apart is just totally unthinkable - I come home to him, I look forward to that, we married because we wanted to be together for life not so that some job would come between us. He would follow me if I needed to move, although again, I wouldn't do that, I can't just uproot the kids for a job, so my work will be kind of limited and I accept that - in my mind its a job, I work to live not the other way around. I am different though, I'm older (40) have children to consider, but I honestly think that even before the kids arrived i wouldn't have moved elsewhere and lived apart - I don't function like that (very similar to Sneaks :-) ) I also guess that's why I've never had a killer career lmao - its a job, its money, its work, yes its something I want to do but nothing in this life means more than my family and I couldn't move away from them for anything, even after all this I'd rather work in Asda lmao!
I'm not suggesting for a second that your'e putting work ahead of your relationship so don't read that the wrong way, I totally understand, its just how I would view it for me personally, not how I view it for others. My own sup lives half the week on the other side of the country to his family and it works fine for him, I'm just wayyyyyyy too clingy ;-)
posted
25-Jul-10, 16:05
edited about 16 seconds later
by Baltar
Avatar for Baltar
posted about 9 years ago
======= Date Modified 25 Jul 2010 16:13:58 =======
Hi Sue2604. When we first met I made it clear to my partner that I was intending to work in academia but that the chances of this were slim due to the competitive nature of the academic market and the scarcity of jobs. I explained that should I get offered a job in Tumbuktu then Tumbuktu it was - i.e. until I got some experience on my CV and was able to apply for a better post nearer to civilisation :p We don't have kids (that's something I've had to put on hold too) so it's easier to move at the moment.
Originally my hubby was going to move with me but he found his dream job in London. I think if I had insisted that he doesn't go for this new job then he might have been bitter about my calling the shots as to where we're constantly moving to, so I tried to be fair. If I knew he wasn't happy about this arrangement (or vice versa) then, of course, we wouldn't have gone ahead. It's only because we've both agreed to it that we're (temporarily) going to be living apart.
posted
27-Jul-10, 08:27
edited about 12 seconds later
Avatar for sushidave
posted about 9 years ago
The PI for the postdoc project told me that they're looking for someone to be in the lab 4-5 days a week, and seeing as me and R absolutely want to live together half way between London and wherever my work takes me if possible, then this one just ain't workable. The decision was made slightly easier by the fact that they want someone to start in October and I'm not submitting till December. I feel kind of relieved that I can rule this one out and hopeful that something else will come along at the right time. We also feel that if nothing local (i.e. within 2 hrs of London) comes up, a 2 year postdoc is the ideal time to up sticks and have a real adventure in another country before kids/house comes along - if the location was right, R would be prepared to find a new job elsewhere for a while. So, first things first, finish the thesis, keep my eye on the job boards and have faith that I'll find something that complements my career aims and my relationship! Moon on a stick, moi?
posted
27-Jul-10, 09:09
by sneaks
Avatar for sneaks
posted about 9 years ago
I think my situation is very similar. My hubby has a full time job in the civil service. So we'd be stupid to move for a post doc, in that his job provides consistent cash, whereas moving for a 2 year role just isn't worth it. So I have London as a kind of centre point and I have to work out where I can work from that - more complicated as we don't actually live in london and he commutes for 1hr 30 mins every day.

I'm just holding out for something perfect (!) but applying to anything and everything anyway, just to make sure my interview skills are honed for when that perfect job does come along (ha!). I'm also trying to get my thesis done and dusted - because when I've done it my sup says she will help me apply for funding, but not before :-(
posted
27-Jul-10, 09:16
Avatar for algaequeen
posted about 9 years ago
Quote From sushidave:

We also feel that if nothing local (i.e. within 2 hrs of London) comes up, a 2 year postdoc is the ideal time to up sticks and have a real adventure in another country before kids/house comes along - if the location was right, R would be prepared to find a new job elsewhere for a while. So, first things first, finish the thesis, keep my eye on the job boards and have faith that I'll find something that complements my career aims and my relationship! Moon on a stick, moi?


Exactly what me and my other half have decided! Well, kind of! He's in a postdoc in a diff country form me, so we've been doing long distance for a few years now, he's got his postdoc til 2012, so until then I'm trying to finish up and find something that will suit us both location wise so he can come and live where I'm working. If I don't find anything that suits us both, I go wherever I can and then we try and find somewhere in a few years to settle. Really hope it doesn't take that long though!
posted
27-Jul-10, 09:19
edited a moment later
by Charls
Avatar for Charls
posted about 9 years ago
That's weird Sneaks, I am in almost the same situation as you. I'm coming to the end of my PhD now and I have a post that's moving to Manchester. My husbs and I are already living in a backwater town in Nottinghamshire so we can both commute, me to Sheffield, him to Lincoln. He's a civil servant too. Now I'm going to Manchester for a 2-year postdoc we have some serious things to consider... he can't leave his job because there are no jobs in the civil service atm; I also feel I need to take the post-doc as it's an amazing opportunity and only for 2 years (and jobs are also a rareity in academia right now too!). When I did my Masters I lived apart from my husbs for a year and we met up at weekends - it was awful but we did it. What I've done for the new job is compromised with the project lead; he said I can work in the office three days a week and then from home the rest of the time. I think we can handle this. I guess it depends on the nature of your job if you can arrange to do this or not. What I would say though is that for me, my personal life is more important than work life... so I'd never take on a situation if it meant that I wouldn't be able to see my husbs for days at a time.
posted
27-Jul-10, 09:40
edited about 8 seconds later
Avatar for sushidave
posted about 9 years ago
All interesting stories guys - i guess this is endemic in academia.

Just an impression, but are we all women? If so, that's probably to do with the thread title, but just curious to see if the situation cuts both ways - surely it's not just women agonising over these kinds of issues?

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