How do we deal with the “two body” problem, and find someplace with jobs for both of us?  

 

Jason
New Colleague Registered
Joined: 2 months ago
Posts: 1
January 3, 2019 3:58 pm  

How do we deal with the “two body” problem, and find someplace with jobs for both of us?


ReplyQuote
Edward
New Colleague Registered
Joined: 2 months ago
Posts: 1
January 3, 2019 3:59 pm  

One option is to look at larger institutions. For example, the NIH campus in Bethesda, Maryland, is home to more than 1,200 laboratories with scientists engaged in every area of biomedical research.

Alternatively, try to make a list of labs that you are each interested in, and then find cities in which you both have an interest. Contact labs in your common cities and try to arrange interviews. Discussing the fact that your partner is also involved in a job search is usually not a serious obstacle when interviewing, and some PIs may offer to put your partner in touch with other investigators who may be able to help with their search. It might help to set a date (that you and your partner agree on beforehand) by which you can tell potential PIs you will make a decision. If you really want a particular position, be very positive in your discussions with the PI.

Pay attention to the culture of the lab when you interview, especially the personal lives of other scientists. Labs with married postdocs or other people with children are generally more understanding about being married person working in science.


ReplyQuote
Dave Jensen
Eminent Colleague Moderator
Joined: 2 months ago
Posts: 42
January 3, 2019 4:01 pm  

I think that your reply, Edward, makes that “two body” problem sound a bit easier to solve than it really is. It’s a tough one, isn’t it – whether it is academia or industry, having both you and a spouse or significant other moving with a need for a job is just plain trouble. Both for you and your employer.

The company that hires you doesn’t want to lose you just because your partner couldn’t find a job. They’ll want to help, but no one will make you any promises either. And please don’t hide the fact that two of you are moving and both looking for work. It’s OK not to bring this up in the first interview, but once the company gets truly serious, that’s an important discussion. Don’t allow it to sit and fester until they make you a job offer. They’ll only look back at you and wonder why you weren’t a bit more transparent in the beginning.

Dave Jensen, Founder and Moderator
Bio Careers Forum


ReplyQuote
Dave Jensen
Eminent Colleague Moderator
Joined: 2 months ago
Posts: 42
January 3, 2019 4:01 pm  

I think that your reply, Edward, makes that “two body” problem sound a bit easier to solve than it really is. It’s a tough one, isn’t it – whether it is academia or industry, having both you and a spouse or significant other moving with a need for a job is just plain trouble. Both for you and your employer.

The company that hires you doesn’t want to lose you just because your partner couldn’t find a job. They’ll want to help, but no one will make you any promises either. And please don’t hide the fact that two of you are moving and both looking for work. It’s OK not to bring this up in the first interview, but once the company gets truly serious, that’s an important discussion. Don’t allow it to sit and fester until they make you a job offer. They’ll only look back at you and wonder why you weren’t a bit more transparent in the beginning.

Dave Jensen, Moderator

Dave Jensen, Founder and Moderator
Bio Careers Forum


ReplyQuote
DX
Active Colleague Registered
Joined: 2 months ago
Posts: 15
January 4, 2019 9:23 am  

Hi Jason,

I want to emphasize Dave's point on being transparent on the situation.  I had a situation a few years back where my wife and I were entertaining a move to a new geographic location and interestingly enough the company had jobs for both me and my wife..well..they wanted my wife first and then found something in alignment with my career ambitions and experience.  Funny we both had the same starting day.  Now that was years ago and I don't recommend working for the same company as your partner (yuck as we both agreed) but hey if it gets you to your objective and solution of the 2 body problem in the short to mid-term, then rock and roll.

Second, agree with your partner on what it is you're both looking for.  And set up a plan in the case one of you are a trailing spouse with out a job.  The details are there for you to suss out but it is a conversation I had with my wife. 

Third, look for jobs in areas where both of you have access to jobs, be it labs or companies - when we did our move we both happened to be in the same industry and we moved to a place with many companies in our sector. 

Good luck

DX


Dave Jensen liked
ReplyQuote
Dave Jensen
Eminent Colleague Moderator
Joined: 2 months ago
Posts: 42
January 8, 2019 2:35 am  

Hi DX, thanks for the comment and great story about this 2 body problem.

What do you think the company would have done for you if they didn't have a position for both of you? Do you think they would have helped out in some way, finding the other of you a job in the local area? Some candidates I place seem to think that they're going to be greatly assisted by the hiring company in finding that 2nd job, but I don't think this is the case. Perhaps I am wrong,

Dave

Dave Jensen, Founder and Moderator
Bio Careers Forum


ReplyQuote
Share: