Thursday, September 10, 2009

Two-career job searches

When a couple needs two career-track jobs, they face a hard problem of coordination with each other and with their prospective employers. If they are in different industries, they need to find a four-way match, between the two of them and two different employers. If they are academics, they can at least try to find two jobs at the same university, but if they are in different disciplines the negotiations will involve different departments (and maybe different schools, i.e. different deans), and so the search and negotiation process can be complex, and can still involve potentially very different timing of searches and hiring.

The Chronicle of Higher Ed has a first person account of one such struggle, that ended successfully with two tenure-track assistant professorships at the same university: Lessons of a Dual Hire.

The (pseudonymous) author writes:"After three years of job searching for me in the geological sciences, and four years for my husband in engineering, we successfully maneuvered this year to find two tenure-track positions at the same university. Here's how it happened."

The article goes on to explain some of the difficulties that were overcome in the most recent, successful job search.

Here are two earlier related posts, both of which touch on my work on making the clearinghouse for new doctors, the National Resident Matching Program, more friendly to couples.

Job market for couples (which concerns law schools hiring of couples); and

Match Day for new doctors, which is specifically about couples who are both seeking jobs as new doctors.

Even the medical clearinghouse doesn't do much to help doctors whose spouses have non-medical careers (or even doctors whose spouses have medical careers with different years of graduation from medical school). Some years ago, I was asked to respond to an essay from a doctor's spouse which suggested that maybe the market would work better without a match, i.e. without any centralized clearinghouse. That essay, and my reply, were published in an online student edition of JAMA that no longer exists, on web pages that are no longer maintained. However I am linking to them below, on the remarkable internet archive also known as the Wayback Machine.

Mismatch, by Betsy Brody, University of Notre Dame

Response to Betsy Brody's "Mismatch" by Alvin E. Roth (both originally in MSJAMA, April 7, 1999.

Rereading my response, I would have written it a bit differently today, but the basic point still seems right. But two-career searches are tough, no doubt about it.


dWj said...

My impression is that the time between a graduating medical student's submission of preferences and the announcement of the match results is a month or more; is this correct? I would think that shortening this period would make coordinating with a spouse's job-search significantly easier. (Which, as you note, is not to say "easy".)

Anonymous said...

Hi friends,
Nowadays job search is easy one.

Adjunct Jobs said...

Hi Friends,

Career networking should become a part of your daily work related endeavors. Your career network should be in place for when you need it, both for a job searching and for moving along the career ladder. Thanks a lot...