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Academics who don't (or do) live near work

(14 Posts)
Ifnotherethenwhere Wed 06-Jul-16 12:33:12

I'm struggling with a work vs. life decision about where to live at the moment. Is it worth suffering a horrible commute to live somewhere we really love? Or should we accept fate and move near my uni, even though we don't want to live there?

The complication is I don't love my institution and I'm keen to get a post elsewhere. I've been shortlisted for jobs twice in the past couple of years, but haven't made the final cut. This is really impacting my decision about where to live. Do we move where we want to live and bank on me getting a new job at some point in the foreseeable future and accept that meanwhile I'll have a horrible commute and not see my (very little) DC much during the week? Or do we move, possibly short-term, closer to my job, accepting that if I get a new job we'll move again and have the complication of moving DC's childcare/ schools.

DH (who works pt from home/ SAHD) and I have been going round and round on this for so long now we can't see the wood for the trees. Help!

Ifnotherethenwhere Wed 06-Jul-16 12:34:32

Argh sorry technical issues means this posted twice. Why isn't there a 'delete post' option??

isthistoonosy Wed 06-Jul-16 12:39:22

What's your research / teaching split? Do you really need to everyday, would they not agree to some homeworking?

My OH is 1hrs drive from his uni but only.goes in 1-2 days a week as required to teach or attend meetings otherwise he can work from home.

Ifnotherethenwhere Wed 06-Jul-16 12:43:37

No, I don't go in everyday. During term-time I go in 3 or 4 days a week, depending on my teaching schedule. Out of term time, probably about once a week.

This is the only thing that make the current hideous commute even vaguely workable - that I don't have to do it everyday and on days I do have to do it my hours are often flexible (e.g. today I'm on campus from 11 am until 4pm)

esornep Wed 06-Jul-16 13:16:16

My OH is 1hrs drive from his uni but only.goes in 1-2 days a week as required to teach or attend meetings otherwise he can work from home.

Is this really sustainable in the long-run? It must be in a field in which academics do not have large research groups?

geekaMaxima Wed 06-Jul-16 16:59:54

I live about an hour away from my university and wouldn't consider moving, as I love where I live and wouldn't particularly like living in the university's location.

I go in 2-3 times a week during teaching term (4 days a week is a baaaad week, happens maybe once a year), and 0-2 times a week out of term. The rest of the time, I work from home.

We have the year's schedule of teaching and most major meetings in advance, so I arrange other meetings around them. It has also become easier to schedule blocks of meetings as I've become more senior, as now I'm the one chairing committees, running lab meetings, etc. For example, I'll move the day of a regular meeting if it's the only thing scheduled for a particular day during the year (e.g., move a Tuesday meeting to Wednesdays if I know I have to be in for teaching on many Wednesdays).

For other meetings, I often skype PhD or Masters supervision, chats with colleagues about ad hoc matters, and so on.

I'm much more productive when I work from home as I can get blocks of uninterrupted concentration without people knocking on my door grin

Ifnotherethenwhere Wed 06-Jul-16 18:42:30

An hour would be a good commute! From
place we want to live is 70 - 95 mins by car. Train is 2hrs door-to-door, but on unreliable and infrequent lines. Or I could just move near work, but my soul dies a little at the thought.

esornep Wed 06-Jul-16 20:49:44

If you don't want to be near work, then don't move there!

For me the issue of living 2 hours away would be how long (realistically) you think it would take to get another job. But I am in a field where (senior) jobs rarely come up and it's very hard to move from one permanent position to another. It may well be easier in other fields.

isthistoonosy Wed 06-Jul-16 21:06:50

He does most his research alone or with a group that are based at a diff campus about 4hrs away. They skype alot. Its been this way since he got his doctorate about 2 yrs ago and he is mid application for docent so seems to work at his place at least. (I'm not uk but it all seems so online I'd thought it would be the same everywhere, but maybe not.)

Ifnotherethenwhere Thu 07-Jul-16 09:29:40

It's impossible to know esornep when or even if I'll get another job. The fact that I've been shortlisted for highly competitive jobs twice recently is maybe a sign that I'm in with a chance of getting a new job in the foreseeable future? But who knows.

esornep Thu 07-Jul-16 10:46:25

On the other hand many universities are implementing hiring cools and freezes because of Brexit and this could last for.... well, who knows how long?

Ifnotherethenwhere Thu 07-Jul-16 11:33:17

Exactly! It's just impossible to predict. Which makes me think I should make my peace with my current post/uni and move the family to be close by. But, but, but...

ocelot41 Sat 23-Jul-16 16:54:05

I have had 10 years of a 3 hour round commute. It was bearable but not much fun. I would say keep looking for another post you want to do in an area you want to live if you can. Would DH and DC be up for a move if a suitable post came up elsewhere?

ocelot41 Sat 23-Jul-16 16:58:11

Sorry, should add that have finally got great post which will mean 20 min commute, but it does mean my whole family moving to support me.

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