Academic common room
DH wanting to apply for job in Scotland
chewbacca83 · 16/09/2017 08:05
I met my husband who is an academic 4 years ago in the midlands when he was doing his PhD. I had my own business and was doing well. I'm from the midlands and live close to all my family and friends. He got a job 2 hours north at a prestigous university. For 2 years he commutes back and forth at weekends. He then proposed. I made the decision to close down my business, rent out my house and move to the city where he now has a 3 year contract at the university. I completely understand the life of an academic can be unpredictable and often they have to move where the work is until they get a lectureship position. We have good communication and we have always said our goal is to move back to the midlands where my family is especially as we are now trying for a baby. Dh has just been to a conference where he was strongly encouraged to apply for fellowship at a Scottish university. It potentially is a very good opportunity, I know there fellowships are hard to come by. I am also not averse to moving to another city for his career...technically I can work anywhere. BUT I don't want to move to Scotland. It's several hours from my family. We dont know anyone in this city. The position of he got it would mean he would have to stay there for 5-10 years. If it was just a couple of years i could cope I think. But my parents are in their 70s now. I want to be close by. I miss my friends as it is. Dh doesnt want to move if i dont want to. Hes very kind and thoughtful and I know he wants me to be happy. But he wants to apply for this position just to test the application process and to get experience. My worry is that if he passes each stage it will get to a point where I may be bad bad a corner because he will have a great job pop that may not come again. He has said he will give it 2 years to get into academia as his contract has 2 years left, he has already far a few attempts. I feel really selfish for saying I don't want to move to Scotland. Not going for this job could be detrimental to his career and I really want him to suceed as it is very competitive. What does everyone think?
MothratheMighty · 16/09/2017 08:12
Not much help from me, I've yoyoed round the country as either DH or I got a good job, as my parents did before me. Academics have to follow the good jobs, so I'd go with him to Scotland and keep in close contact with family. I'm very close to mine, although we all live all over Europe. Only the two of you can make that decision though.
kuniloofdooksa · 16/09/2017 08:26
This is how the life of an academic works, unfortunately.
Some couples maintain a permanent home somewhere and live apart whilst maintaining the relationship long-distance. Some academics have long commutes (my PhD supervisor lived 3 hours from the university).
Is there a regular easyjet or other budget airline route between the job and your family? That can save a lot of time.
SonicBoomBoom · 16/09/2017 08:31
Depending on which city, it might be OK. If it's Glasgow, for example, then the train goes from there to the Midlands.
If it's, say, Aberdeen or St Andrews, then it's a whole different ball game. The journey would take up a whole day.
LtGreggs · 16/09/2017 08:42
We moved to Scotland, my family are in the Midlands. For us it was different circumstances as were previously in London (closer to family, but hardly next door), and we were both keen on the move in general. But here's my thoughts:
Quality of life in Scotland is great, affordability is good. Great choice of either city or non-city living. People are generally very friendly and it's easy to start off conversations anywhere - as an opener to developing friendships. If you do have a baby, this can be a great 'ticket' to meeting loads of people through baby groups etc etc.
Travel to Midlands - have a look at the train services? Depending on exact locations, can be really good. Often offers on first class tickets - which could also mean that semi regular commute involving working on train might work? Also, M6 (then M74) is relatively empty north of Preston - it is a boring drive, but it's not like battling the English traffic all the way. We find it most efficient to leave after work (say 6pm) and arrive midnight at my parents - then we've only "lost" an evening.
Downsides = it IS far. Especially if you are talking Aberdeen... Where's the uni? You could eg easily live Glasgow (bit more south, great transport links) and work in Stirling (bit more north).
chewbacca83 · 16/09/2017 08:45
I know I have to make sacrifices and was prepared to move to any city within a 3 hour radius from my family but Scotland just seems too far. I don't want my grandchildren only seeing their parents a few times a year versus the every day I saw mine. I think it would break my parent's hearts. But the fact that 2 people from this Scottish university encouraged him independently to apply is a strong sign they want him...and i dont want him to resent me in the years to come if he is unsatisfied in his career.
confusednorthner · 16/09/2017 08:49
Without knowing where it's hard to advise. Scotland is a great place live and it's not a million miles away, my dad worked in Birmingham and we drove every weekend from Edinburgh.
somewhereovertherain · 16/09/2017 08:51
Fuck me it's hardly far. And there's these wonderful things called trains and planes.
Live a little you can always move back later.
Sunbeam18 · 16/09/2017 08:52
It has to be a solution that works for both of you. You already gave up your business and moved city a few years ago for him. Would it be a possibility for him to go for the position and IF he gets it for you to have a weekend relationship for a few years? This may be a compromise too far, of course.
TheVanguardSix · 16/09/2017 08:55
It doesn't have to be forever.
I totally understand your feelings (my family and dearest friends are home in the States) but I think you need to support him on this one. If it's vital to his long-term prospects, you've got to back him. It's about your future together and you've got to give him the chance to build on that.
Lissette · 16/09/2017 08:56
You've my every sympathy OP. My DH got a permanent post at a Scottish university and we sold up and moved. I left my job and home city and my own academic career effectively came to an end. But it was permanent and at least one of us got into academia - a relief after 7 years of contract posts. 5-10 years does seem like a longish contract. I do feel for you and I know that academia puts a lot of stress on relationships. I hope the way forward becomes clearer.
ScottishProf · 16/09/2017 08:57
You have scale issues here, I'n afraid. You say you're prepared to make the sacrifice of moving with a 3 hour radius... but you partner would be making a huge sacrifice (one likely to significantly reduce his chance of making a career) if he agrees to stay in the UK at all. Academia's an international career, and sadly, moving multiple times at the start of a career is normal and expected. If he's excellent at what he does, lucky, and not choosy about where he works, he might be able to make a career within three hours. Or he might not.
Your best bet might be to settle for living apart until he has landed a permanent job he can see himself staying in permanently, and then think about whether you're prepared to move there. Then if not, he can keep looking and applying for a permanent job somewhere that does work for you. (It's easier to get a permanent job when you already have one, typically.)
drquin · 16/09/2017 09:00
I'm Scottish so don't want to appear biased ....
I think you need to work out genuine travel times & options. You say "Scotland" like it's all one place. We have plenty "in-abooters" here who obviously make life work for themselves, despite not being born here or having family here.
As others mention, there'd be a difference between Edinburgh / Glasgow and a UHI out post. But budget airline travel would make Aberdeen or Inverness very do-able.
IF you wanted to make it happen.
You sound close to your parents, and that's lovely. Only you can decide if physical proximity to them is going to decide all your future moves. Personally, I've got loads of family & friends who don't live close but would still have a "close" relationship with grandparents etc.
Aderyn17 · 16/09/2017 09:01
I don't think he is being fair. You already closed down your business and moved to accommodate his career. You agreed terms of a 3 hour radius from where you want to be and now he is pushing for Scotland. You say he wants to make you happy, but so far all the giving up of things seems to be coming from you.
There are two of you in this relationship, not just one whose needs have to be considered.
LtGreggs · 16/09/2017 09:02
My kids see grandparents every six weeks-ish, and usually a week at Xmas, Easter, summer hols.
Remember these days there's Skype etc too. I don't think the separation harms any emotional or moral support part of the family relationship - obviously everyday practical support not so doable.
(For our specific locations, they are 6 hours drive away - Scotland to midlands could be anything from 4 to 10 hours depending on location, I reckon. You will no doubt find posters commenting on much longer-distance relationships! )
Much will also come down to - are your family well enough, well-off enough and motivated enough to travel.
But it's not just the Scotland thing is it? It's also about your role in the relationship and the degree to which you each sacrifice within it. I don't know the answer to that...
Dairymilkmuncher · 16/09/2017 09:07
We travel between north of Scotland and and midlands to see family every couple of months and elderly family make the trip to ours so between that we see plenty of them and my kids have a very close relationship with their grandparent and aunties and uncles and cousins.
It's a different kind of close because having your granny sleeping over for a full week at a time means they are spending a solid month a year together just at our house and then almost as much at hers.
It's been very easy since I've been working freelance but was a bit of a pain when dp and I had to stick to annual leave and didn't drive, hoping for cheap trains and a toddler on a train isn't ideal but manageable with an I pad.
Gives us a great opportunity to see more of the country on the long drives we will usually stop over to visit a museam or zoo or friends and extended family that live in awkward places we wouldn't usually visit.
We are lucky to have another granny very close to where we live and get the emergency help when we need it but if you don't have kids yet I wouldn't be putting your life on hold just yet, by the time you conceive and the pregnancy and then baby stage its a couple of years passed.
alltouchedout · 16/09/2017 09:08
I suppose it depends which uni- the university of the Highlands and Islands is much further from the Midlands than the university of Edinburgh, for instance. And whether the two of you would be happy with him maybe being there during the week and returning to a family home in England at weekends and during holidays. It's tricky though, I can see why you are loath to encourage him to go for it.
chewbacca83 · 16/09/2017 09:09
It is Glasgow. I've already been looking at flights and trains and it's looking like 100 quid return ish depending on how far ahead you book. And it's a 6 hour drive to my parents. I really do understand the life of an academic, all our planning and future dreams have been based on the idea of being back in the midlands. Its just hit me out of nowhere. He isn't expecting me to move he just put the idea forward to gauge my reaction and it was entirely my choice to move to our current city.
ArbitraryName · 16/09/2017 09:11
To be honest, I'm not sure that it makes much difference whether it's 3 hours or 7 hours away.
We've had to move for academic posts (and I've had to commute very long distances - more than 3 hours each way). We've both got permanent jobs in the same city now so we're not moving but we aren't really near either set of parents.
My mum is about 2.5-3 hours away, depending on traffic. The PILs are 6-8 hours away depending on traffic. We don't see my mum any more regularly than the PILs. Doing a day trip to visit is utterly exhausting and feels like a major undertaking.
Lissette · 16/09/2017 09:13
The problem with academia Aderyn is that multiple moves are common. We were lucky initially as there was only one really big move after years of commuting. Now dh's getting approached about posts internationally. We don't have to move but we try to weigh up the options each time so we don't look back and think what if.
SonicBoomBoom · 16/09/2017 09:17
Glasgow is doable, distance-wise.
And it is a fabulous, wonderful city. Both for child-free people and for families.
I live in one of the suburbs now (I previously lived in the West End, off Byres Road beside Glasgow University, which was great too) and I honestly can't think of a better place in the UK to raise a family. It has everything. The top schools in Scotland, nice safe area, loads of parks, all the amenities you could want (and there are a lot of English folk here too!)
If he goes for it and gets it, I'm sure you will be able to make a great life here.
LtGreggs · 16/09/2017 09:17
Come up & visit for a long weekend? See what your gut reaction to Glasgow is? Stick on an audio book in car and see if it feels doable? (If you've current got a little "local" car, think about hiring a bigger "motorway" car for the weekend to make it more enjoyable!)
fizzandchips · 16/09/2017 09:18
If he got the job, could you move to Glasgow - enjoy a new (amazing!) city together whilst you continue to work and TTC and if/when you have a baby consider moving back nearer family before nursery/school age and your DH weekly commute.
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