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DH wanting to apply for job in Scotland

71 replies

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?

OP posts:

Lissette · 16/09/2017 09:23

Chewbacca you might be able to do a few years there and then move back to the Midlands if a job comes up closer to your parents. I know someone who is moving job to a lower grade post in order to be closer to her parents.


Lissette · 16/09/2017 09:24

Glasgow is amazing Smile


museumum · 16/09/2017 09:32

Glasgow is officially one of the best places in the uk to live (well oh east Dumbartonshire is but that's practically Glasgow). It will be MUCH easier for your dh to get another fellowship elsewhere if he's already in this one. He does not need to stay anything like ten years.
I flew Flybe to Birmingham weekly for a project for about £100 each time. And train services are good. Glasgow is so well connected honestly.


alltouchedout · 16/09/2017 09:33

I love Glasgow. Knowing that is of no help to you of course, but I do. My semi regular "but why can't we move to Scotland?" conversations with DH often come down to me saying how much I love Glasgow and Stirling and St Andrews and Gullane and Falkirk and pubs with Irn Bru on tap and morning rolls and hearing people say my name the way my dad's family always did when I was little. It's a great city.


ALittleMop · 16/09/2017 09:38

Glasgow to Midlands is totally doable
Its a brilliant city
I'd move there like a shot


Yogafire · 16/09/2017 09:45

Can he commute to his job and be in midlands for w/e? Does he need to be in the office 5 days a week? In my field a job in the same country as DH. I reckon go through the application process and see how it goes. If he gets it maybe you can move there for the first year and then find ways to manage a commute. Or once he has his permanent job he has a better platform from which to move. Why is it 5-10 yrs?
Also are there many opportunities in his field? During a three yr postdoc only one came up in the UK in my area! In other fields there would be more, in which case just wait for some more manageable opportunities come along.
In the end you need to make a decision for both of you. The above are just suggestions for how it could work


ItsNachoCheese · 16/09/2017 09:48

Id move as it sounds like an amazing oppurtunity


Summerswallow · 16/09/2017 09:48

The difficult thing is- is he the main breadwinner? If not, I'd be tempted to say- if he's going to make it in academia, he can do so in more than one place, there won't be one fellowship, and he can continue to look around in the Midlands. However, the risk there is that he picks up another temporary contract for a couple of years and doesn't really provide you with the security you need as a family, to get mortgage etc- but if you are the main earner, then this may not matter.

If he is the main earner, then going into a secure long-term contract or permanent position is a good idea, wherever it is. Academia is notoriously insecure, and having 5-10 years, which would be legally permanent would be a fantastic thing and make his career.

I really think you were unrealistic to think you would meet someone and they would get a job 'in the Midlands'- staying in the UK with a professional job is probably as close as you'll get to stability, and not just for academia, I don't know many professional couples who haven't had to move at least cross country for one or other of their jobs at one time or another. Of course being near family and friends is very important, but I wouldn't sacrifice a permanent job to do so nor the job of the main earner- it's just not possible to do so.

I am an academic, have lived apart from my husband for some years on occasions, although we do prefer living together of course, and would do again if the perfect job came up and the other one didn't want to move, we like the world of weekend dates, work in the week, and I know lots of other academic couples who are both academics at different institutions who don't live together all the time (called LATS, Living Apart Together). I have children and know lots with children that do this too!

That said, there must be possibilities for him in the Midlands-great unis there, lots of them, so perhaps he's just seduced by this offer and needs to get on and filter by Midlands and start looking far more seriously around at what's in your area rather than just fixing on this Glasgow option. Glasgow is a good city for academics and their families though, know friends there.


Branleuse · 16/09/2017 09:48

Glasgow is an amazing vibrant place. Id give it a try if i were you


Summerswallow · 16/09/2017 09:54

I'd also say- you say Glasgow is far, but it has great transport links. If you were 3 hours away from your family, you wouldn't see them much more than if you were in Glasgow, surely? It's too far to pop for the day. It'd be whole weekends, and lovely family holidays. The good thing about academia, or at least my bit of it is that there's often very good flexibility about working hours and/or holiday dates so the option to go and stay with your parents would be there.

Ultimately, I don't think you can expect him to be a career academic and put restrictions on it so early in the career trajectory like 'your next and permanent job needs to be in the Midlands', I actually don't think many professional jobs could succeed with that restriction on it, most people in their early thirties are going where their companies demand to a large extent, and only when more senior and/or have children in school are starting to make sacrifices such as lower pay to stay in a particular locality.


Aderyn17 · 16/09/2017 09:55

Or he could get a different job, not in academia. One that enables him to live with his wife and give financial stability to any future children and allows the family to have a permanent base.

Lots of people have said that the OP should seriously consider moving, but no one has said that perhaps he could do some considering too.


ArbitraryName · 16/09/2017 09:59

At this point he's only considering applying for the job too. Being invited to apply by people in the department (who may have nothing to do with the shortlisting) isn't necessarily and indication that you'll even be shortlisted, never mind interviewed and offered it in the current academic job market.


ArbitraryName · 16/09/2017 10:00

By which I mean, you may as well wait to figure out what to do until he's actually offered the job.


scaryclown · 16/09/2017 10:07

I think do it.
Academic salary will allow enough for travelling regularly, it will expand your kids minds and they'll be part of the secret club that knows Scotland well and is totally tradeable worldwide. I bet you spend four hour sitting around, and with a good car, outside main traffic hours the journey is easy, but more than that, it can be utterly magnificent as a journey, coming south down the hills past the borders, and the lakes at dawn will give you some of the best views in the world.

It doesn't take long to know people in Glasgow.


ommmward · 16/09/2017 10:07

I'm an academic. I had temporary jobs in three different cities before getting a permanent one, moving 6 hours, 5 hours and 3 hours. Just one of those ended me up within 3 hours of parents (and it wasn't the final not the move to a permanent post). Each time my partner had to upsticks and move: We had talked it through and they could be peripatetic for the decade it took from PhD to permanent post, where if we put geographical constraints on my career, i wouldn't have one. (and for me, as for many academics, it is a life that makes me passionately happy, so I'd have been giving up A Lot).

If he wants to work in academia, then he has to go where the jobs are. We usually get over a hundred applicants for a permanent post. However geographically convenient we might be for some of them, they have a very small chance even of being longlisted.

It's actually lovely going to spend a long weekend or a week at a time with extended family. We also make sure we holiday with family.


Summerswallow · 16/09/2017 10:33

Or he could get a different job, not in academia. One that enables him to live with his wife and give financial stability to any future children and allows the family to have a permanent base

Yes, except most people I know in professional jobs have moved for work, or at least had to move about the country for training. Or moved from, say London to the regions to get promoted. Or can't get work in their local city and have to commute Mon-Fri elsewhere.

These plethora of permanent well-paid jobs in one region might be a bit thin on the ground- to me, a long-term permanent and reasonably well-paid job in a city with a good transport system such as Glasgow is probably better than 50% of the people I know! Plus Scottish unis have not suffered quite the same issues with chaotic funding (though someone might be along to tell me different) or at least they seem to me insulated from the battier decisions of Westminster and it seems to me an academic career in Scotland is actually a pretty good prospect. This is hardly some type of life sacrifice situation, how many people get to work exactly where they want, doing exactly what they want, paid exactly what they want when starting out pre-kids?!


milkjetmum · 16/09/2017 10:42

Other side of this in our family, I am academic and husband is sahd. I have only ever applied for posts within a 90min commute as do not want my children to move their childhood (I was an army baby and went to 7 different schools in 3 countries).

Luckily for me 90 min commute includes London + at least 5 other unis so never felt very hard done by. Maybe career would have progressed faster if I had been willing to go anywhere? Will never know, but things turned out OK (worked at 3 different unis plus policy work in London, now in permanent post)


Aderyn17 · 16/09/2017 10:48

I would agree with you regarding moving for work if OP was wanting to live in the arse end of nowhere. But she is talking about the midlands, which is not without travel links and opportunities.

You say it is a good prospect and it is, for him. The OP may well decide that she wants to do this, can find opportunities of her own there, so all is well and good.

But I do think that both of them need to consider what is most important, not only the OP. As much as she married an academic, he married a woman with strong family ties and ideas for her own future. It shouldn't just be assumed that she will give up what is important to her and trail after him forever. It is a 'type of life sacrifice situation' for her. Glasgow may be wonderful but it wasn't what she wanted or agreed to.

I'm not saying definitely don't do it, but I am asking what he is willing to give up because on the face if it, not very much.
I have done the trailing spouse thing - it isn't always great and it isn't always a good thing for women in career/financial terms, so it's worth not taking it for granted that she has to follow.


Lissette · 16/09/2017 11:03

I've done the trailing spouse thing and it is an upheaval and have also gone through the many years of PhD research and then have had to turn to a different career, which was hard too.

That said, my family decided to emigrate to Australia just as I moved so my back up plan of possibly returning to my family evaporated. I really like the idea of being around extended family but for various reasons that didn't work out for me.

You'll work something out OP. He may not even get that job.


Summerswallow · 16/09/2017 11:15

If Glasgow seems a step too far, then the obvious move is to get on for him and for him to start actively planning a next step to the Midlands- great unis there, rather than wait til the end of the current contract, that way he'll have more choice/can look for a longer term option. It doesn't sound like he's backed into a corner with two years left to run, so there's plenty of time for him to make a move that suits all of you, plus if he has papers/outputs coming out now and in the next year, then he may be better positioned to pick up a permanent lectureship in a year's time than right now.

I don't know many people who have been able to live by their families, most people I know have moved for one person's job/then stayed around there once settled with children. The exception to that is GPs who seem to be able to find a practice anywhere!


chewbacca83 · 16/09/2017 12:24

He has been actively looking and applying for jobs in academia and the private sector in the midlands for a while. I know how competitive academia is and also that it is is first choice of career rather than private sector. Maybe I was naive to think it would be fairly straightforward to get a job near home within his 3 year current contract. We have spoken about it again this morning and agreed he will apply and simultaneously apply for another (extremely competitive fellowship) in Nottingham and see what happens. I don't want him to ever look back and think what if

OP posts:

Summerswallow · 16/09/2017 12:31

Remember if he has two years to go, then presumably he will only start to get good outputs/papers towards the end of the current three year contract, so it's always difficult to apply too soon as you don't have much more than when you were last job hunting- he kind of needs the contract to run, then to get the papers, then to apply to really maximise his chances of success in a competitive environment.

It's not just academia though, I know a couple of families struggling to find good work at the moment in different fields, and having to make do with not very well paid jobs if they want to stay local for schools etc.


ALittleMop · 16/09/2017 12:37

Do you work/want to work/have a business that is portable/want to set up something whilst trying for baby? It's also a place with lots on offer for young families.

If so Glasgow is a better bet than many places (Edinburgh is a very reasonable commute and there are also nice places in between).

Where in the Midlands are you?


chewbacca83 · 16/09/2017 12:48

He has been in his current job for 3 years and last year got a new contract for 3 more years so he already had some high level papers out. He is in a good position to be applying for fellowships at this point.

OP posts:

chewbacca83 · 16/09/2017 12:50

Id rather not give too many details about cities and areas of expertise as it's a small community and would rather be completely anonymous

OP posts:
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