Monday, March 30, 2009

The job search

My partner Elizabeth is just a few weeks away from completing her PhD.  She's been on the job market this year, and it hasn't been pretty.  Academic jobs are always very competitive, but this year is particularly tough.  In many cases, there are over 200 applicants for a single position.  We've limited our options even further because there are so many places we're just not willing to live.  
Elizabeth and I are somewhat spoiled in that we were both raised in liberal states, went to college in a liberal state and now live in a liberal state.  We've always lived in places that offer some sort of legal recognition of our relationship, even if it was just same sex partner benefits at work.  So although there are plenty of jobs in states that have banned gay adoption or amended their state constitution to prohibit any sort of same sex unions, we're not applying for jobs in any of those places.  I don't mean to insult anyone who lives in a more conservative part of the country.  On the contrary, I'm in awe of people who are able to navigate through these less than tolerant environments.  I just don't know if I'm strong enough for that.  If it were just the two of us, it might be easier, but I'm scared to think of all the "worst case scenarios" that could come up if there's a baby thrown into the mix.  
Sometimes I worry that we're limiting ourselves too much, and that Elizabeth should expand her job search to include other parts of the country.  She's worked her butt off to get this PhD, and she deserves to get a good job.  But I think Elizabeth is even more concerned than I am about living in a liberal state since she would not be the biological parent of this child.  For now we're just sticking to our original search area, waiting, and hoping that a job comes through.

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