Wednesday, October 5, 2011

In which I acknowledge my two-body problem

Some big changes are happening here.  Not because I've finally cracked the job hunt, but my husband did. Yes, it should come as no surprise that I am married to someone who also has great career prospects.  It was going to be very hard for me to find a job that would tempt him away from his professional life (NIH payscale? ha!), and it turned out this is a good time for him to seek a promotion. This is great news for us personally, but changes a lot of things for my job hunt.

We are moving across the country to the Seattle area.  I'm glad to be closer to my family, but months of job hunting have confirmed that Seattle doesn't have the strongest biotech market in the country.  However, being able to focus on a single place may help me to be more creative in my job hunt.  My problem lately has been trying to convince employers that not only do I have the skills they want, but I am such a phenomenal candidate, they should put up with me having to relocate.  I felt limited to apply only to positions that narrowly fit within my experience and education.  (And only those in an area it seemed likely there could be a second career.)  With luck, I can be a convincing candidate for a wider variety of jobs since that major barrier, geography, has been reduced.

Now I am trying to figure out how to focus my job hunt in one geographical location.  Now it should be easier to actually do face to face networking.  I'm looking forward to meeting the Washington Biotech Business Association, catching up with my alumni group and meeting old friends, both from college and high school, who resettled to that area. I can't say I know lots of people in the biotech industry there, but I am hoping to make the case that my education proves I can learn quickly, work on dynamic teams and deliver ambitious goals, be that in drug discovery or biofuel or science education or any other industry that is willing to consider me.

1 comment:

  1. We are used to relocation in academic science. It is pretty much expected by your new boss. In industry it is very much a problem. Before my stint at NIH I had an interview at a company in Cleveland. They were interested in me but wanted me to start in one week. I was like "um I have to move" They didn't care and lost interest in me when I said I might need more than 7 days to start the position. I'm sure they had 20 local applicants and had no reason to wait. I think only if you have a very specialized and rare skill will a company give you any time at all to get there. Otherwise you may find yourself living apart from your spouse for months if you really want the job.