How are others juggling partners' job searches w/their own?

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How are others juggling partners' job searches w/their own?

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Feb 03, 2013 1:18 pm

So my boyfriend of 7 years is going to graduate LS at the same time as me. I could see us getting married in the near future, but we're having trouble figuring out how to approach the job search. We have been applying all across the country because we don't trust the market and don't think it's a good idea to limit ourselves to one or a couple of cities as we have specific interests in the practice of law we go into. We have not really been able to figure out a good way to handle this dual search. Originally, we came up with the "whoever gets a job first, 'wins'" ie. we move there, but the difficult thing I've found is that I get invested in places a little too easily, and want to break the pact (if he gets something first I want to go back to my people and see if they can counteroffer). We are both ambitious and want to start our careers right away so I feel it puts us at odds when either of us get leads on jobs because we want our own places to work out. I wanted to hear what other people in similar positions have been doing--have you all just committed to a town and that's that, or what?
Thanks in advance.

onionz
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Re: How are others juggling partners' job searches w/their own?

Postby onionz » Sun Feb 03, 2013 1:32 pm

Sounds like you two need two need to have an honest talk about what you want. Even if other things worked for other people no promises it works for you. After seven years of dating someone I hope you can be honest about how you want to approach this.

Myself
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Postby Myself » Sun Feb 03, 2013 2:44 pm

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TooOld4This
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Re: How are others juggling partners' job searches w/their own?

Postby TooOld4This » Sun Feb 03, 2013 2:47 pm

Need more information.

What rank school are you both going to? What is each of your ranking? Have either of you figured out what type of practice you want? Do either of you have strong geographic preferences? What are each of your long term goals? Are each of you really in this relationship for the long run?

That last question is the most important. My spouse and I are each ambitious people, but our relationship has come first. That means every professional decision we make looks at the long term. In the short term each of us had made decisions that were not optimal short term decisions for our careers. But by recognizing that there is no such thing making every individual decision either exactly equal or exactly optimal for both of us every single time, it has never been a sticking point.

You need to figure out what a dream scenario would be both in the near and long term. Then come up with Plan Bs that each of you can live with. If the optimal scenario is possible, go for it, but with a common understanding off your fall back positions.

And, IMHO, if you find you want to retrade on your deal, then you either haven't been honest about what you really want, or you really aren't that into this relationship and doubt it has long term prospects.

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Re: How are others juggling partners' job searches w/their own?

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Feb 03, 2013 4:18 pm

basically I've slowed my job search because I don't want to be invested in something that won't work out between my partner and I. I have substantially slowed down my applications to anywhere for several months while he's been mass mailing (which believe it or not has actually had success in terms of getting interview offers). I have an interview this week but I'm not even half invested. I really have only one job opportunity that I am really hoping pans out. I finally had a solid interview. If it doesn't work out then I'm fine going whereever he gets. There actually is a dallas option, which, would i be happy with it? no but it's a city and it's probably workeable and i would go. Although I am scared not knowing how much my school has nationwide brand recognition, certainly compared to his, it doesn't.

Another wrinkle is that the place I'm interested in hires statewide and he has informed me that he may not join me if it's in the boonies where he cannot get a job. If I got offered the place, I'd have to accept not knowing where it would be in the state. Ideally I would get the job and it would be in an office where he would be comfortable joining me. If I don't, then I'll join him whereever...And then I haven't even thought through all of the other permutations of a simultaneous offer situation.

As for stats, we're in the top 50 of law schools. He has a lower GPA than me but I don't know where he falls in rank, but his school is a lot better ranked than mine...Are you suggesting that because he has a higher ranked school he has earned it more to pursue his dreams? I'm not trying to hold him back. I think he'll have an easier time than me landing a job in a random city than me, just because of [LS] name/reputation, but I get that there could be a fairness issue there.

I don't even know what to say in this honesty conversation. I don't want to break up and I want him to join me if I get this place and if he gets something I still want him to come with me. I feel selfish wanting my cake and eating it too, but like I'm entitled to want all of these things for myself. maybe we should just move somewhere where no one has anything..cut the baby in half or whatnot. I feel very depressed and debilitated.

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Postby Myself » Sun Feb 03, 2013 5:00 pm

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Re: How are others juggling partners' job searches w/their own?

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Feb 03, 2013 5:07 pm

i have said all of what I've written but we just come to a standstill, that's why i was trying to ask around to get an idea of different arrangements than a first offer, we take situation.

sidhesadie
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Re: How are others juggling partners' job searches w/their own?

Postby sidhesadie » Sun Feb 03, 2013 5:15 pm

Someone has to be willing to sacrifice. You probably aren't going to be able to make both of you super happy, job wise.

It sounds to me like maybe neither of you is quite sure you're willing to put the relationship before the job. Ideally, you should BOTH be willing to do so, but at least one of you really has to.

I don't think anyone is suggesting that if his school is better ranked, he somehow 'deserves' his dream more than you do; rather, simply that if he goes to a much better ranked school, he might be more likely to get a higher paying job that could support the both of you while you look for other employment, so going where his job is might make the most sense.

It sounds to me like perhaps the real problem is that you want to take any job you get, and want him to be the one willing to give up whatever he might get, even if it's better. And he's not. So again, neither of you is actually willing to sacrifice a job for the relationship.

No one can figure out what that means but you.

steakandchicken
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Re: How are others juggling partners' job searches w/their own?

Postby steakandchicken » Sun Feb 03, 2013 5:29 pm

My bad, calm down.
Last edited by steakandchicken on Sun Feb 03, 2013 6:42 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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somewhatwayward
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Re: How are others juggling partners' job searches w/their own?

Postby somewhatwayward » Sun Feb 03, 2013 5:57 pm

steakandchicken wrote:I'm sorry you're having a tough time with this. My fiance and I are applying to LS at the same time, with the understanding that we're going to the best school that accepts both of us.


Yikes, is that going to mean like 400K in debt across both of you (if fairly similar numbers so that neither gets much of a scholarship)?

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Re: How are others juggling partners' job searches w/their own?

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Feb 03, 2013 5:59 pm

I have a spouse in academia in the same city where I am in law school, so a bit different, but we made an arrangement that is a compromise that might be helpful to you. I graduate law school a year before he should finish his PhD. The agreement is that I will get the best job I can take within a reasonable traveling distance (eg, hour flight but not across the country) and in a place we could see living long term and we will do a commuter marriage for a year if need be. Husband will get his PhD, come live with me for a year, and in that year network and publish and look for jobs. If he gets one where I am already, terrific. But he will have a year to search for postdocs all over the country while working part time. Once I have been at my job (presumably law firm) for two years, I will follow him to bumfuck North Dakota or wherever he gets a postdoc and secure a job there. It would mean lateraling at the minimum shortest possible time and my career trajectory might take a hit. But law is *generally* more versatile than academia and my husband is older and was in school for a long time, so I'm willing to do that. He may also have a year after he graduates of waiting around/searching that is not tons of fun. I can't change legal jobs after just one year; he may need to get a postdoc somewhere totally random. This is our compromise.

Another consideration for us is that we are not going to uproot or lives for me to work a 50k/year job at a small firm in some other state. I am looking for big/midlaw jobs on a large geographic scale and *any* legal job in and around the market where we are living now. If I DO get a job that pays a ridiculous amount of money, my husband is willing to consider (actually even the one to raise the idea of) me staying at my job and him re-evaluating his postdoc goals when the time comes. We both like what we do and are driven but not rabidly ambitious and want to travel and enjoy life, so money is a factor in our planning. If someone gets a job making a huge amount of money, that influences planning for kids/the future/etc. and has weight. But I have said I am willing to go anywhere after 2 yrs of my first law job and that is a promise I know I'll keep without regrets.

You haven't stated that either of you are at the top of your class at a Tier 1 school, or (I think) what year you are. Job hunting without a locked up Summer Associate position and offer, even with GOOD grades from a Tier 1 school, is hell. I am dealing with everything from interviews at biglaw firms to nightmares of unemployment and lots of rejection letters as a 3L who is job-hunting. It's tremendously stressful. We have a working plan based on our values and goals but a lot of unknowns ahead in our career/living arrangement/finances. If you are not ROCK SOLID and honest in your relationship while dealing with those stresses, it's going to be really, really tough.

My advice is to think about if you can make a plan that has some contingencies (such as being apart for a year) that you can live with and some flexibility (if you get x kind of job, I'll move and job hunt with you for a year, then we both find new market, or whatever). The "whoever 'wins' the job hunt first" plan seems kind of combative and unhealthy. But if you know in your heart you won't be happy unless you find the best job for YOU and the relationship comes second, it's better to be honest about that sooner.

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Postby Myself » Sun Feb 03, 2013 5:59 pm

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Postby Myself » Sun Feb 03, 2013 6:02 pm

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steakandchicken
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Re: How are others juggling partners' job searches w/their own?

Postby steakandchicken » Sun Feb 03, 2013 6:37 pm

somewhatwayward wrote:
steakandchicken wrote:I'm sorry you're having a tough time with this. My fiance and I are applying to LS at the same time, with the understanding that we're going to the best school that accepts both of us.


Yikes, is that going to mean like 400K in debt across both of you (if fairly similar numbers so that neither gets much of a scholarship)?


Thanks for the concern. But this thread isn't about our situation!

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nevdash
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Re: How are others juggling partners' job searches w/their own?

Postby nevdash » Sun Feb 03, 2013 6:38 pm

ajax adonis wrote:1. You're a 0L. Get out.
2. Why are you and your fiance both going into law school at the same time or at all? Do you like debt?

Yeah, wtf? The poster apparently has a "great job," the SO has a graduate degree that didn't require any debt, and they currently live in the same city. Are they literally unhinged, masochistic fucking psychopaths?

steakandchicken
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Re: How are others juggling partners' job searches w/their own?

Postby steakandchicken » Sun Feb 03, 2013 6:38 pm

ajax adonis wrote:
steakandchicken wrote:I'm sorry you're having a tough time with this. My fiance and I are applying to LS at the same time, with the understanding that we're going to the best school that accepts both of us. We've been together for 5 years, and when we first graduated from undergrad we did the same thing - applied to jobs/programs in different cities (NY, DC & Philly). We ended up in Philadelphia because I got a great job and he got a big scholarship to a school there. We each had something to look forward to and that suited our long term goals. So it can work!

Because I've been there (and I'm there now), I can understand your original plan of going to the city where one of you gets a job first. What I don't understand is why it seems like you've taken yourself out of the running. You say you've stopped sending out applications and you aren't excited about the interviews you have. It sounds a bit like you're sabotaging yourself. Then you said that you were upset that you aren't going to get to have your cake and eat it too. I know I don't know the entire situation, but it seems like you could start to resent your partner for that.

Perhaps you're afraid of being put in the position where you are the one who wins and dictates what area you both will live? Whatever the issue, you really won't know how you'll react until you have job offers in hand. Please apply to jobs that excite you. The best thing you can do for your relationship is to take good care of yourself and to represent your interests and goals honestly to your partner. Apply, apply, apply, don't sell yourself short and keep the communication going with your partner.

I wish you the best of luck!


1. You're a 0L. Get out.
2. Why are you and your fiance both going into law school at the same time or at all? Do you like debt?


I tried to give thoughtful feedback from someone who has been in a similar position.

This isn't about my relationship or my financial situation. We should all be trying to help the OP.

TooOld4This
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Re: How are others juggling partners' job searches w/their own?

Postby TooOld4This » Sun Feb 03, 2013 6:40 pm

Anonymous User wrote:basically I've slowed my job search because I don't want to be invested in something that won't work out between my partner and I. I have substantially slowed down my applications to anywhere for several months while he's been mass mailing (which believe it or not has actually had success in terms of getting interview offers). I have an interview this week but I'm not even half invested. I really have only one job opportunity that I am really hoping pans out. I finally had a solid interview. If it doesn't work out then I'm fine going whereever he gets. There actually is a dallas option, which, would i be happy with it? no but it's a city and it's probably workeable and i would go. Although I am scared not knowing how much my school has nationwide brand recognition, certainly compared to his, it doesn't.

Another wrinkle is that the place I'm interested in hires statewide and he has informed me that he may not join me if it's in the boonies where he cannot get a job. If I got offered the place, I'd have to accept not knowing where it would be in the state. Ideally I would get the job and it would be in an office where he would be comfortable joining me. If I don't, then I'll join him whereever...And then I haven't even thought through all of the other permutations of a simultaneous offer situation.

As for stats, we're in the top 50 of law schools. He has a lower GPA than me but I don't know where he falls in rank, but his school is a lot better ranked than mine...Are you suggesting that because he has a higher ranked school he has earned it more to pursue his dreams? I'm not trying to hold him back. I think he'll have an easier time than me landing a job in a random city than me, just because of [LS] name/reputation, but I get that there could be a fairness issue there.

I don't even know what to say in this honesty conversation. I don't want to break up and I want him to join me if I get this place and if he gets something I still want him to come with me. I feel selfish wanting my cake and eating it too, but like I'm entitled to want all of these things for myself. maybe we should just move somewhere where no one has anything..cut the baby in half or whatnot. I feel very depressed and debilitated.


I'm not suggesting either of you deserve anything. The reality is, though, if you were both doing well at T14 schools, you could more easily pick a city together and have a realistic chance of each getting a job there.

You sound like 1L. If so, each of you should just go for the best job you can get. If you are 2Ls who missed the boat on OCI, then you are in a bad spot and need to have a fish or cut bait discussion. Either you are in it for the long haul together, in which case you need to balance how much sacrifice either of you can make without killing your careers, agree that your relationship may need to be long distance for a couple of years until both of you can find a job in the same place, or accept that both of you (or one of you) values your professional aspirations more than your relationship.

Taking a job in a location where your SO can't get a job is pretty much a non-starter unless you see it as a stepping stone to getting something where you can both find decent jobs. If you would really expect your SO to go to the boondocks when there arent viable options for them, then I think you have mde your choice between your career and your relationship and you should have the decency to say which is really first in your mind.

steakandchicken
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Re: How are others juggling partners' job searches w/their own?

Postby steakandchicken » Sun Feb 03, 2013 6:42 pm

nevdash wrote:
ajax adonis wrote:1. You're a 0L. Get out.
2. Why are you and your fiance both going into law school at the same time or at all? Do you like debt?

Yeah, wtf? The poster apparently has a "great job," the SO has a graduate degree that didn't require any debt, and they currently live in the same city. Are they literally unhinged, masochistic fucking psychopaths?


I'm sorry I posted in an inappropriate thread. I really thought I could help the OP.

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somewhatwayward
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Re: How are others juggling partners' job searches w/their own?

Postby somewhatwayward » Sun Feb 03, 2013 6:55 pm

steakandchicken wrote:
nevdash wrote:
ajax adonis wrote:1. You're a 0L. Get out.
2. Why are you and your fiance both going into law school at the same time or at all? Do you like debt?

Yeah, wtf? The poster apparently has a "great job," the SO has a graduate degree that didn't require any debt, and they currently live in the same city. Are they literally unhinged, masochistic fucking psychopaths?


I'm sorry I posted in an inappropriate thread. I really thought I could help the OP.


They are trying to help you albeit with some meanness in delivery. If you and SO are in the same city and you are employed and not in debt, there is no reason to uproot yourselves and take on 300-400K in debt to go to law school unless that school is HYS.




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