My husband and I are both Developmental Psychologists and are both on the job market for the 2009-2010 year. We are looking for advice on how to reveal our situation with interested departments and universities. I'd love to hear from others who have been in or are currently in the same boat. Do you reveal that your spouse is searching for a tenure-track position before you've been offered the job? Or should you wait until you've got a serious offer?
Date: 20 Jul 2009 17:40
Number of posts: 7
RSS: New posts
I'm not in that situation, so I cannot speak from experience. However, I have heard from others that it can help to be upfront with search committees about the two-body situation. If you mention that you and your husband are both on the job market, the department might try to arrange a dual hire, even if they were initially looking for only one person (i.e., they might be able to create a second position). I have seen this happen in a few cases, although it might be a bit tougher for two people in the same field.
I've also seen this work out pretty well for two couples coming in to my university. In both cases, the spouse was supported by some pretty nice grant money, so I think that was part of the equation. If you're applying for faculty positions, one may be hired on and essentially bring the other as a post-doc (if you're fortunate enough to have a grant).
FWIW, I have been in your same situation (same subfield even) and the advice I was given by some very smart and successful people (who had also been in that situation) was NOT to say anything about a spouse during an interview. The exception would be if the dept. was advertising a second position that suited your partner and perhaps had not narrowed down their candidates yet. Once you get an offer, then you start negotiating.
In practice, I was able to do this at most interviews, though two very different institutions (illegally) asked me about my spouse and I answered truthfully. When I got offers, it didn't seem to matter whether or not they knew before in terms of negotiating positions for the spouse.
Disclaimer: My interviews were mostly at big R1 departments - I am not sure how this advice would hold up at a SLAC or similar.
P.S. I didn't deliberately hide my spouse (e.g., I wore my wedding ring). I just didn't bring them up.
I worked at a top 100 R1s university. The dean of social sciences always kept money around for this sort of thing… the department chair said this was common for most R1s.
If the department made an offer, and the applicant had a qualified spouse, the spouse always got a job offer too (but not always tenure track). I think most of the time, the spouse's offer occurred during negotiations AFTER the initial offer.
Hope it helps.
My partner and I work in the same PSY department (one TT, one lecturer). The TT position was secured first. Then the department and dean worked to create the new lecturer position (which was what my partner really wanted). It helped that my partner completed Ph.D. one year after me (so during the interview it was simply communicated that my spouse was still completing course-work and dissertation). We lived apart for one year. My partner starting teaching after completing Ph.D. We feel fortunate/grateful and are now quite committed to the university.