Help me prepare for a possible job switch when I don't know where I'll be living.
December 27, 2011 7:14 AM   Subscribe

My s.o. is applying for a medical residency in the US. We'll know where we're going to be placed in mid-March and chances are good that we'll end up in Baltimore, New Haven or Providence. I work in a field with very limited options in these three places and I'm wondering what I can do over the next few months, if anything, to prepare in case I have to move and get a new job.

The job market is tight and I currently have a fantastic job where we live. However, we're likely going to move from NYC and I won't know where until March. I know I won't be able to get the same job I have (unique journalism job) in these three cities, so I'm wondering who I could be reaching out to or what I can do in the next three months to prepare for a possible move and job switch. My background is in writing and editing and I currently work on a national show in NYC.
posted by anonymous to Work & Money (11 answers total)
Is there any reason you can't try working remotely for the national show in NYC? Your instincts are correct in that there are probably not going to be lots of good opportunities locally in any of the three cities you mention to do what you're currently doing.

However, Baltimore is quite close to D.C., and Providence is equally close to Boston. Each of these is a very large city with tons of journalism opportunities. So perhaps you should broaden your job search to encompass D.C. and Boston?
posted by killdevil at 7:24 AM on December 27, 2011 [1 favorite]

If he's matched in New Haven, you could try to commute, picking somewhere halfway. You could research if this would be a good option.
posted by caoimhe at 7:27 AM on December 27, 2011 [3 favorites]

New Haven is close enough to commute into the office by rail a couple days a week (tho it's 109 minutes one-way) - see if your employer will support a work-at-home arrangement.

If you're doing Public Radio, WBUR in Boston does a lot of that, and I commute into Boston daily from Providence. It would be even easier if you decided to split the difference and live in Mansfield or Sharon - the s.o. would commute south and you north. Half hour commute for each.

If you're doing broadcast TV, all of the major and minor networks have studios in DC, so Baltimore would be on top of that list.
posted by Slap*Happy at 7:33 AM on December 27, 2011

Can you not telecommute?
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 7:46 AM on December 27, 2011

Yeah; New Haven wouldn't be so bad of a commute to NYC. Moreover, if you lived in Stamford, you could both get on express trains and be at your respective destinations in 45 minutes (or 60 minutes if you got on the local).

People do the New Haven - New York commute every day. I'm not sure I'd want to do it, but particularly if you could work out a situation where you could work from home 2 days a week or something, it might be very doable.
posted by Betelgeuse at 8:10 AM on December 27, 2011

How long is his residency? Might it be worthwhile for you to stay put?
posted by k8t at 8:28 AM on December 27, 2011

I'll suggest that living halfway in-between won't work given that the S.O. is going into medical residency. Having to be at the hospital from zero-dark-thirty in the morning until dark-o'clock at night really precludes a long commute.
posted by killdevil at 8:29 AM on December 27, 2011 [4 favorites]

Since the OP can't easily reply: residencies are almost always at least 3 years long.
posted by killdevil at 8:30 AM on December 27, 2011

Again, since residents usually must be within 20 minutes of the hospital (depending on the field) splitting the difference isn't likely to work for the OP.

I faced the same challenge, going from being a program manager in a dot-com in Seattle during the heyday and moving to Ann Arbor where no such jobs existed. I decided to go to law school while my husband was in residency. You might consider finding something to improve your long-term career prospects like this, if that makes any sense to you.

And of course, there are many great residency programs in the NYC area, so I suppose there's also the question of whether the move is necessary/optimal at all, but clearly you're going to have thought of that already. I feel for you. Being supportive and being self-focused are tough to balance.
posted by Capri at 8:50 AM on December 27, 2011

I'll suggest that living halfway in-between won't work given that the S.O. is going into medical residency. Having to be at the hospital from zero-dark-thirty in the morning until dark-o'clock at night really precludes a long commute.

Second this as someone who has been through it. I STRONGLY advise that you live near where he is training. Forget trains and the like unless you want your SO to go insane. Adding significant commute time to an 80 hour work week and mornings that might start as early as 4:30 am is a really bad idea.

Also, depending on how your SO's application stacks up at their first choice, I would suggest that you contact the first choice and make clear your interest in the program. A bit of TACTFUL prying after describing your circumstances might yield useful information about the SO's position on the program's match list, and simplify the process for you.
posted by drpynchon at 8:56 AM on December 27, 2011 [3 favorites]

Your job may not "officially" acknowledge that telecommuting is an option. They may make noise about how it's utterly impossible to think journalistically without constant exposure to the NYCness of NYC. But you know, hiring people is expensive, and you can probably make it easy for them to let you do a "trial run" of telecommuting.

Put that New York no-BS attitude to work and think about what aspects of your job truly literally absolutely require your physical presence. Come up with a workplan that only requires you to spend a couple of days in NYC. Brainstorm a bunch of angles, be ready to negotiate. You're a writer, you can sell this.
posted by desuetude at 12:10 AM on December 28, 2011

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