The Plight of the Post-Doc


Location, location, location!

OK, the I Love Academia cheese-fest is over.  Let's talk real estate, shall we? 

I'm going to cut right to the chase here; I don't want to leave New York.  More specifically, I don't want to leave my apartment.  Not in a Brian Wilson kind of way, but in a...well, let me show you:

This is the view from my private roofdeck.  I took this picture.  

I mean really, how could anyone be expected to give this up?  I live here with my very handsome boyfriend J and our [number redacted] kitties, and we're very happy with life in general.  We love New York and how it indulges night owls like us with endless late-night dining options, how we don't have to own a car, and how we really can have absolutely anything delivered whenever we want.  We recently had a little party where mint juleps were the drink of choice, and when we ran out of ice and mint I called the grocery store and asked them to deliver 4 bags of ice and 5 bunches of mint, and they totally did it in, like, 10 minutes.

But I'm neither naive nor delusional enough to think that I can restrict my job search to just the metro area.  I'm entering what's probably one of the toughest job markets in recent years, and I need to cast a broad net.  How broad, though, is the question.  Common sense would dictate that I apply to absolutely every position that even remotely fits my interests, but am I allowed even a smidgen of location bias?  For example, can I rule out the deep south?  The rural west?  How much of a geography snob do I get to be?  (I am seriously interested in your answer to this question.)

And there's also the matter of J; It's not fair for me to demand he move and find a job just anywhere, and I don't want us to live in different places.  I have friends who've taken faculty jobs that required them to live a plane ride away from their significant others for 2-3 years, which kind of blows my mind.  Those positions were only temporary, and eventually they all ended up together 4-ever, but I still don't think I could do it.  In the end, I suppose these are things we'll worry about when they are actual, tangible issues (as in, after I'm invited for interviews, not before I've even sent out my CV), and decisions we'll make together.  And there ARE faculty openings in NYC, so it's not completely out of the question that I'll get to stare at that ridiculous view a while longer.


Athena said...

totally support your choice of staying in NYC:)
You are totally right!!! You are meant to be here...please please do stay here in new york :)

Justin Rich said...

Kudos to the Mint Juleps!

I've been drinking Stranahan's Colorado Whiskey lately. And Michters rye. And Jack. And Fee's Orange Bitters.

alan said...

i think it's best to follow your own advice and cross the bridge when you come to it - i hope you get a position in NYC! i think it's the only city that can keep your attention/keep ya entertained...

(although shanghai ain't too shabby, you know...)

it's tough - ultimately you have decide what your priorities in life are, what you want to accomplish, weigh your options, and then take the appropriate risks and hope it pans out.

i have a feeling that for you, it will.

Anonymous said...

It's L. I can't get this post name thing down. Come to LA!! They deliver stuff here too.

Comrade PhysioProf said...

Do not rule out *any* positions that you are potentially qualified for, regardless of geographic location.

First, your job talk and job interview will get better and better the more times you go through the process, so interviewing at a place you don't want to go at the beginning of the job search season is a good thing.

Second, if you actually get an offer, that offer provides leverage both for securing additional offers and for negotiating your start-up.

Third, you never really know that you won't fall in love with a place that you think you would never go.

MRW said...

Apply broadly, but I disagree with the idea of applying to absolutely everything you might be remotely qualified for.

I do agree with Physioprofs last sentence, though. I'm a northerner, and only applied to one place in the South (not Deep South, but South) and only applied there because the job ad sounded like it was written about me. Well, that's the position I ended up taking. So yeah, don't rule thing out too quickly.

Laura E. Mariani said...

Hey, I just found your blog via a link on Twitter. I'm a second year neuroscience PhD student who hopes to be in your position someday, so thanks for writing about it!

I had similar feelings about moving from Boston to Atlanta for grad school. But I found a great neighborhood (full of Obama-stickered Priuses and organic local food co-ops) and a convenient free bus to campus. Plus, I was completely won over by the fun, friendly, hard-drinkin' scientists in my department when I interviewed. It took a while to adjust, but I'm very happy that I moved here. I brought a SO to Atlanta with me, too, and he seems to not hate me too much for making him come. He got a better paying job (in a place with lower cost of living!) and doesn't have to shovel snow anymore, at least.

So, I'd say try to be open-minded about applying to places not in New York. Good luck on your search, and keep us posted!

Anonymous said...

what Comrade PhysioProf said.

Matt L. said...

Can't you just get a job at UC Berkeley and move out here? Seems simple enough to me.

hgg said...

Oh, fuck. That IS a great view.

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