Every time I think of my dual career search, I think of that horribly contrived scene in Armageddon with the straws. No matter how much you don’t want to draw the straws in the first place, it eventually happens and someone gets the short straw. I drew the short straw in our job search—and it’s one of the best things that has ever happened to me.
I found out that I was moving to Missouri while stuck in traffic on I-35 in downtown Minneapolis. I was picking up my now fiance at the Minneapolis-St. Paul airport from an interview and I was running really late because of the traffic. He called me and I automatically launched into apologies for my tardiness, but he cut me off mid-sentence.
“Northwest Missouri State left me a voicemail during my flight, telling me to call them back ASAP….”
I smacked my head in frustration on my steering wheel because I knew what that call meant—a job offer. This assumption came true as we waited anxiously for the return call at a Mexican restaurant. (Nothing like eating a quesadilla while watching someone pace in a parking lot while on the phone with a future employer, I tell you.) I also knew that the call meant that I’d have to cancel my own on-campus interviews in the next week. I wasn’t happy about that in the slightest.
However, my commitment to duty prevailed over my pride—I applied for three jobs, started looking for places to live and began packing my belongings that very night. It was a very fast two weeks of packing, visiting Missouri to make arrangements and saying goodbye to Minnesota. We put both of our belongings in a U-Pack container and drove to Missouri at the end of July 2013.
Within four days of living in Missouri, I had a job offer with a media company. A month after that, we got a kitten (though we’re both dog people.) In February, we got engaged. In March, it hit me that I still had the short straw in my hand. What happened in the past year? How did I get here? Where on earth am I going? I decided to resume start looking for a job in higher education. In April 2014, I landed my dream higher education job at Benedictine College as part of the team that manages digital media—nearly nine months after I moved to Missouri. In May, we got a second cat because my new job meant I worked later and Oscar needed company (double the vacuuming, double the fun!)
My point is that drawing the “short straw” in a dual career search isn’t the end of the world. Like me, it will likely take longer than you’d like to circumstances that you want. As conflicted as I initially felt, I realized that this whole process was a blessing in disguise; the cost of living in St. Joseph is great, I live three hours from my parents, and I’m surrounded by great BBQ. You have to make your own reality work for you—even if it includes an unexpected forecast of cats and advertisements.
This post is part of our month-long series #SAmobile, a look at the stories of SA pros who picked up and moved for their career. This series is about the struggles, the successes, the hurdles, and the emotions involved in such a life changing decision. For more information, see the intro post by Juhi Bhatt. Check out other posts in this series too!
> BONUS <
Podcast With Danny Malave on New Professional Retrospective on the Job Search