For no particular reason, except that it seemed easier than tackling the other items on my to do list, I took the first step towards searching for a job today. About the future, I know one thing absolutely -- I don't want to be in a long distance relationship with my husband any longer; and one thing with a fair amount of confidence -- I want to work at a small liberal arts college. To these ends, I jumped online and set about looking for any and all colleges within about a one hour radius of the PUI my husband works at. I found 14. I then broke these up into MRUs (3), which might offer prospects for a post-doc position, and smaller colleges (11), which might offer prospects for a visiting assistant professorship, or even an immediate tenure track position. I then looked up all the schools, browsed around their physics department websites, and bookmarked all their associated human resource pages so I can return frequently to look for updated job postings. In the process, I lost one MRU (a medical college) and two small colleges (one turned out to be a two-year college and the other had no physics department!).
So now I'm down to 11 schools total -- 2 MRUs, 4 PUIs, 2 state schools, and 3 community colleges. I'd say my prospects of finding gainful employment -- in terms of a job that will make me happy, boost my resume, and make me money (hey, let's be honest, it's important) -- are pretty slim. I may have a little bit of a leg up at the local MRU, as my advisor completed his PhD there and is a bit of a bigwig in the field now. Also, it's almost certain I can at least get an adjunct position at my husband's PUI, so I shouldn't be unemployed. Still, after 7 years of graduate school, I'd like to have something more to look forward to than merely not being unemployed. I'm trying hard not to get too down regarding my prospects when I'm barely 7 hours into my job search.
My husband and I knew going into this that it would be hard, and we'd both have to sacrifice. In a couple of years, after my husband has successfully passed tenure, we'll re-evaluate, and probably conduct a country-wide search together for a better match for us. Leaving a tenured position will be no small sacrifice on my husband's part. Being successful in this life is going to require a lot of give and take. The question I can't answer with complete confidence yet, however, is: Will it be worth it?