Working in the Upper Valley

Claire B. TP14, November 11, 2012 | 0 comments
Tags: advice, partners and families, Hanover NH, Upper Valley

Many partners who decide to relocate to the Hanover area while their student is enrolled at Tuck are concerned with finding work in the Upper Valley.  <-- That is an example of a generalization.  Read on, but please bear this in mind:

 
Everyone comes to Tuck from different situations, with different constraints,
with different needs and goals for their Tuck experience.
 
There is simply no one-size-fits-all approach or solution for most things, and this definitely holds true for the partner job search.  You don't have to model off of what others have done.  Working arrangements for partners vary widely so your models would all be different, anyway.  I know the ambiguity doesn’t feel very helpful, so my plan is to share my experience as one data point -- an example of one unique job search tale.  I’m also happy to talk at greater length about the variety of paths partners take when it comes to jobs (email me at clairetuckblog@gmail.com).  These include, but are not limited to:
  • Remote partners (based and working elsewhere, participate in the Tuck community mostly from afar)
  • Remote working arrangements (partners living here, but working for a company elsewhere)
  • Hybrid arrangements (partners sometimes here, sometimes not)
  • Part-time jobs, based here
  • Seasonal (usually academic calendar) jobs, based here
  • Permanent positions (for Dartmouth, and for other companies), based here
    • Some in the same industry they'd worked prior to coming here, others in new fields
  • And don't forget, not everyone works!  Some are full-time parents, some take this opportunity to explore independent ventures, etc.

Long commutes, short commutes, virtual jobs.... we have it all.  You get the point.   On to the actual story. 

 
In my case, after we decided that Tuck was the school for my husband, he and I had multiple conversations about whether I would be quit my full-time job to move to Hanover, or remain at that job and become a remote partner.  Our “best case scenario” was a mix of the two alternatives: we hoped that I could perhaps live mostly in Hanover, but somehow retain my Boston-based job through a blend of remote/virtual work and occasionally working on-site.  Long story short, that master plan didn’t pan out.  My job just wasn’t very remote friendly.  (*Side note: there are several partners here who have this type of working arrangement.  If you’d like to know more about the experience of partners who primarily live here but work out of town for part/most of the week, leave a comment or shoot me an email and I will connect you.  It has its own set of pros and cons, like everything!)
 
So anyways, there I was, delayed in my job search for a position in the Hanover area, yet definitely planning to move full-time come August.  I started applying to some jobs from afar, with little success.  Part of my problem was I was looking to shift my job focus a bit, and I personally found it difficult to make headway in that shift with no inroads, no ties to the companies/organizations I was interested in, and not even living there yet to try to build a network.
 
Then came an unexpected turn in my job search: I got a job offer for a position I had applied to at Dartmouth College, without realizing that it was a temporary position.  So winning the offer was a plus, but the “temp” status initially threw me off.   It clearly wasn’t going to a long term solution.  In hindsight, though, it turned out to be a huge blessing in disguise.  The temp job allowed me to start working right away once we moved here.  I became engaged in the community of my own accord.  I started meeting coworkers and building my professional network here immediately.  It also afforded me the opportunity to start making connections withinthe organization (Dartmouth), which ultimately helped me identify and win a great permanent, full-time job opportunity, to which I've now transitioned.
 
The specifics of my path really aren’t all that interesting or helpful, I don’t think.  Most important are the lessons I took away from the (at times very stressful) experience.  They are:
  1. Be open-mindedabout your job search here.  This applies to job functions, job industries, location, and even working arrangements.  You never know where opportunities might lead you; don't eliminate options before you've considered them fully.
  2. Network!  There are folks in the Dartmouth and Tuck community (even Tuck HR) who want to help you find a good fit while you’re here.  Don’t be shy.  Be proactive and persistent: gather information, meet people, etc.  
    • If you attend Admitted Students Weekend (**save the date: April 19-21, 2013), there will be partner-focused panels specifically around employment.






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