Here’s a cheerful story about a female academic whose potential employers were queasy about her marital status. This is known in the ivory tower as “the two-body problem.”
my marital status kept popping up in preliminary interviews, campus visits, and even in discussions with my letter writers. “What would your poor husband do?” emerged as a refrain in my job search. One of my recommenders repeatedly asked whether I would take jobs if they were offered. Later, I wondered if married male colleagues had to endure similar conversations. Did their spouses figure so heavily in the calculations of recommenders and interviewers? Were their wedding rings analyzed? Were their poor wives influencing possible job offers? Apparently not. Writing in The New York Times, English professor Caroline Bicks describes how her husband emerged as a “problem” in her job search, whereas no one ever asked him about his wife. “It felt as if my wedding ring was a hurdle I had to clear to prove my commitment to academia,” she writes, “while Brendon’s was a badge of stability and good-guy gravitas.”
And oh God it gets worse:
Every interview that goes well lets you fall in love, just a tiny bit. You’re flushed and high off the rush of saying all the right things at all the right times. There is common ground, there is laughter. The answers you trot out every time feel organic, like you actually mean them. The interviewer has stopped checking her phone during your long-winded monologue about how you wound up in advertising when you studied Post-Colonial Lit, and is actually engaging with you. The frantic tap dance with teeth bared and jazz hands flying relaxes into a slower, smoother groove. The interview is over, but you have already picked out your desk on your way out to the lobby. You follow up, you wait, you start to Google Map the commute in-between refreshing Indeed.com, and then: nothing. Silence. You simply shift that projected future over to a pile of things that didn’t work out.
There was exactly one time when I was a candidate for a position that asked me to come in for more than two interviews...
The daily hunt for a new job is exhausting. After a long day at work, it's tough to trek home and then hop on the computer to scour Indeed.com or Idealist.org for the latest postings, all while eating leftover Pad Thai.
Enter: The Recruiter.