Job hunting for two twice the trouble

Jessica Sasseen

Finding a job after college is a huge decision when it only affects one person, but is even more difficult when it affects a couple.

Smith’s Grove senior Jamie Lawrence knows first hand about being married and pursuing a degree.

He and his wife, Elisha, were married during her first semester at Western before he began attending college. After she graduated last May, the couple took several factors into consideration while Elisha was looking for a job.

“We were concerned with location and pay scale and stability,” Jamie Lawrence said. “We wanted to stay close to home to be able to drive to Bowling Green.”

Many couples face difficult decisions when weighing options about career choices.

“It is not an unusual situation for two people who graduate from Western to face the dual career issue,” said Carol White, associate director for Career Services.

Couples looking for career options can visit career services for advice and counseling.

“Career Services would provide the same type of career and job search services to an individual or couple,” White said. “But what they decide to do concerning their employment is a personal matter between the two of them.”

Two people involved in a relationship and pursuing higher education and career goals is not uncommon. Dual-career marriages make up 60 percent of all marriages and 45 percent of the total workforce, according to the Catalyst Organization’s web site. The Catalyst Organization focuses on women in the workforce.

The Web site reported that 56 percent of respondents named “lack of time” as the biggest challenge of their dual-career relationships.

But the Lawrences said their college experience hasn’t been a difficult one.

“It hasn’t been too hard,” Jamie Lawrence said. “I own a house and we both worked a part-time or full-time job the whole time. We were determined to get through.”