How to Tackle the Dual-Career Job Search

Q. My husband and I work in higher education and we want to move back to Boston. What’s the best way to transition two jobs at once? Do we need to move without a job and then look for one, one at a time? Our earnings are similar and we are very employable – we think.

A. The greater Boston area is home to over 100 colleges and universities and if you and your husband are interested in jobs in higher education, there should be many to chose from. Moving without a job is a financial strain and risky. Looking for one job at a time doesn’t guarantee both job seekers will find the best opportunities.

The challenge you identify of looking for two jobs at once has been addressed by HERC, the Higher Education Recruitment Consortium. I consulted with Elizabeth Ancarana, Assistant Provost for Faculty Development and Diversity at Harvard University, the former Chairperson of HERC. Elizabeth explains that HERC was founded in 2000, has 17 regional organizations, 21,000 open jobs and 45,000 registered job seekers. HERC has 600 member institutions across the country and New England HERC ( has 70 member institutions.

The HERC website ( is the largest database of higher education and related jobs in the world providing resources for member institutions. Job postings include colleges, universities and related healthcare institutions; resources for job seekers and most importantly in your situation, dual-career search technology.
Ruth Molina, Director of New England HERC, explains that HERC’s mission is to advance member institutions’ efforts to recruit and retain a diverse and talented workforce and to assist dual-career couples. Ruth further explains that HERC has “unsurpassed search technology, enabling dual-career couples to find the right jobs within a commutable distance of one another” ( Each job seeker enters information about his or her desired opportunity and the search technology will report on matches for both job seekers in relation to each other at multiple institutions.
The HERC website is open to all job seekers and you’ll be in talented and diverse company. 90 percent of registered candidates have at least a bachelor’s degree, 67 percent hold a graduate degree in their field, 64 percent are women and five percent are veterans. 50 percent of the dual career couples are job seekers who work outside of higher education.
Accessing this job seeker’s tool can make the dual-career couple job seekers challenge that much easier.

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