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Moving around

It may very well be that the position is not a good fit for the OP's family, but just a thought from my own experience of moving quite a bit, in case it applies. It often isn't until my second year somewhere that I feel settled - that I've figured out where I want to live, how to manage the commute, how to find community, etc. That's to say nothing of "culture shock" if moving to a new country (or part of a big country). Again, this might not apply to the OP, but is worth mentioning just in case it does, or if someone else reading this finds themselves in a similar position. I mention it also because there is a real cost to being on the job market multiple years in a row - both in terms of time and energy - and so it may be worth seeing what it feels like to commit to a new job for a year. That being said, I completely agree that the OP should feel free to apply out if they're truly unhappy - it's a job, not a moral commitment.

Recently moved

I wish to second Moving around's point that it takes time to get used to a new place and even longer to start feeling better, depending on your individual situation. I recently moved from a city to a somewhat rural area where the school is amazing, but the town doesn't have much to offer. It took us a whole month just to settle in and get to know our privileges as employees of the university, but that made the subsequent time way more enjoyable than it was a month ago. I am sure that our situation is milder than the OP's though, so I just wish to throw my experience here in case it speaks more directly to others.


Agree with all the above - you're not violating any real obligation if you apply out, and you should feel free to do it.

One thing to just quickly add - as someone else who has moved recently - is that the last couple of years have been a really distinctively challenging time in which to move. In the best of times it can still be hard for everyone in the family to develop new community after a move. When you add in COVID-related restrictions, it's obviously much worse, and it makes sense to expect things to take a bit longer.


You do not owe your department or university anything simply because you were the lucky person they hired a year ago. The university hired you because they needed someone and you were the best fit for them at the time. Should you leave, at *worst* your department will lose a facuty line and the remaining members of the department will suffer a slight loss of prestige, being in a slightly smaller department, and they will have to teach the service courses they dumped on you, the new guy. They may *gasp* have to go through a new search. If you feel this inconvenience and indignity to your colleagues is so horrible to them that it is worth your and your family suffering in a place you do not want to be, stay. If they are jerks, they will slightly resent you for leaving; F#*% them. If they are good people they will know that it is not personal, you were doing right by yourself and those you care about, and frankly, they would do what you did if they were in your shoes. (Sorry for my tone here.)

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