Looking for a job is a lot like online dating

Most people hate first dates. You have to bring your best self but still be your real self. You are reading them as much as they are reading you. You feel judged. You feel self-conscious. Sometimes communication is awkward and you know it is not a good fit right away. I like to approach dating with the attitude that the worst case scenario is I will have a night out, meeting someone new, enjoying a few beers, and trying to connect to another human being. I always learn something in the process. It is never a complete waste of time.

It helps that I am extroverted and can talk to just about anyone about almost anything. This serves me well in the job seeking arena as well. I am great at thinking on my feet. I am better at crafting an answer on the spot rather than memorizing a canned response. I like to feel the interaction between us. I can tell a lot about our future relationship by tuning into this. I love the ebb and flow of a great conversation. When you are communicating clearly and the banter flows easily between you, it’s like a bell goes off in my head. Bing! We have a winner.

The process of looking for a job and looking for a date are very similar as well. You put up your resume or online profile. You can be proactive and hunt for matches or take a backseat and let them come to you. A mixture of the two actually works best. When you reach out, you then have to wait for them to reach back. You chat on the phone first to see if there is any chemistry. If there is, you make a date to meet in person and delve in deeper. If that goes well too, you decide to enter into a relationship.

This is where the two diverge. Once you land your dream job, they pay you, and you kick ass. Once you find a partner you want to have a relationship with, you try to envision how all the moving parts will fit together and you slowly try out this part and then the next part. You can get addicted to the courting phase of dating and never fully commit. Unlike the job hunt where you can’t afford to let the courting phase drag on too long or you eventually can’t pay your bills.

I haven’t been really good at finding a good partner in my online dating hunt. I really can’t afford for that to be the case in my job hunt. My daughter is depending on me to bring home the bacon, especially since I don’t have a partner to help me fry it up in a pan.