There are some huge parallels between the dating world and being on the job market. At times, it can be hard to know which one is more of a challenge, but in the same way we navigate the difficulties of single life, we can learn to adapt to the hard truths of the job market.
Finding the right employment ‘partner’ is just as important as meeting the right person, and the steps you take to do just that aren’t too dissimilar. Both dating and job hunting seem to conjure up the same feelings of anxiousness, nerves, and discomfort, but they’re difficulties that we must all get through in life to find happiness.
Did you spend time trying to find someone of interest? Did they catch your eye even if it was unexpected? Did you find common interests? And did the pursuit of them feel like a challenge at times? Did you feel the excitement when you found the perfect match? The thrill of the chase, in the pursuit of that one true…. employer?
The notions of communicating well, finding common ground, meeting one anothers needs and demonstrating commitment all apply to both worlds. Can you apply the logic of successful dating to finding the perfect career?
Would you turn up to a first date with scruffy hair and an inappropriate outfit? Of course not. Because people make judgments about you within the first few seconds of meeting, it’s crucial to get those first few moments right. A part of doing this is by perfecting your opening line. You should have an idea as to what your elevator pitch is. Once you’ve found the perfect ‘partner’ you need to woo them with a great line. Who are you, what are you looking for and how can you bring value to others?
Signing up to a new job, much like a relationship, could be a very long-term commitment; making the right choice is critical to your happiness. You should think carefully about how well you match up. Do you have similar goals/interests? Is your potential new manager someone you’d get along with but would also drive your career forward? There’s enough opportunity out there to wait until you’ve found the right one, don’t settle for anything less than perfect!
There are few things in this world less attractive than someone who comes across as desperate. It shows a lack of confidence first and foremost, but more importantly that you’re happy to settle for whatever you can get. On the contrary, you want to be desirable, not desperate. You need to give an interviewer a reason for wanting to speak with you again, much like you earn that second date. Play hard to get. You should always show some interest, but don’t be too easy as you’ll come across as desperate and put off the perfect employment match.
As much as you could talk for hours about how much you hated your ex, it’s not endearing at all to bad mouth people and will give off the impression that you’re disrespectful. No matter how bad things were, the convention is to not talk down about your previous employer/boss. An interviewer may use questions about your past employment to test to see if you know what appropriate business communication looks like.
There is nothing worse than meeting the perfect ‘match’ only to find out their pictures are misrepresentative and their profile was dishonest. In the context of job hunting, recruiters put in a lot of work to find the perfect match for the right company, so it’s only going to be a negative if it’s discovered that you were dishonest about your skills/experience. If you’re not honest about your strengths and weaknesses, you could end up in a job you’re unqualified for and ultimately, a business relationship that’s unhappy.
In any relationships, it should be about both parties contributing to one another’s success. If you only talk about yourself yet don’t suggest what you could bring to the table or what value you offer, then what’s the sell? You should know when it’s time to use the ears not the mouth, listening to what the interviewer has to say is equally as important as saying the right things.
Just like in the dating world, in the job market, you have to stand out from the crowd, care about the same things and offer something of value in return. The employment game can be just as daunting as the dating game, but the parralells are clear and there are lessons to be learned. Once you’ve found the perfect new match, always ensure a clean break-up from your last employer. There is no value in burning bridges and you never know how important it could be in the future to still have that network!