A couple weeks ago, I was talking to a group of friends, all in different stages of life. One was pregnant, one had just gotten out of a relationship, and one was starting to think about looking for a new job. Somehow, in the course of the afternoon, talk turned to the dating game. The friend who’d just gotten out of a serious relationship was less than thrilled about the prospect of putting herself back out there.
She said, “I just found a great job after all these interviews! I don’t want to go through that whole thing again when it comes to my heart!”
We realized something. Finding a fulfilling career and finding a life partner are two of the most important decisions in a person’s life. And the way we find jobs is remarkably similar to the way we find our dating partners. Read on to find the ten ways finding a job mimics dating, and let us know if you have noticed these similarities in your life!
10 Ways Finding a Job Mimics Dating 1 of 11
1. Phone screen/First Date 2 of 11
When you first meet someone in the dating world, either online or in person, you want to get to know them better, but you don't want to waste too much of anyone's time. So, you meet for coffee, or drinks, or something else with a minimum investment of time, just to see if there's chemistry. An employer does the same thing. Perhaps they see something in your resume that strikes a chord. But they're busy, and so are you. So they set up a time to have a 20-minute phone call. In both cases, the goal is to see if there's enough common ground and chemistry to meet again.
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2. In-Person Interview/Second Date 3 of 11
In dating, if there is enough chemistry on your coffee date, you set up something longer. Same with the interview. Your potential future employer asks questions, you tell your best stories to impress and build rapport, and you see if you'd be a good fit for the organization. You take time out of your busy day to conduct the interview, and you take time out of your social life to conduct the dinner date.
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3. Second Interview/Third Date 4 of 11
Now things are getting serious. You ask deeper questions. Both you and the other person (at dinner or in the conference room) are wondering, "is this going somewhere?" and you're answering questions that are well beneath the surface. In the interview, the candidate isn't as concerned about making a good impression as they are about making the right decision about whether this is a company they're interested in.
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4. The Waiting Game 5 of 11
So, your first three dates went well. Or the interviews went well. They ended with the other party telling you that you'd hear from them soon. In no uncertain terms , the ball is no longer in your court. In dating, you could look desperate if you call after your date has said he'd call you. In the job hunt, your potential employer knows that you're waiting to hear from them. Things are happening that you don't know about, and the worst part is, you can't do anything about them. So, you have no other option than to sit on your hands.
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5. The Rejection 6 of 11
After the three-day window (or whatever period of time) if your potential mate or your potential employer is a stand-up person, and they've decided to pursue other avenues, they'll call and let you know. Knowing is far better than waiting for an answer, since the agony of anticipation keeps you in limbo, waiting to make your next move because you're hoping to hear from them. Know, in both cases, that this is largely not about you. Someone more qualified was also in the running. Someone more compatible. If you get the rejection, don't give up. Keep dating! Keep applying.
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6. The Offer 7 of 11
If you get the phone call, and you're not getting let down, you have another set of decisions to make. The person on the other end of the line is asking you for a fourth date, or they're extending an offer for a job. You now have to decide if you want to date that person. You have to decide if you want to take that job. It's up to you.
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7. The Negotiation and Acceptance/Dating Exclusively 8 of 11
You like the way the offer sounds. You like the idea of dating someone you've had three great dates with. So you negotiate terms both parties can agree to. Or, in the dating world, you agree to stop seeing other people. Let's give this a try. Will you be my employee? Will you be my girlfriend? Acceptance means yes, let's do it. I'm not going to work anywhere else. I'm not going to date anyone else.
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8. The Honeymoon Period 9 of 11
Everything is perfect all the time! You're trying your hardest, getting up to speed, learning about the other person, or the work environment. You give it your all. This lasts anywhere from a few months to a year. You learn about compatibility in a relationship, and compatibility in the workplace.
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9. The Promotion/Engagement 10 of 11
If things go well, you'll "take things to the next level" and in work, that means a promotion and/or a raise. In dating, that means you move in together, or get engaged, or somehow indicate that things are more serious.
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10. The Breakup 11 of 11
If, however, things aren't going so well, then you break things off and repeat the cycle. You use your experience from this relationship/job to help narrow your focus for next time. What did you like? What didn't you like? What/who are you looking for next?
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