From the fall of 2008 well into 2009, I searched far and wide for full-time employment. All of my time and energy went into that effort for nearly a year. But now that I have my job, I love where I work, and I am beginning to feel settled, I am able to spend my energy in other ways.
As I focus some of my energy on dating, I find that my experiences dating and job searching are uncannily similar. Let me count the ways:
Please use the following as a job searching to dating language glossary:
job: the dude
job description: his appearance (the details that you are able to judge preliminarily)
resume: the circumstances under which you meet, as it relates to you (where, when, what you’re wearing, the exchange of information)
potential co-workers: his friends
1. The resume.
Whether it’s through a mutual friend, randomly in a public setting (at a bar, coffee shop, beach, etc.), or through a dating website, you meet someone who piques your interest. That job description sounds like it could be a good fit for you, their website is promising, they have pictures of smiling people. You like smiling people. You approach them, talk to them for a bit, adjusting your approach according to what you perceive they’re looking for. By the end of the conversation, they have a snapshot of who you are and what you might be capable of. Names, email addresses and phone numbers are exchanged.
2. The scheduling of an interview and the preparation for it.
Before the interview is scheduled there is always that waiting period of “Will they call?” Say they do, but sometimes they don’t, and you schedule a time and a place. Nerves are everywhere. You, or someone who loves you, might give you a bit of a pep talk beforehand. “You’re awesome. Be yourself and if they don’t like it, that’s their loss.” etc. etc. You look at the job description again (recall the things your friends have said about him) you re-examine your resume (what does he already know about you). Then you show up for the scheduled time in a carefully selected outfit. Maybe a little early.
3. The actual interview.
Everything is so strategic and thought-out that it is difficult to be yourself. You answer his questions carefully so as not to reveal your insecurities, though they sneak out occasionally, sometimes often. You want to impress, but when it comes down to it, you don’t know them, so you can’t know what will impress them. You try to make a connection. You give them a little more information upon which you are asking them to judge you. Simultaneously, you are gathering information upon which to judge them. Maybe you’re not interested in what they could offer you…
4. Assessing interest.
Are you excited about the prospect of seeing this person again? Would you truly enjoy coming into work every day? How can you know for sure? Does it even matter if they don’t offer you a position? If you got some pretty bad vibes, you just hope and pray that they don’t call so you won’t have to reject them, because turning down a job when you don’t have an alternative opportunity seems ill-advised (though it isn’t). But, if you know you are interested, thus begins the waiting.
4. The waiting and guessing and building up of hopes.
Will they call? Will you get the job offer? Should you call them if you don’t hear by a certain point? Send a little thank you note to remind them that you exist and that you’re interested?
5. Say they do call (but sometimes they don’t) then the second interview.
They may bring in back-ups. You are interviewed by potential co-workers. Then comes the waiting again. Until you get the call (but, sometimes you don’t) and they offer you the position. Then, if you’re into it, you move forward, discuss salary*, benefits, sign paperwork, and rest easy until your performance review.
*I couldn’t come up with a good analogy for salary in this extended metaphor. I’m open to suggestions.
But what if he doesn’t call and what if you don’t have a second interview? Or he doesn’t call back after the second interview?
6. The disappointment.
You got your hopes up, started imagining yourself in that setting, in that work environment. Now you have to readjust and continue on your search. Chin up!
The difference. Dating can be fun. Even if the dude isn’t a good fit, you got to go out, do something out of the ordinary and meet someone new. But your livelihood depends on a job and a consistent paycheck. Your livelihood does not depend on dudes… thank goodness.