I have long compared finding a job to finding a mate. It is a bit cliché, but never has it been truer than now. Here are six ways finding a job and a mate are similar:
1. Creating the Perfect Profile
What is the first step to finding a job? Putting yourself out there and creating your online profile. What are your likes, strengths, hobbies and activities, experiences, duties and software skills? Once you have that sorted out, it’s time for the really important thing, your picture. Trim your beard, get your hair done, find flattering light and make sure your outfit conveys the right message. Sure this is done on LinkedIn, Indeed, Monster or ZipRecruiter, but is it really that much different from Match, Tinder, Bumble or the fifty other specific dating sites and apps?
2. Getting a Hit
Someone messaged you and wants to talk. It is for a phone interview, not a date, but are you any less excited? So what do you do? Run to a quiet and private place, shake out the nerves, stand up (you want your voice to project), check how you look (I don’t know why, it’s a phone call, but you do it anyway) and make the call. You don’t know anything about the person on the other end of the line, but you want to get a meeting!
3. The First Date
Time for the interview. When was the last time you obsessed this much about your outfit or how you are going to say, “hello.” It’s not like you’ve never talked to someone new before, but for some reason, this is just so intense. What if they are the love of your life? What if they have an amazing vacation policy? You don’t know if you’ll even like them, but you definitely want them to like you.
And so it begins. The awkward introductions and small talk as you walk to your table (in a conference room, probably). They offer you a beverage (coffee or water likely, but you would kill for a little liquid courage). All during the one-hour speed date we call a first interview, you are wondering; do they like me? Do I like them? Can I see myself here for the next 5-35 years (’til death do us part?) It’s only the first conversation, but already you are sizing them up to see if they will be a good life partner. And in the end, what is the purpose of this first meeting? To see if there is a connection, and if so, to plan for another get-together.
4. The Three Day Rule
Thank goodness the first “date” is over, but now what? You’re interested and want to express it, but you don’t want to seem overly eager. Do you write a thank you note that day or do you wait? Do you send it from your phone on the cab ride home or will that make it seem like an afterthought? Better compose it on a computer later that night. Something short and sweet, but expressing your desire to get to know them better. Then two days later when you’re losing your mind – should you call, write, play hard to get? – they finally respond. They want to meet again!
5. Meeting the Family
Holy cow, they want you in to meet the team, maybe even grab lunch. This is going so fast. You were hoping to take the next step, maybe a nice meal and conversation, but with the whole team? You’ll be terrified of taking a bite for fear of choking when someone asks you a question. What if you spill your drink? You haven’t been this nervous since you were invited to your significant others for Thanksgiving.
6. Saying I Do (or I Don’t)
Finally, after what seems like the longest courtship ever, but was really only four rounds of interviews, the question is popped. Maybe you had to encourage them – after all, what are we doing here? You’re not getting any younger and you need to know if this is going somewhere. “I am really excited about the company and this opportunity and feel I could add real value. Do you have any hesitations or concerns I could answer about me joining the team?” Or maybe they are more into you than you are into them? “Thank you for that very attractive offer. I’m going to take some time to consider it and get back to you soon.” Either way, are you ready to say “I do” and start a new chapter in your life?
When finding a job, remember that you may not spend the rest of your life with this company (and odds are you won’t), but however long you’re there you will spend more waking hours with your colleagues than you do with your life mate. So whether you met online or got fixed up through a friend, make sure the wooing is done right and the chemistry is there.
Photo credit: Canva
This post was written by Stuart Coleman and originally appeared on WinterWyman (now Planet Professional)