By Alyson Garrido
Are you as discerning in your job search as you are in your dating life? When job hunting, many of us commit quickly, brush aside bad behavior and avoid warning signs in ways we’d never do when dating.
Sure, it seems different at the time, but really the phases are the same. Swiping right is the equivalent of applying for a job. (So, just do it!) Your first date is your phone interview. (Be prepared – and be yourself!) By the third date, or interview, you know things are getting serious. (Ask the right questions!) Finally if things work out and you’re both as sure as you can be, there’s the proposal, or job offer. (You’d better be sure!)
It’s time to apply some tried and true dating advice to your job search so you can more easily land ‘the one.’
Get Set Up:
According to a 2017 Jobvite survey, referred applicants are five times more likely than average to be hired, and 15 times more likely to be hired than applicants from a job board. It’s worth asking your friends to keep an eye out for a potential partner or job. Plus, many companies offer generous referral incentives, so your friend could earn more than just your eternal gratitude, or MOH status, if you’re hired.
It’s just a date / give ‘em a chance:
Many job seekers won’t apply for a job based on assumptions or small potential issues. Remember that applying for a job and going to your first interview is just the start of a relationship. You’ll need to learn a lot about the company, and vice versa, before accepting a role. It’s worth it to start the process so you can learn more and ask questions. Don’t let a good one pass you by!
Break-ups aren’t always bad:
If things aren’t meant to be, they won’t work out. This is the case both for dating and jobs. It’s better to find out you’re not going to last forever on the first date, than after you’ve bought the house and started renovations together, so don’t sweat the companies that don’t want you. You have to see the value in committing so you don’t have a messy break up later.
Do your research:
Talk to people about your date and do some research online before you invite them over to your house for dinner or go on that interview. While these resources aren’t a substitute for an in-person encounter, they can give you a good idea of what you’re in for.
Don’t badmouth your ex:
Of course your ex wasn’t fantastic – if they were you wouldn’t be on this date! It’s the same with your former company. Keep things as positive and forward moving as possible during the interview process. Once you land the job, there will be plenty of happy hours where you can share the gory details if you are so inclined. Right now, it’s all about you and your potential new partner.
They Might Not Be Right:
You probably wouldn’t push down that ‘icky’ feeling on a date, so why do it in your job search? Trust your gut and ask questions if something doesn’t feel right. This is a time when you and your new company should be trying to impress each other. If they aren’t courting you from the beginning, imagine what it will be like once you’re working there.
You’ll almost always get caught if you stretch the truth, so show up as you throughout the dating and job search process – the best version of you. Playing a role or performing for what you think another person wants leaves two scenarios: you either land the job/partner and have to keep up the act by telling more lies or things don’t work out and you wonder if showing up as you would have won them over. Neither is ideal, so set out to show them why you are awesome. If they don’t see it, it’s their loss.
Keep Your Options Open:
Just because one date is scheduled doesn’t mean you should close your Bumble account. The same is true for your job search. Opportunities come and go, oftentimes for reasons that are beyond your control, so ensure that you have a backup plan (or three!) just in case.
The right job or partner is out there. Shoot for the dream and really give it a go before you settle. If the role or relationship isn’t something you’re excited for, consider holding off on committing. Your perfect role may be just around the corner.
Many of us consider applying for a job as our commitment to accepting the job, but that just isn’t the case. More than anything, remember that this is a two-way street. You need to impress and be impressed. Like any new relationship there is a lot to learn and if you stay curious and true to yourself you may be pleasantly surprised.
Alyson is passionate about helping people advance their careers and find jobs they will enjoy. As a career coach, she partners with her clients to identify their strengths and create a path toward a more fulfilling career. Alyson also provides support for interview preparation, salary negotiations and performance reviews, ensuring her clients present themselves and their goals in the best possible light. Learn more at www.alysongarrido.com.