Job Search? It’s Kinda Like Online Dating
You may not immediately see a connection between job searching and online dating, but the two have more in common than you know. For example, in both instances, you have to share details about yourself with strangers — and you have to wonder if you really have an accurate representation of your new acquaintance.
Online dating is largely considered “personal,” while job searching online is viewed as “professional,” yet isn’t it funny how there are still so many similarities between the two? In fact, you can learn a lot about how to search for jobs effectively by studying the etiquette of online dating. To prove it, here are five tips about online dating that also apply to the job search:
Tip 1: Emotional Instability Is Not an Attractive Quality
Trying to secure a new job can be an emotional rollercoaster. You may experience everything from anxiety, to discouragement, to fear, to boredom, to maybe even elation.
Maybe you could already have a job but are searching for other options in secret, and you’re worried your boss will find out. Maybe you want to change your career path entirely and go for something totally new, but you feel held back by your lack of experience. Heck, maybe you found your dream job, and now you’re just waiting to hear back about your application.
No matter what you’re feeling during your job search, though, you have to keep your emotions under control. You wouldn’t put all of your cards on the table during a first date, so don’t do it during a first interview, either. You may be desperate, but no one should be able to tell. You have to remember how valuable you are.
Tip 2: Be Confident, but Not Arrogant
I’ve interviewed numerous people who thought it was a good idea to mention, less than five minutes into the interview, that they were expecting other job offers. From my experience, job seekers do this because they think it will make you hire them on the spot before checking out their backgrounds. Hiring, like dating, should never be rushed. As an job seeker (or employer), you need to find your perfect match — and that takes time.
But let’s say that a job seeker is actually telling the truth when they say this, and not just bluffing in a desperate attempt to land the job. In my eyes, they are being arrogant — and who wants to work with an arrogant employee?
Tip 3: Show Employers You’re a ‘Hot Commodity’
If a potential employer asks where else you are interviewing, you should tell them about a few companies that you have interviewed with (or are going to interview with) – but never do so arrogantly. Just show the employer that you have other options because you’re a valuable, skilled worker who is in-demand.
I also suggest talking positively about your past projects. Don’t just tell the prospective employer that you are a ‘hot commodity’ — prove it by demonstrating how your talent has helped previous companies succeed.
Tip 4: Take It One Day at a Time, and Watch for Warning Signs
Take each day as it comes. Never rush through your job search. Never stop at one interview. Instead, every time you secure an interview, your next goal should be to secure another.
To obtain a job you will succeed at, you have to make sure that both you and your potential employer are happy. It is okay to ask thoughtful and probing questions. When you see red flags, don’t become discouraged: try to find out whether or not those red flags are truly problems. Likewise, don’t ignore red flags because you’ve come so far and don’t want to start over with another company’s hiring process — you’ll only regret that later.
Your job search decisions will have a lasting impact on your life. It is well worth it to take your time, stay alert, and make wise decisions.
Tip 5: If It’s Meant to Be, It Will Happen
Job searching, like dating, needs to involve two willing parties. The sooner you learn how to handle what you can control – and not freak out about the things you can’t — the sooner you’ll bring clarity to your job search and career aspirations.
Besides: just because you miss one opportunity, that doesn’t mean there won’t be another one knocking at your door very soon.
Just like in online dating, a job search that doesn’t go your way is likely to lead to bigger and better opportunities that you never good have foreseen.