The thirst is undeniably real. You know what you want and what you need to do to get there. You need to be the best version of yourself, you need to wow them, you need to leave them wanting more, you want to make them commit to you. The truth is, looking for jobs is no different than the dating game.
“BUSINESS IDEA: LINKUPID. LinkedIn meets OkCupid. You give me a job and then maybe I’ll date you for awhile.”
-Kim Dinaro, twentysomething, New Yorker, sassy.
In the literal sense. Get your mind out of the gutter. You’ve done it before a first date… Googled him/her, you know, just to make sure they weren’t a world renowned serial killer etc. They probably did their homework on you too, only to find your quirky Internet presence is simply alarming and chaotic, to say the least. Your potential employer most likely Googled you, as you’ve done as well if you’re a worthy candidate, that is.
Stop sending me the same message a million times Tinder dude. How many times have you used that line before? If you look at half of the messages I’ve posted in the various editions of ‘Men Say The Darndest Things’, you’ll be sure to see at least one of those messages replicated in a Thought Catalog post or Buzzfeed post titled ‘Weird Things Guys Say Online’ or the like. In the same way, sorry to break it to you, but employers know when you’re mass copy pasting your emails. It’s like — did you read anything about me/the job? Or are you just casting out your big ass net to see what you’ll catch? In todays world, you just want to feel special. So make them feel special. [Disclaimer: There’s definitely a way not to do that, however. ie) Messages like “I was stalking you on Twitter and reading your blog and think that we could raise a puppy together”, are borderline creepy. While cute and harmless, starting a message with “stalking” is never a good idea.]
Personally I think dating also provides an expansive professional network — okay so maybe not the best thing to cross lines there, but it happens. And it makes for great water cooler talk [sidenote: is this still a thing? Water coolers aren’t, but now that everyone has gchat / facebook chat, etc. has water cooler talk been phased out? Mind blowing.]…. Yeah we’re working on a project together, and we went on a few dates together so basically I also know how he takes his coffee in the morning. But seriously, if a date goes awry, I believe in salvaging it at least for a good contact at some point. I’m a huge proponent of not burning bridges, but also a fan of not shitting where you eat. So that balance is necessary for your bowels and sanity.
WORD OF MOUTH
Same as networking, really. A lot of job leads / references will come from friends, former bosses, friend of friends etc. Which is great because most times they can give you an introduction or put in a good word for you pre-interview/vetting. While the dating world doesn’t work the same way in the overt sense, there’s still the set up date which may or may not begin with an intro like, “This is x, he’s really good in bed, clean, and has a good sense of humor”. Or it may not. I once was set up on a date over Twitter by a former co-worker. Said date turned less of a date and more of a co-worker. It’s all about networking, really.
SO MANY FIRST DATES
Am I right? You go on a million and one first dates… a lot that remain simply that, because you weren’t into it or they weren’t into you. It’s hard putting yourself out there, all vulnerable, then picking yourself up and putting yourself out there again. And THEN, they don’t call you back? The nerve. Did they go to the figurative “island” (as my friend and I like to call it when you don’t hear from a guy you’ve dated after some time)? or the figurative “planet” (as Man Repeller calls it — this is one of my favorite MR articles, actually)? Did his fingers fall off, thus preventing him from texting you back or picking up the phone and (godforbid) CALLING YOU [also, can we talk about the lost art of a phone call? Nostalgia.] What happened? In this case, assume they found someone better, pick yourself up… yet again, and move on. You have to find the same perseverance in looking for a job. You have to get dressed up, play yourself up, put on a smile for first interviews while knowing you’re just one of many they’re talking to and you may not get a call back. Oh my god that’s so fatalistic when I put it that way. Find a way to stick out, leave an impression.
SECOND AND THIRD DATES?
Oh god forbid. Good luck with these. Are you wearing the appropriate outfit? Did you say the right things? They obviously were into you the first time that they wanted to see you again and see if you are, indeed, a good fit. Go in confident, but then again, nothing is a sure thing… ever. [Again, sorry I should’ve had a healthy dose of uppers before I wrote this.]
STAYING TRUE TO YOURSELF
Ugh, what is this a Disney movie? In all seriousness, this is important to not compromise with what you want and who you are. I essentially walked out of an interview for a sales job at a company because I knew it wasn’t my thing (and the HR woman didn’t inform me of the position), and the women were being incredibly rude to me and I knew I didn’t deserve to sit there to be ripped apart. Know where you stand and what you will or will not put up with. If they don’t want you or can’t see what you have to offer after you gave it your best, then maybe it isn’t a good fit, personally, for you. Don’t force yourself to take a job for the sake of having a job. Same with the dating world: don’t force yourself or put pressure on a relationship for the sake of not being single. When my girlfriends fret over a guy that got away I always remind them that you don’t want to be in a relationship with someone who doesn’t want to be with you and see what you have to offer. Make sure your value is known in both your professional and personal relationships, otherwise it’s really not worth it.
KEEP AN OPEN MIND
Sure, apply for other positions and jobs that you normally wouldn’t. Having a streamlined idea of what you want is fantastic, but also limits you from an expansive market of opportunities out there that you might be interested in. Dating works just the same. My pet peeve is people who say they only date certain people because they are their “type”. I get having standards and goals. But having a certain “type” is straight up dumb and close-minded. Stepping outside of your comfort range is a good thing and is fun!
HARD TO COMMIT
Do they want me? Should we have the talk? Will they bring up the talk? I want them to commit to me and only me. Should I follow up? OH MY GOD WHEN DID I BECOME SO GODDAMN NEEDY! But actually. The hypothetical thirst and the realistic struggle is, indeed, real.
SHAKE IT OFF
Not everyones going to love you and you won’t love everyone. It’s a fact bby. If it doesn’t work out, you try again. There are many, many fish in the sea waiting for you.