Whether teaching a class about the job search, or working with a client individually, I frequently compare the job search to finding that right relationship. People laugh initially, but start to pay attention as I continue to explain.
- You kiss a lot of toads. When you’re single and searching for that person to spend your life with, you date people. With each successive experience, you learn more about yourself, what you want in a relationship and, perhaps more importantly, what you don’t want. It’s the same with the job search. You go on a lot of interviews and learn what companies you like and which you don’t. With each successive interview, you learn more about yourself, and what is really important in a company you want to spend most of your days working at. Do you like the people you meet during interviews? Feel a connection with them, or does it feel extremely forced? Pay attention to these signs. If it doesn’t feel good during the interview (when they are courting you), then you’re most likely not going to be happy there. After all, isn’t that first date the most important?
- You start to learn who’s right for you and who’s not. Yes, it’s important to share interests and values, to be able to live with each other every day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year. If your prospective mate is a homebody and you want to be out and about on weekends, you’re not going to fit together well for long. In a job search, it’s critical to understand the values and culture of the potential employer. If work/life balance is important to you, and the company you’re considering is known for working people 60-70 hours per week, it’s not going to be a match made in heaven. You’re going to be miserable and regret the day you took the job.
- You experience rejection. Ah, yes. It stings. Sometimes you know the relationship is coming to an end and have a conversation about it. Sometimes they call and dump you on the phone. And sometimes, they just stop calling and you wonder why. Yes, same thing in the job search. You have that interview you think went really well, only to learn they didn’t feel the same way. They call and dump you, or they just stop calling. I call this the ‘black whole’, others call it ghosting. It hurts, you get burned a little. Most of the time, you don’t know what went wrong. You can only move on and put it behind you.
- They have a flaw. Well, nobody is perfect, right? But is he/she perfect for you? Can you accept the one or two flaws and thrive in this relationship? Some call it compromising. I call it accepting that we are all human and none of us is perfect. There will always be something about our partner that we don’t love, but we learn to love and accept. Companies are the same way. They are made up of human beings, so yes, they have a human element and are not perfect. It’s best to approach the job search with eyes wide open. While you’re looking for the best of each company, acknowledge those elements that aren’t perfect so you can decide if you can live with them.
- Creating the perfect resume isn’t unlike creating your profile for those online dating sites. With both, you must encapsulate your life, your goals, and your personality into a single profile that will appeal to the right person, then hope it has the impact you intended and draws the right audience.
- Sometimes you just get lucky. That perfect job, just like that perfect-for-you person, simply appears in your life and it’s a match made in heaven! If this happens to you, consider it a gift and go for it.
So, when you’re looking for a new job, think about all the dating skills you’ve gained throughout your life and employ the same tactics and skills. You’ll be surprised how well it works! Not good with dating? Well, maybe it’s time to hire a career coach who can help you throughout your job search. I often play the role of not only coach and consultant, but cheerleader, advisor, and voice of reason. Often, a little help goes a long way.
I am a career coach with deep experience helping individuals live their career dreams; offering programs for individuals seeking a new job, those with an eye toward the future who want to develop a plan to grow professionally, and people ready to launch their own business and become an entrepreneur. Contact Andrea at firstname.lastname@example.org, or 206.658.7919 or book a complimentary 30 minute exploratory call with her to learn more about her services:https://colecoach.acuityscheduling.com/schedule.php?appointmentType=2546844