Wouldn’t it be pretty cool if a career fair was more like a singles bar; where you approach a prospective employer late at night and make your move? You know how the saying goes – “Drink ‘Til He/She’s Hirable.” Talk about an uncomfortable morning that would be when you showed up to work and your employer realized a mistake was made.
But seriously, when you think about it, the job search is a lot like a relationship, from the uncomfortable beginnings to the infidelity and the heart wrenching breakups – and everything in between. Take a look at these parallels:
Wandering Eye. You’ve been at a job for several years and you become bored. Suddenly, other jobs become more attractive – those amazing six-figures and that sexy healthcare package. It’s hard not to be seduced, especially with your current job no longer willing to give back; always claiming they have a headache when you ask for a promotion or a raise.
Giving in to Temptation. You begin looking elsewhere. Your current bosses are suspicious, asking why you had the equivalent of lip-stick on your collar – a tie you haven’t worn in years, as you come back from your secret interview. You began hiding the evidence, changing clothes before you get back into the office, telling your boss you would be “home” late, or not even going to work at all on a particular day until you found someone that treats you the way you felt you should be treated.
Rebound Relationship. Eventually you find what you were looking for and can do the one thing you can’t do with a girlfriend – give your two weeks’ notice. Imagine telling your girlfriend, you will stay with her for two more weeks before you start dating someone else. Try it…let me know how it works out. So you enter your new work relationship, excited and full of hope, but it turns out to be temporary; a fling. The company was just waiting to get back with its ex employee who you replace while she was on maternity leave. Once she came back, you are nothing to them. You find yourself single again.
Single Life. You decide to live the bachelor life, freelancing for one company after another, but nothing permanent. Sometimes, you work two assignments in the same day; working so late you perform the dreadful walk of shame home at 6 a.m. in the same clothes you wore to work a day earlier. You even entertain the idea of going solo and owning your own company, but that’s just a phase and you start craving a committed relationship with another company.
Putting Yourself on the Market. You search for jobs, hoping a company would like what they see. You get a look or two and give them your number, waiting patiently at home hoping the phone will ring. Taking matters into your own hands, you send out emails, telling companies you are still interested in them and waiting for an opportunity to take the next step in the process. “Just give me a chance!” Begging is not attractive. They might have been interested, but you just turned them off.
First Dates Only. Occasionally, a company will call you back and tell you they had time for an interview, but you needed to be there in two hours – the equivalent of a booty call. Agreeing to the interview makes you look desperate and you will probably never hear from that company again. You play a little hard to get with prospective employers and make them think others find you hot. Things don’t always work out and you just don’t click on the phone or the first interview goes completely wrong. There are plenty of fish in the sea.
Commitment. You find the company you have been looking for. Maybe it happened unexpectedly. Maybe you gave up on all companies before this one found its way into your heart. Maybe you and the new company flirted a bit in the past and now you are ready to give each other a chance. Either way, you were checking them out and they did a solid up-and-down glance in your direction. It starts off slow with a probationary period, but eventually, you are staying until all hours of the night. You bring work home. You have work with you on the weekends. Before you know it, you are married to your job. This is the one…until another company checks out your profile. Then it starts all over again.
--Jon Minners, Vault.com
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