How Finding and Keeping a Job is a whole lot like Dating
Even if I haven’t put on my Human Resources hat in a while, I seem to be having more conversations circling around my other life. While employee engagement and layoffs have been the more common topics, troubles with hiring was still a thing. Those looking for jobs, too, have asked me why they weren’t getting hired.
With some of the horror stories I’ve heard, it seems that applicant etiquette has gone down the drain. It comes as a surprise to me that, apparently, how to go about finding a job is not taught in schools. To be honest, it’s not rocket science. In an effort to better explain how this all works, let me share some advice you never asked for. Finding and keeping a job is a whole lot like dating, and here are all the reasons why.
Aim to Impress, You’re just One of Many
Your first impression matters. That much, you already know. Your dating profile likely has the best of your photos, and a bio you crafted for hours. Put in the same amount of effort for your resume, portfolio, and cover letter. Yes, some form of cover letter. Tailor all those based on the job you’re trying to get. Unless you have some magical template message that will work for anything and anyone, you need to put in a little more effort. I mean, when you slide into someone’s DMs, wouldn’t you customize that first message for them? You need to stand out.
Okay, now you’ve caught their attention. Make sure you did that by still being yourself. I believe the dating term here is Catfishing or Kitten-fishing. You don’t ever want to mislead. While fudging about your strengths isn’t all that uncommon, you don’t ever want to misrepresent what you’re actually capable of. If you don’t know Photoshop, don’t tell them you do. Imagine being asked to do all that on your first week of work! Be realistic about what you have to offer, that way no one is disappointed in the end.
You Will Be Stalked and Sleuthed
What’s one of the first things you do when you’re about to be set up with someone? You head right over to google, search away, and scrape all of social media to find out everything you can about that someone. Everyone does that. Trust that, unofficially or not, this is also part of the hiring process. Don’t act surprised.
As an applicant, you should do the same. Learn everything you can about a potential employer. You can’t walk into an interview, or worse, on your first day, not knowing anything about your company. You can’t be mad about expectations vs. reality if you don’t do your proper research.
Ghosting is a Huge No
Applicants not showing for interviews? When, and more importantly why, did ghosting become a thing? My theory is that applicants go click-happy and apply for every opening under the sun, hoping that they just might bait one. Here’s the thing, let’s not waste anyone’s time. If you aren’t 100% sure about wanting the opportunity, maybe it’s best to not bother. If you can’t show up, don’t put yourself out there. Or, at the very least, reach out like a decent person to turn them down nicely.
There are things that are perfect on paper, but for whatever reason just doesn’t sit right. The perfect person, or job for that matter, might be perfect, but not perfect for you If at your interview you feel like there’s something off, maybe it’s worth trusting your gut. If something about your backup option gets you excited, maybe you should go for it. Chemistry matters. It matters a whole lot.
Word Gets Around
People talk. It’s a small world, behave accordingly. Enough said.
Sometimes It doesn’t work, Other Times It Just Clicks
Here’s the thing… it’s called work for a reason. It won’t be always be smooth-sailing. You have to put in some effort to make things work through the tough times. You get to decide if things need to end. If you’re lucky, you’ll also find one that just clicks. Do what you love, or love what you do. Choose one.
So, if you’re finding that you put way more effort into your dating life than you are in your job hunt, maybe you need to make some changes. Paying more attention to what will pay you pays off. Okay, enough puns. ✌️