8 Reasons Why the Job Search Is Like Dating

July 7, 2016

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? Strangely, Mad Men actually had a flashback where Don Draper got Roger Sterling drunk and pretended a job offer was made the next day when he showed up at Sterling Cooper for work. Talk about an awkward morning after. 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.

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 falling alseep when you ask for a promotion or a raise.

Giving in to Temptation.  You begin looking elsewhere. The latest "Tinder for the Job Search" app has become your new obsession and you've been swiping to the right a lot more than usual. 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 begin 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 until you found someone that treats you how you felt you should be treated.

Rebound Relationship. Eventually you find what you were looking for and you enter your new work relationship, excited and full of hope, but soon realize a mistake was made. The benefits package turned you on and so you didn’t notice those annoying habits – they read all your emails and stand over your shoulder while you work on a project. Uh-oh! 

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 firm.

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. You try too hard. You don’t try hard enough. What is this game?

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. You play a little hard to get with prospective employers but when you finally meet, things don’t click. The conversation is awkward. They ask questions that make you feel uncomfortable. What are my weaknesses? This is not going to work out. There are plenty of fish in the sea…but maybe not.

Troubled Waters. You begin to panic. You take the first offer from someone that seems like a perfect fit. Sure they are a little rough around the ages, but you know that once they fall in love with you, they will change for you. But things don’t work out that way. They start tearing you down. Nothing you have done is good enough for them. Whenever you work on something that seems successful, they find something they don’t like and attack you. They don’t want you to feel good about work so you never think of leaving. You try to conform. You try to rebel. You try anything and everything and eventually you realize your self-worth and move on, hoping for the best and knowing good things will eventually come your way 

Commitment. And then 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. You’re finally happy and in love with your new job. 

Yea...It's exactly like dating.

by Jon Minners

Chicago river at night
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