“In New York, they say you’re always looking for a job, a boyfriend, or an apartment.” – Carrie Bradshaw, Sex and the City
As a job seeker and single woman, I spend a lot of my free time looking for a better job and a great guy (I have a GREAT apartment). And, in the last few months, it has occurred to me just how similar the job search and dating really are.
Similarity #1: People asking questions
People who know you are looking for a job, or looking for a relationship almost always ask you about your search (for a job or a man). This is an exhausting question. First of all, usually the same culprits ask you; those who love or care deeply for you but don’t speak to you on a regular basis. This is usually the first question they ask you:
“Have you found any good jobs lately?” or “How’s the job search going?”
Or, even worse, “Have you met anyone great lately?” or “Are you seeing someone new?”
These questions are troublesome because almost always the answer is the same:
Yes, I have found some jobs I am applying to and no, I haven’t gotten any interviews yet.
Or, your response is:
No, I haven’t met anyone new. Or, No one I ever want to see again. Or, Yes, I met a guy, but he lives with his parents and is the most socially awkward man I have ever met.
I understand that these people are trying to be kind and learn about your life, but, let me tell you – any job seeker or person dating will tell you – usually no news is bad news – so just leave it at that.
Similarity #2: The job interview/ date
The preparation for the job interview/ date can be very much alike. You want to look your best. You spend extra time getting ready. You are putting your best foot forward.
The actual job interview/ date can be awkward, uncomfortable, nerve racking. You think carefully about what you say, and possibly will obsess over something you said (or didn’t say later).
When you leave the job interview/ date, you usually check in with someone to tell them how it went; you go over things talked about, questions asked, and how you feel it went.
Immediately after the job interview/ date, you normally know how you feel about it. You know if you want the job (or to go out again), or if you don’t want the job (or are afraid he likes you and you have to let him down easy). Either way, anxiety kicks in, and you wait to hear from them.
If it’s a job, it could be over a week until you get a call back. If it’s a guy, it could be up to three days until he calls you (Really? Why the three-day-rule? Could someone please explain to me why guys do this?)
During the time of waiting, (if you want the job/ guy), you try to distract yourself. You go out with friends, you throw yourself into a “Bones” marathon, and you walk your dog. Everyday. Multiple times a day. Anything but to sit around a wait for that call.
Similarity #3 The decision
Woo-hoo! You got a job offer! The guy called! Yes!!! So great!
Now, you have to consider the offer. For the job, is it the money that you are looking for? What about the benefits? You love the company, but is it a good offer?
For the guy, he called. He likes you too. (Yay!!!) But, did you meet some of his friends and they aren’t good guys? Or, he works all the time and only can fit you into his schedule once a week? Or, has he told you that he likes you, but isn’t sure that marriage is for him? You like the guy, but is it a good fit?
Now, is the most heart-wrenching, hardest part of the whole job search/ dating debacle. You have to decide if this job/ guy is really right for you. And you know what? Sometimes it isn’t.
In January, I was offered a great job at a great company – I was so happy. But, they money they offered me was not even close to what I need to make to live. I had to turn it down – which was very hard decision – because the job wasn’t the right fit for me. And, this is often the case with guys. You have to walk away because although you like him (and he likes you too!) he is just not what you need to live happily.
Thus, here is the thing with the Job Search and Dating. Overall, it is really hard. Overall, it is really exhausting. But, overall, the right job or right guy, can make all of this really worth it.