Why Job Hunting And Dating Are The Same Thing
From first impressions, to the hope, the heartbreak and the lousy breakup lines, the similarities are there in abundance.
Being made redundant really sucks, as I found out late last year.
It was like a breakup but with tonnes of meetings and documentation, and in the process things like your identity and self-confidence get thrown into question. But I’ve been lucky enough to find myself a stable and fun job, along with the chance to take stock of all the things I've learned in the past three months. Chief among these lessons? Job hunting and dating are the same thing.
Putting Yourself Out There
It’s a period of jittery nervousness, but the good kind. You’re overwhelmed with all the possibilities.
Could this be the one?
So you apply, you swipe right and you write the best cover letter/ first text message/say the best, most interesting pickup line of your life. You want to make it clear that you’re interesting, that you’ve got personality but can also be serious and focused, all at the same time.
You’re a catch and you know it. You just need to convince the other person that you are the asset they have been looking for.
Getting The Interviews
We’ve all been on dates that feel like job interviews, but hopefully not too many job interviews that feel like dates.
The interview/first date is all about getting that initial hint of interest, and that’s exciting. You’re not emotionally invested enough to get your hopes crushed or your heart broken, so it can actually be a little fun. You might get asked on a second date (a second interview) and all the while your hope begins to rise. And then, without your conscious knowledge, things take a turn.
Imagining Your Life Together
Now you’re getting invested. After a number of meetings you’re on a high and after some positive feedback you’re feeling confident. All the signs have been good and so you start to delve into dangerous waters and imagine what it would be like if you did land the job or actually date that dream partner.
Imagine yourself in that air-conditioned office, going to meetings and getting paid. The fun you'll have together, how much your Nanna would love them and how their wit would charm your friends. It’s perfect in every way, and just as you convince yourself that a relationship or a new job is JUST what you need right now, the unthinkable happens.
They said they would call you. The hours and the days roll by without a text, a call or an email. ‘It’s fine,’ you counsel yourself as you check your phone for the 17,000th time that day. ‘They’re just busy. They haven’t forgotten about me. It’s fine.’ But as the silence increases in intensity, so does the possibility of rejection. You don’t know what’s going on and, while no news is good news, the growing silence is deafening. You know deep in your heart that it’s leading to one thing.
In the three month period that I was unemployed I did 12 job interviews and, let me tell you, the employment breakup lines are just as brutal as the romantic ones. The most heartbreaking has to be, “we thought you would be an excellent cultural fit and we will keep you in mind for other roles.” This is the “it’s not you, it’s me” equivalent of the job-hunting world. No, you won’t keep me in mind for future roles, and no, you don’t want to be friends.
Ultimately, rejection is hard.
Where dating and job hunting are similar in the way you have to commit, be patient and potentially still face rejection in the end, there are also similarities in the possible reward they offer. Job hunting can be demoralising, but after taking punt after punt, it worked out and here I am. Yes, I've found a job (but I'll be taking a little break before I have another go at the dating world).