It’s true: the similarities between job hunting and dating are actually fairly hard to miss, especially if you’ve ever spent a significant amount of time and energy doing both.
While it’s not impossible, rarely will you be at the right place at the right time, when a seemingly perfect job opportunity or potential partner comes waltzing into your life almost effortlessly. The reality is this: finding the right match, whether it’s a job or a significant other, is not always a serendipitous experience.
In this post, we’ll walk you through the job-hunting process and give you a feel for how it’s not that different from endlessly swiping through your dating apps. We know…sigh.
1. Networking vs Mingling
In the past, applying for jobs was mostly done by mail, in person or over the phone, but in today’s world, one of the most common ways people apply for jobs is by searching and networking online.
In parallel, the dating game is changing rapidly and online dating is becoming the most popular way to meet potential love interests, displacing meeting potential partners “through friends.” Numerous dating apps have emerged out of the digital realm and the stigma of online dating seems to be wearing off rather quickly.
Both job hunting and dating require building profiles on designated platforms like LinkedIn and GlassDoor for finding work, or Tinder and Bumble for finding dates. While these platforms are built for entirely different reasons, the common denominator lies in putting our best foot forward until we attract the right match. Our best photo, a well-written creative bio that aims to showcase parts of ourselves we’re most proud of… you get the idea.
2. First interview vs First date
Imagine this: on a seemingly endless job hunt, you find an exciting job opening with a company that sounds like the right fit for you, you share your resume and they send a reply asking you to come in for your first interview. It’s a match!
Both parties are interested, and now is the part where you meet for the first (and maybe the last) time.
Getting ready, you try to look your best. When you’re there, you’re concerned with making the best impression and shining a light on all your best qualities, and since you only get one chance to make a great first impression, you’re bound to be a little nervous.
This is where both parties are assessing to see if there’s potential for a future together, and when you head home, you’re either fantasizing about what that future could look like, going over what you might’ve said wrong, or just coming to terms with the fact that you didn’t really feel a connection. Sound familiar?
3. What happens now?
If, for whatever reason, it didn’t really go how you’d hoped and you don’t want to move forward, now would be the slightly uncomfortable part where you’ll need to kindly communicate your withdrawal from the application process, and wish the recruiter the best of luck.
If, instead, everything went well and you’re daydreaming about a future with them, you’re already wondering when you’ll hear from them again, and there are two ways you could be potentially feeling right now:
- As you wait for a response, feeling vulnerable, you might be getting a little insecure and questioning yourself;
- you’re feeling on top of the world; you nailed it, and you almost know this is a match made in heaven.
3. Second interview vs Second date
Et voila! They’re interested and they want to see you again.
Now that things are moving forward, you’re getting your hopes up, but there’s competition; on both sides. This wasn’t the only job you applied for, and you know you’re not the only candidate they’ve been interviewing.
You want to pursue this role further, however, and instead of focusing too much on the competition, you aim to keep showing up as the best version of yourself.
5. What happens now? Again
As you get closer and your chances grow, you wait to hear back once more. This is the tricky part, because it’ll sort of feel like you’re in limbo, with no way of predicting what’s going to happen next.
Typically, there are two ways this can play out:
a) Ghosted or rejected?
Sometimes the wait can take a while. At some point, if it takes too long before you receive a rejection letter, you have to accept the possible reality that you’ve been ghosted.
If you’ve been ghosted by someone you liked before, you know how disheartening it is. Truthfully, it happens a lot in the recruitment process and it doesn’t feel any better than being ghosted by a love-interest. Both really, really suck.
Ghosting actually feels a lot worse than being rejected because unlike not having an answer at all, a rejection gives you something concrete. Rejection doesn’t feel great either, but at least with that, you won’t have to fill in the blanks with your own made-up reasons as to why you didn’t make the cut.
Ghosting leaves room for an unnecessary “what if?” which isn’t fair if the true answer is a no.
Now comes the recovery, which we get isn’t always easy. Everything seemed so perfect; they had exactly what you were looking for out of a job, and you felt in your heart that you were the right fit. You pictured yourself creating your future with them and it all felt so close, and so real. But if it didn’t happen, the best way to look at the situation is by accepting that it just wasn’t truly the one for you. The right one has yet to arrive, but it’s on the way.
It’s all a part of the process; you go through the motions and brush yourself off only to get back into the game and continue your search. You’ve heard this before but we’ll say it again: there will always be more fish in the sea.
b) You’re hired vs you found the one
Congratulations! Most of the time, it might take a couple of rounds of point A for you to finally land the role that you really wanted—and you’ll be super pleased to find out that they wanted you back in return.
You’re over the moon, and now that you’ve found the one, it’s a lot easier to see why all the others didn’t work out.
If you’re on the search, best of luck to you!
The searching, the hoping, and the disappointment are stages of the journey that will keep coming around, so it’s best that you make friends with every part of the process.
Along the way, you’ll probably receive many job offers, and if among them is the one you really wanted, it will feel glorious.
Even then, no matter how flawless it may first appear, no job is perfect and you will always face challenges, just like no person is ever perfect. But as in relationships, you’ll grow from the experience and it will all be worth it—at least until it’s time to get back on the prowl again.
Images sourced from pexels.com