8 Ways Dating And Job Hunting Present The Same Struggles For 20-Somethings
We’ve all been there: clutching our phones in anticipation, losing sleep over a potential future together, relying on friends for advice on what to say next.
I’m talking, of course, about applying for a new job.
It’s common to say that the first date is like a job interview, but did you ever think about how similar hunting for a job is to searching for love? Sometimes, employers can be the worst boyfriends of them all.
Don’t see the connection? Allow me to refer you to the following list:
Sizing Each Other Up
It’s a two-way street. You slipped on your grown-up shoes, checked your teeth for leftover kale from lunch and did a mini-pep talk in the bathroom mirror beforehand.
Little do you know, the interviewer is trying to make an equally as excellent an impression on you.
There you are, sitting across from each other in a scene straight out of “Frost/Nixon,” both wondering if your eye contact is bordering on creepy.
Overanalyzing Every Interaction
Even if you bounce out of the interview with a firm handshake, a smile and the promise of a followup, there’s bound to be one or two face-palm moments.
You think, ‘I should’ve mentioned at least three more news sources I read daily.’ Or, ‘How could I not have told the amazingly impressive anecdote from when I worked at XYZ?’
On a date, it’s more along the lines of, ‘WHY IN THE HELL DID I MENTION MY EX?!?!’
Waiting For A Response
More often than not, this means being ignored entirely. A flood of online applications can understandably be difficult to respond to, but if there were face-to-face interactions, a little closure would be nice.
Even a quick, “Hey, loser, we’d never hire you in a million years!! How could you even think that we’d consider YOU?? (Ha! Ha!),” would be better than no acknowledgement at all. Seriously.
Desperately Trying Not To Look So… Desperate
“Oh, you want to hire me? This comes so out of the blue. I haven’t been stress eating about this for three weeks at all! I also happen to have 1,000 other offers at the moment, so you’ll have to give me some time to decide. Another raise? Well, I guess I could consider that.”
This is how it goes… never.
Avoiding That All-Important Word
Salary. The term I’m referring to is salary. And just like the ever-mystifying L-O-V-E, whoever names a price first, loses. It’s just the way the world works.
Doing The Faux Wallet Reach
In some scenarios, when you already know the person, you may meet outside of an actual office. A coffee date perhaps, maybe breakfast or lunch, sometimes even an after work cocktail to keep things social and ease some of the tension.
That is, until the bill comes. The other person clearly makes more than you, so does that mean he or she pays? But wait, didn’t you ask to meet up? Do you feign the ever-so-subtle wallet reach? Where’s the Sheryl Sandberg TED Talk on this dilemma?
Making A Commitment
You’ve made it! There’s an offer in your hands and a self-satisfied smirk on your face. You are wanted, desired and needed! Maybe you’ve even found “the one.”
But then, evil thoughts start to creep in: ‘If they want to hire me, does that mean I could find a role somewhere even better? Did they accept my salary requirements too quickly? Maybe I should keep negotiating?’ Only you know whether accepting an offer is right for you. Sometimes, however, you just need to take the leap.
Doing The Dirty Breakup
Back in the days of 30-year work anniversaries, capital “C” careers and companies offering “raises,” this wasn’t as common of an occurrence. Today, the breakup is fairly inevitable.
You’ve had weeks of sneaking around with fake doctor’s appointments (is there really no better way?), until the time comes time to end it with your OG job and move onto your new bae.
It’s not the easiest talk to have, but if you’re upfront and give ample notice, you might even be able to keep your boss as a future reference and friend.
Now you can take a deep breath, roll up your sleeves and dive into that new role you worked so hard to land… only to find yourself on the other side of the hiring equation. God speed.
Photo Courtesy: Columbia Pictures/The Pursuit of Happyness