I’ve lost count of how many job applications I’ve filled out. Moreover, I dread to envision how much longer it will be before someone hires me. The mind-numbing process of detailing your professional history while simultaneously attempting to look accomplished, intelligent, and entirely polished and capable is exhausting.
Job hunting, oddly enough, is very similar to the dating world. Women compete with each other in order to “land” that perfect combination of traits, looks, and values in the form of a man. They also aim to embody the ideal candidate for a job. After all, you are exactly what they’re looking for.
There’s definitely a parallel to be had.
1. Look Great
Dating – You spent an exorbitant amount of money on a dress that makes you look amazing. And in a wild frenzy of make-up/accessories planning, you somehow manage to look feminine. And you shaved.
Job Hunting – You break out the tailored pencil skirt and pair it with a freshly ironed blouse and heels. And then you start praying to some entity that you haven’t over-done your make up. You’re here for work. Not “that” kind of work.
2. Be well rounded
Dating – Why yes, I read/spin/do yoga/participate in volunteer work/read to the elderly and expend an inordinate amount of energy on perfecting cakes and other baked goods. Did I mention that I speak 5 languages, love puppies, and am an avid sports fan? DO YOU LOVE ME NOW?!
Job hunting – Oh yes, I know how every function of Excel works. I simply adore writing my own equations and mastering pivot tables in my spare time. Yes, I memorized your website, know all of the first and last names of your employee roster, can multi-task, be pressure free, and have a calm exterior with a can-f******-do attitude!
Dating – staring at your phone maniacally and willing it to ring or buzz.
Job Hunting — staring at your phone maniacally and willing it to ring.
4. Follow up
Dating – “Hey XXXX, just wanted to say that I had a really wonderful time last night!” Subtext = Please God, text/call/message me back because I think you’re one of the few good ones.
Job Hunting – “Dear XXXX, thank you so much for your time, for reviewing my qualifications, blah blah blah”.
Subtext = Please God, do NOT forget about me. I have bills, DAMMIT! And look! I wrote a hand-written note! Extra-f******-mile! And yes, I may be totally overqualified for this job, but I’m desperate. Hire me. I promise you I can read.
5. Make It
Dating – You get that 2nd date and everything flows together in perfect synchronicity. Your romance eventually becomes transformed into a sunlit world where the possibility of potential actually exists.
Job Hunting – HR has validated that you’re not a pyromaniac. They’ve established that you lack a criminal record, and they’ve failed at been able to find any cringe-worthy photos of you online. You’ve checked out as a “normal” human being who is capable ofS working from 9-5. If they could ask for a blood sample, a psychological profile, and read your performance reviews, they would definitely find a way to obtain these.
6. Break It
Dating – Your gorgeous Swedish model has fallen off the face of the earth. Maybe he “forgot” to call you back. Perhaps he “lost” your phone number. More likely, he’s moved on to an incredibly hot, Parisian-chic girl who has a fake name like, “Azure” and who has legs that go on forever paired with cheekbones that can shave ice.
Job Hunting – automated email from HR. They’ve decided, “not to move forward with you as a candidate”. It’s the, “it’s not you, it’s me” type of break up.
They say it’s a numbers game. And I believe that. I refuse to succumb to the notion that I will end up alone and jobless. They say it’s cyclic – that we all go through phases and changes wherein we learn the most from these tumultuous times. If anything, I’m learning perseverance. I know he’s out there. And I know that job is out there too. And if anyone else finds themselves in a similar boat, keep your heads up – it will get better.