You just spent a good two hours getting ready. You showered, shaved your legs, curled your hair, and carefully put on a decent amount of natural looking makeup. You changed your outfit about seven times, modeling each one in front of your full-length mirror debating whether or not you look fat from the side because for some reason you believe that people actually notice and care how you look from the side (the truth: they don’t).
You even took pictures of yourself in your top three favorite outfits and texted them to your friends asking them to choose their favorite. You then sat on the couch, timid and on-edge, because you got ready way too early and had quite a bit of time to kill.
You refreshed Instagram a couple of times and got frustrated because NOTHING WAS CHANGING. You then decided “what the hell” and left early. You never know what kind of traffic you’ll hit or what kind of problems the subway will have, and if you get there too early, you can just hide in your car or at the nearest Starbucks until it’s time for you to be 10 minutes early, because that’s an acceptable amount of earliness.
So… where are you going?
A job interview.
If you thought you were going on a date, you probably aren’t alone. That’s because dating and job searching are basically the same thing. Here’s why:
How You Find ‘The One’
You can find the one online… or you can be fixed up by a mutual connection. There are tons of websites out there that feature prospective jobs and dates. Some are free and some cost money. Some even specialize in certain categories (okay, maybe the dating sites are slightly more bizarre – but you get the point). For both, you apply for the position or the date online and pitch yourself as a very viable candidate.
Another great way to find that special someone/something is through someone else. Maybe it’s someone your mom knows, someone your old college professor knows, or someone you just happen to meet at a party brought together by mutual friends. You may never have gotten the opportunity, for the job or the date, without knowing these connections.
Starting The Search
You have to put yourself out there. Neither the job or the date is going to come to you while you’re bro-ing out on the couch with a box of pizza watching Modern Family reruns. You have to get out there. Meet new people. Make connections. Sure you can send your application into the endless pit of resumes online, or you can wait for any of your newfound connections to contact YOU about a job or date (and sorry, but that’s probably not going to happen), but you never know who a friend, a friend’s friend, or a friend’s friend’s friend might lead you to. If you don’t schmooze, you’ll probably lose.
Luck & Timing > Experience
Finding ‘the one’ is often due to good luck and good timing. Yeah, the more experience you have the better. But you never know when something (or someone) fabulous is going to fall into your lap (both literally and figuratively). You also never know who else is going for the same ‘position’ as you. If you’re in the right place at the right time, good things will (most likely) happen.
The First Date = The Interview
You want to look good, but not like you’re trying too hard. If something is right, it will feel right. You won’t have to try to hard to get it. You won’t have to act like you’re someone you’re not. You just have to be yourself and if they don’t like you, ‘tevs. On to the next one.
Keeping The Hunt Alive
You don’t want to settle. Even if an interview goes really well and the job seems “okay,” you sometimes still wonder if you should take it. You don’t want to settle for anything. If something seems off, it might not be the best choice for you. The same goes when it comes to a significant other. Never settle. You might have to kiss some frogs throughout your search for love, but you will find your prince. Your prince in your career (aka the dream job, the frogs were the jobs you had leading up to it) and your prince IRL (aka your bae).
The First One
Finding the first one is always the hardest. Getting your first job is like losing your virginity. After you score that position, you’re no longer pure and innocent. You’re experienced. People can be hesitant to get serious with a virgin — just like employers can be hesitant getting serious with someone who has never had a job before. Once you’re in, though, you’re in. No pun intended boys.
Figuring Out The Future
Is it a fling or the real thing? In other words, is it a job or a career? If this decision isn’t easy to make, it’s probably just a fling. A job is work. A career is what you love. When you’re doing something you love, it should never feel like work. Once something starts to feel like work, that’s when you know it’s time to leave and find what you are passionate about. After all, passion is what fuels the fire in life. It’s what keeps us alive. If you feel like passion is gone, find it! True happiness is out there — in the office and in your heart. You just have to find it and never give up, no matter how many frogs you have kiss along the way.