- The Resume -- During the job search, you submit a written resume with a brief professional history. Dating is the same, especially if you're doing it online. You outline your strengths and try to present yourself in the best possible light. When you meet someone for the first time, you give them an overview (who wants to let all the demons out of the closet right away?). But it's fairly superficial. Someone is going to judge you for your typos (or your metaphorical typos, like if you say "supposably" or "anyways").
- Waiting For the Call -- After you've found a desirable choice (job or mate) and you've given your resume, then comes the waiting. This is when you start wondering . . . maybe I'm not good enough; maybe I said too much; maybe my phone isn't working. So you check your phone, making sure the ringer is turned on. And you wait some more.
- The Call (and What Follows) -- The day finally comes when your phone actually does ring. Your palms start to sweat. Should you pick up or let them leave a message? You decide to answer, but not on the first ring. "Hello . . ." you say, not too eager, not too breathy (you hope). The conversation is short. You're merely setting up that first appointment. Maybe one fake laugh, a question or two, directions to where you will meet. It's over before you know it. Then you really start to sweat . . . what did you say? Did you go on too long? Was the laugh too fake? And what on earth are you going to wear? You spend the time in between the phone call and the upcoming meeting analyzing your wardrobe. What's the best way to make a good impression . . . you don't want to dress up or appear too fussy, but at the same time, you don't want to be a slob. Is the red suit too much? Maybe the blue blouse? Are the heels too high? It's just too much pressure! After you've settled on something to wear, you may as well plot your route. You talk to friends, you look online. Metro, driving, taxi, walking. You run through it over and over in your head, but you'll make a snap decision at the last minute based on traffic and weather conditions (it's really the only reasonable way to go).
- The Interview/Date -- This could go one of two ways: awkward and confusing, with stilted conversation; or like a reunion with your long lost someone. The former is a sign that it's not worth trying and you should relax and enjoy it. The only trouble with this philosophy is that the more you try to relax, the worse things end up going. A simple question like "Where are you from?" sends you into fits. "Uh, well, I was born in Columbus, but I grew up in Denver, but my dad was in the military so we moved around a lot . . . what was the question?" From there, you know it's going straight downhill. The second option is much more favorable. You spend your time together happily chatting away, and even though it's a fact-finding mission for you both, it feels more like easy conversation. That same simple question, "Where are you from?" becomes the springboard for all other things. "I was born in Columbus (go Bucks!), spent my early years in Denver, but since my dad was in the military, we really lived all over the place. Have you ever been to Germany?"
- Waiting (Again) -- If the meeting went well, you wait. Should you call? Send an email? Follow up and express interest? And if you decide to do one of those, how long should you wait? It's not good to seem over-eager, but nor do you want to seem disinterested and wait too long. Whatever you do, though, there's more waiting. The overanalysis continues: will I be chosen; am I right for this; will they think I'm right for this; did I talk to much; not enough; maybe my shoes were too much . . . and on and on. This is the point where you start to become slightly unhinged. Every time the phone rings, you think, "This could be it!" and when it isn't, you feel the need to either a) eat, b) cry, or c) eat while you cry. Every time you check your email and see that you have a new message, the sweating starts again. When you realize it's just an ad for Frrree_meddss_frommm_Cannadiaan_pharrmaaacy!!!, you die a little inside. More analysis . . . the shoes were definitely too much; I talked about my college internship for too long; they really didn't like my writing samples after all. Lather, rinse, repeat. And then you wait some more. It might be a day, it might be a week, or in some rare instances, it takes a month or more.
- The Commitment -- Perhaps scenarios 3, 4, and 5 will repeat themselves several times, but eventually a decision must be made and you are chosen. It's an unbelievable feeling! It's validation. You are worth commiting to! You are about to enter into a permanent relationship (of sorts). Maybe a little more self-doubt (am I really making the best decision?), but at least you have made a decision. Now that you have been chosen, now that the call has come in, you can call the shots (or at least some of them). And that feels good!
Wednesday, January 5, 2011
The Chosen One
A friend of mine is looking for a job. In fact, she's applied for a job and has decided that this job is THE ONE. She sent me an email earlier today lamenting the fact that they haven't called yet. I know exactly how she feels, and I suspect, so do you. You see, looking for a job is a lot like dating. In fact, I'd dare say it's almost exactly the same thing. Let's review the similarities, shall we?