Why Job Hunting is Basically Dating

While 10 long years of dating comes to a celebratory end, striking gold with the man of my dreams, I somehow find myself back in a seemingly familiar cycle. The ups and downs, the flush of excitement of an unknown phone call, staring for hours at your inbox. Except this time around, I’m searching for a job; not a man.

I’m starting to rack up an impressive number of interviews, after which I naturally obsess about. Did I sense chemistry? Were they impressed by my experience? Will they call again?

Recently, I dated a company seriously. I invested my time and threw myself head first into the relationship. They flirted with a call back and then a writing test. I finally received the long-awaited phone call; Could I come in and meet the VP?

This is it, I tell myself. It’s happening. I feel confident and although he is hard work to impress, I’m pretty sure he felt something. They then usher me through to a meeting with HR. HR is the equivalent of ‘meeting the mother’. They look at you differently. Will you fit in with the family? Are you a team player? Except instead of a mother, a 24 year old sits in front of me and asks about my ideal ‘working conditions’. My mouth opens and I get carried away…I feel my potential catch slipping. I’m looking for the perfect job, I say. I want to feel appreciated, trusted, encouraged, engaged. I want to work independently without school-like supervision….I’ve pushed too far.

A few excruciating days of obsessively checking my email go by and then it comes…the dreaded phone call. ‘’We really appreciate all the time you put into this process, you’ve done really well and you should feel good about reaching the final phase of the process, but we decided to go with someone else.’’

I lose the job to another girl. I’ve won second place with no medal. I spend the next week kicking myself. Reliving each moment of the interview and dreaming that I’d willed my big mouth to produce the exact words they wanted to hear.

This hangover is suddenly so familiar; the loss of confidence and knock in self-esteem, just like a dreaded breakup. I spend the next few days licking my wounds and staying away from job sites.

But less than a week later I’m back online. I catch a flash of a job post; my eyes excitingly scan the company; then the job title. I’m flushed again with hope. I excitingly fill out an application form, and the cycle starts anew. I promise myself next time I get a date with HR, I’ll tell them exactly what they want to hear.

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