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Valentine’s Day Career Advice: How Job Hunting is Like Dating

It’s February 14th and you are sitting across from your beloved at a romantic, dimly lit restaurant. Your significant other pulls out a small box, wrapped in gold paper and a bright red ribbon. You slowly unwrap the box, and inside you find the gift you’ve always wanted…your dream job!

Okay, maybe that’s a little fantastical, but dating and job hunting aren’t as unrelated as you might think. In fact, many of the “rules” of successful dating can prove helpful in your career planning and job hunting.

1. “There are plenty of fish in the sea.”

We’ve all become smitten with a person or job opportunity that seemed to be absolutely perfect for us. Well, as a job seeker in a challenging job market, it’s actually quite dangerous to set your sights on one absolutely perfect position. You’re likely to be disappointed, and you’ll be ignoring all of the good positions that might have great potential. Smart job seekers cast a wide (but focused) net.

2. “Opposites attract.”

We all know couples with totally different personalities, and yet somehow those two very different parts make one terrific whole. When it comes to job hunting, opposites attract as well. What they attract are opportunities. If you’re feeling stuck in a career rut or your job search has stalled, perhaps the problem is that your professional connections are too similar to you.

To refresh your job search and uncover new prospects, look for ways to diversify the people who are referring opportunities to you. Pay attention to the issues people are discussing, the companies they work for and any ways you can help by sharing your different perspective.

3. “Love is patient, love is kind.”

This is a Biblical quotation that has crossed over into the secular world, spoken at many weddings and anniversary celebrations. It is a simple and powerful statement that absolutely applies to job hunting as well.

Because the web makes it so easy to reach out to people without a lot of thought or planning, recruiters frequently tell me how much they appreciate job applicants who are prepared, polite and thoughtful in their communications. Here are some good rules of etiquette to follow:

  • Remember that recruiters are, first and foremost, human beings. When contacting them, always customize your message with their name (spelled correctly!), use courteous language (“please” and “thank you” go a long way) and allow a week or two for them to respond.
  • Never badmouth a previous employer or a company that does not hire you. Any recruiter who sees such negativity will worry that one day you’ll badmouth his or her company as well. Always take the high road.
  • In general, be as positive, helpful and caring in your professional interactions as you are with your loved ones. As Mark McCormack famously wrote, “All things being equal, people will do business with a friend; all things being unequal, people will still do business with a friend.”

Good luck and Happy Valentine’s Day!

Information on our job search programs at the YWCA Employment and Learning Centre can be found at: Employment & Learning

This article was adapted by Shaylyn White. You can view the full original article by Lindsey Pollak at: https://blog.linkedin.com/2013/02/14/valentines-day-career-advice-how-job-hunting-is-like-dating