Dating is a lot like landing that great job interview. You spend countless hours looking for the "right one." You wear outfits that you would normally never wear. You rack your brain for the best possible answers to questions they might ask. You are constantly worrying if they might reject you. Most importantly: You spend the whole time trying to portray who you think they want you to be. At least with job hunting there's always a chance you'll end up with a really great dental plan.
I have to make an admission. As I was trying to tear down yet another writer's block, aka procrastinating on my next cover letter, I was sorting through old online articles I had saved to my favorites. I came across an article on the 11 Dating Mantras to Live By I had found through MSN.com. As I was reading through each point to remember while dating I couldn't help but notice how many related to job searching.
So, I can't take credit for today's list. Authorship rights go to Erin Meanley of Glamour.com. Vanna, if you please, the pirated list . . . (Editor's note: The numbered list was written by Ms. Meanley. The clarifications below each one were written by me. I know you're a smart bunch, but just in case there's any ambiguity . . .)
1. I can't control his behavior; I can only control my reaction to it.
To steal another dating cliche: "He's just not that into you." Calling repeatedly after sending a resume or an interview isn't going to help your chances of getting the job. Follow up one week after either/or and leave it at that. Being too eager can actually hurt your chances. Plus, HR is super-busy with HR-y stuff. There's a fine line between showing interest and being a job stalker.
2. I am a human being worthy of love.
Just because they aren't calling you back doesn't mean you wouldn't be a great employee. The hiring process always takes longer than everyone thinks. If a job isn't calling you back, put your hook back into the water. There are plenty more fish in the sea who would love to hire you.
3. Everyone is responsible for guarding their own heart.
This is the age-old trap that gets even the most cynical of daters. "I had a great time tonight. Can I call you sometime?" We spend the rest of the night looking at our phones to make sure it isn't on silent. You may have nailed the interview. They may even tell you nailed the interview. Yet, that is no guarantee you're the one they're going to hire. Why? Who knows? The point is to pat yourself on the back, but stay diligent in your search. We all know what happens when we assume.
4. Big picture, big picture.
Every resume that doesn't get read or interview you don't land is just practice for the getting the right job. Don't dwell on the things you don't get. A job may look perfect on paper and you really, really want it, but who knows? It may have a toxic work environment. The boss may smell like tobassco sauce. Everything we go through is a lesson to be learned to help us see the big picture.
5. Life never ceases to surprise me.
There have been jobs I never thought I had a chance at that have called me for an interview. There have been jobs where I thought I would be a shoe-in for at least an interview that didn't call me at all. Throw your hat into the ring. If you don't even try your chances still stay at zero.
6. I am lucky to be alive.
Remember this when you're counting all the things you don't have or the jobs you're not getting.
7. It's okay to be sad.
You're going hear 'no', and you're going to be disheartened. It's okay to be bummed out.
8. I'm taking it one day at a time.
This is a good reminder to not wish away your life until the job posting date closes on your dream job. Take time to step away from polishing your resume and combing through Monster.com. Go to the movies. Read a chapter in your favorite book. Take a shower. Your psyche and your family will thank you.
9. This too shall pass.
You will land that great job you've been pining after and the heartache you went through to find it will be a distant memory. If what you really wanted was easily attained, how fulfilling is it really?
10. Everything will work out fine in the end.
It's easy to fall into the pit of despair when job hunting. You tell yourself awful things that destroy yourself confidence. When you hit that point, tell yourself everything will work itself out. Yes, Pollyanna, it will. One thing that has helped me to keep my chin up is I take a dry erase marker and write nice things about myself on my bathroom mirror. What I write ranges from my ability to engage people to my shiny hair. It doesn't really matter what it is, and I don't really read it once it's up there. The important thing is when I see the list grow, I remember I will be okay because of all the great qualities I possess.
11. Serenity now!
Whenever I say this line, I scream it like George's dad on Seinfeld. It doesn't always calm me down, but it makes me laugh.
Positive Thought of the Day:
"Employees make the best dates. You don't have to pick them up and they're tax deductible." - Andy Warhol