18 Reasons Why Job Searching is Like Dating

Fun fact about me: I like to come up with ideas for articles, scribble down a few notes and then never return to finish it for six months (like a true writer, am I right?). For example, this article. I first came up with the idea for this in July when I had just gotten into a new relationship and I had started my internship search process for my final semester in college. After a couple dates and interviews, I noticed a few similarities between the two, and just like that, this baby was born. Huge shoutout to Elite Daily for publishing it on their website as well! Enjoy.

Well, you’ve found yourself back on the prowl, for one of the most difficult and important things to find – a job or a boyfriend. They say your biggest career decision is who you marry, and dating someone is a step there.

Whatever ended the last job or relationship – whether this person or job wasn’t satisfying you, there were too many conflicts, or you just outgrew each other, you know in your heart it’s time to start a new chapter of your life.

You have your prospects.

When you’re on the prowl, you’ve got options. Options you’ve met through friends, word of mouth, in coffee shops, on bulletin boards, at networking events, on websites, or even with the help of a recruiter or dating coach. You might know one of their friends or an employee.

You date around. Interview with a few companies. You click with some, others not so much. Some you have great chemistry with, others you don’t, and that’s okay.

First impressions mean everything.

Dressing up for your date or interview is stressful, because you want to look good but not too good. You don’t want to overdo it but you do want to impress them. And you definitely don’t want them to think you stayed up all night picking out the perfect outfit but then changing it 10 minutes before you leave to meet them. It has to be just right. Because after this moment, many of their judgments and opinions about you will be based on this first meeting.

You do the prep work for your first meeting.

What good is an interview or date if you’re not prepared for it? You’ll print out your resume, paint your nails. Get your favorite blazer dry cleaned, shave your legs to wear with your new dress.

Stock your tote with a padfolio filled with your resume, letters of references and a list of questions to ask, and stash mints, a mini bottle of perfume and hairspray in your purse.

You Google and you will get Googled.

Chances are, you looked up this company or person online before you met with them. You know what their office building looks like. You know what he looks like. You know most of their employees, or at least the ones that matter to you. You know who his last three girlfriends were, or at least the most intimidating ones.

You clean up your social accounts. Post about professional, industry-related articles. Delete trashy pictures of yourself. Create a LinkedIn account. Get rid of your Tinder account, just in case.

You’re going to be a pro at small talk by the end of the meeting.

“Tell me a little bit about yourself” seems to come up in both scenarios. You have to put yourself out there, tell a little bit about your background, about past relationships and internships you’ve had. You talk about what brought you to this place, with this job. You two might even joke around a little bit.

Sending them a ‘thank you’ note is imperative.

This one is often overlooked, but you want to make sure you send your interviewer or date a genuine ‘thank you’ note. So, you send a formal letter addressed to their office. Or a cute text or Snapchat. You might reiterate your skills or mention a joke you said during the date. Depending on how well the meeting went, how badly you want to see that person again, you can’t wait for a warm response back.

Then, out of the blue it seems, you find The One.

Well, The Potential. Something feels different about this one. The company is successful, reputable and seems like a cool company. He’s handsome, well-respected, and seems like a nice guy. They’re everything you’re looking for in a job or a boyfriend.

You analyze the date.

Prepping for the meeting is even more nerve-wracking, as you really think this could be The One. Of course, you thought the last date you went on went well. You are so glad you didn’t get word vomit and blurt out about the time you accidentally spilled red wine over your previous CEO’s white shirt at the holiday party or about the time you threw up under the tree at your family’s Christmas.

You start thinking about the stories you’ve told, if your laugh seemed forced, if your handshake was too weak, and then begin to drive yourself crazy.

You have high hopes.

You have experience from past internships and relationships, but you still feel inexperienced around this new prospect. You get nervous, butterflies in your stomach, and so much anxiety.

You focus all your attention on that dream job or guy. You have a great connection and even better chemistry. You think about it so much that it drives you crazy. What could be. You wish more than anything that it will work out. It’s Mr. Right. The right fit, the substantial salary, the coolest company culture in your dream city. Everything seems to pan out perfectly.

You start stalking them on social media.

You get to know all of their employees and clients. You get to know their best friends and family. You see yourself in a specific department or with a particular team. You could see yourself vacationing with them on their cabin up north.

You obsessively check your e-mail and stalk their social media sites to make sure they haven’t posted statuses introducing a new employee to the team or pictures with random girls. You want to be The One for them. You want that positive e-mail or Facebook message from them.

You could see a future with them.

You imagine holding a Secret Santa in the office. Celebrating holidays with your families together. You imagine yourself in their office building with a desk overlooking the river. You want to move into the city for them. You see yourself connecting with other employees. You imagine yourself attending special events together.

Sure, it’s jumping the gun, but when you really want someone or something, what’s the harm in dreaming about it?

If you weren’t an anxious person before, you definitely are now.

Then, a couple of days pass, and you haven’t heard from them. You don’t remember the last time you were this anxious and uptight. And you’re sure as hell not going to contact them asking what’s up, so you wait. And wait. And wait, for what seems like a lifetime, jumping every time your phone rings.

Then, you get The Thoughts.

You know the ones. After a week or so, “Why haven’t they called me back?!” “What is wrong with me?” “Why didn’t they like me?” Doubt can creep into the most confident minds at a time like this. You realize with a sad uncertainty that it just might not be a good fit, and you have to fight the urge to ask them why.

You distract yourself with friends, family and hobbies, but The Thoughts always seem to find a way to sneak itself back into your mind.

And then you get a message that changes everything.

When you get that phone call to confirm a job offer or the “I had such a good time with you the other night. When can I see you again?” it’s like nothing else matters. You are so overjoyed with happiness, you can’t stop smiling. You realize that all the waiting was worth it, because it worked out.

You are terrified and excited at the same time and wonder if this is what love feels like. You are about to embark on this journey, about to commit to someone or something for the foreseeable future, and you couldn’t be more ecstatic.

You’ll have so many firsts together.

First day. First kiss. First office party. First anniversary celebration. First time meeting the CEO. First time meeting their parents. My tip to you: document it all.

There will be a few bumps in the road.

As with any relationship, whether professional or casual, there will be small obstacles to overcome. There will be arguments about petty things. Negotiation about salary. Finding out something you don’t like about him. Realizing your office is in the back with the worst chair in the office. Discussing holiday and birthday plans. Calling sick into work. Getting embarrassed over a story you told.

You will have to meet the higher-ups, and it will be scary.

Meeting the boss or your boyfriend’s parents is a terrifyingly exciting experience. You want to impress them. Let them know the job will be taken care of with the utmost responsibility. Let them know their son is in good hands. You’ve got this!

You’re so excited, you want to scream it to the world.

When is the appropriate time to post a status or picture of your new office or boyfriend? You want the world to know how happy and #blessed you are! All your hard work has paid off. All those heartbreaks and past relationships and short-term flings weren’t for nothing, because they brought you to where you are now.

For those of you looking for your dream job (or man), I know they’re out there. Keep on applying, going on dates, meeting with recruiters and connecting with friends. Go out there and get your dream job! Who knows, maybe your future husband will be employed there too!