Is It Just Me, Or Is Job Hunting Basically The Same Thing As Online Dating?

I really, really like living through my single friends and their dating adventures. Because I have never followed normal conventions when it comes to relationships and dating, of course I’ve found myself in a very serious relationship at 23. Don’t get me wrong, I’m really happy, and if it weren’t so eye-roll worthy, I would gush about my boyfriend a lot more — but there’s just something really intriguing about dating in your early twenties, especially when OKCupid is involved.

Oh, but there’s good news! Apparently I don’t have to experience online dating strictly vicariously: because I am hunting for a job, and it is basically the same thing.

How? Oh, let me count the ways…

1. You check out “hot” companies on Twitter, Linkedin, their company websites and message them with your interest. 90% of these hotties don’t email you back because they probably decided to ditch the online game and start “dating” a mutual friend. Ugh. But you keep trying, sending friendly messages, trying not to sound too desperate. Trying.

2. You also check out up-and-coming start-ups with big dreams and flexible schedules. You hear back from about half of them, and many of them expect your dates (aka work) to go dutch (aka unpaid internship/work experience). But you’ve been doing that for like three years and you feel it’s about time you started getting wined and dined for real. Next.

3. The ones that do have actual jobs to offer get back to you, but after your first date (aka an interview), they tell you that you’re overqualified and that they “don’t have any positions that suit your particular skill-set.” (Or that’s the way you read their email, anyway…) You also suspect you were too aggressively academic and overeager about working for them, but you forge on.

4. You are constantly second-guessing which aspects of yourself to highlight (and which aspects to downplay until you’re at the eating-pizza-together-on-the-couch stage). The introspective side that keeps a personal blog and writes about the similarities between online dating and job hunting in the twenty-first century? The all-business side that has an okay-ish GPA and has done ungodly amounts of super-academic research? The down-home side that has risen above adversity? The compassionate side that cares about more than just the bottom line? How can I be a passive job seeker when I really, really want a job?? Who are you looking for??

5. When you get the dreaded email that features the word “unfortunately,” you fail to respond rationally, and instead take their polite “no” as a soul-crushing revelation that you aren’t meant for this industry, that you should’ve played it cooler and that you’re never going to be able to get a job before your loan grace period ends. Instead of realizing that literally millions of other people are receiving the same type of rejection as they too try to find a good “match,” you let it make you question everything about yourself.

Hopefully we’ll all find our professional and personal Prince Charming soon. Am I right ladies/gents?

You can read more from Kelsie Baher on her blog.

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