Let's face it... landing your dream job is not easy. A lot of effort, thought, hard work, charisma and a little bit of luck must be included in the equation for most of us to find the exact employment situation we desire. As a former National Director of Human Resources who has interviewed hundreds of eager candidates and someone in a successful marriage for the last decade, I know a little about both what it takes to land the position of a lifetime and what it takes to land the relationship of a lifetime.
You may be asking, "How can finding a job be related to dating?" It's simple: The same set of skills required to land that dream job are often the same skills needed to land your dream relationship. Yes, there is a way to position yourself to have the best possible shot at finding the man or woman of your dreams, and I want to share it with you.
1. Define What You Want - During the interviewing process, I would occasionally meet a candidate who applied for a specific job with no clue of what the actual day-to-day duties would be. Often, when they found out the job requirements, they were no longer interested in that actual job. Essentially, the person wasted both my time and theirs. Clearly, if this person had first taken the time to research the position and defined what he/she desired, they would have a much greater likelihood of finding suitable employment. Dating is no different. You must know what you want in order to get what you want and to avoid wasting your own precious time. This means having a clear picture of what a successful relationship looks like for you. Take the time to think about what you are looking for in a partner. Get as detailed and specific as possible. When you know what you are looking for, finding the "right one" becomes much more likely.
2. It Takes Effort! - Most people who are happy in both their job and profession will attest to the fact that getting there required a lot of work. Typically, it takes completing some type of education or skill training, gaining experience by serving in a lower position for a period of time, and the effort of actually going through the application and interviewing processes. Most of these steps are not easy.
Dating should be no different. Obtaining the relationship of our dreams requires effort! Please don't misunderstand this point. I do NOT endorse dishonesty in the pursuit of a relationship. I do, however, believe that intentionally putting effort into the pursuit of a relationship typically yields positive results. When we take the time to show-up for dates, take a chance on asking people out, and place effort into listening and comparing what we hear with the vision of what we want, we have a much greater chance of eventually finding a fulfilling relationship.
3. Be Prepared to Play the Numbers Game - Most people understand that finding their dream job must include playing the numbers game. This is why when looking for employment, most of us will apply for more than one job. We will continue accepting interviews, even after our first one. We are willing to gamble to find the best gig we can get. Dating should be no different.
In order to land that fulfilling relationship for which we are searching, we must be willing to try and try again. Most of us will NOT land our dream relationship with the first person we date. As we continue dating, however, we often find that we get closer and closer to the mark for which we are searching.
The concept of playing the numbers game should also be applied to asking someone out on a date. The more people a person asks, the higher their probability of getting to "Yes!"
4. Expect & Accept Rejection, and Then Turn It Into Opportunity - Throughout my career, I have turned down countless more people than I have hired. Even if I only interviewed three people for each open position, it means that 66.7% of the people I interviewed were rejected (this often was closer to 90% in reality). Going back to the concept of Playing the Numbers Game, the reason the numbers game is necessary is because typically rejection is encountered during the pursuit of success.
My husband often claims that for every 10 girls he asked out, only 2-3 would say yes. When I asked him about how this made him feel, he told me that because it was the expectation and he was focused on the prize at the end of the task, he never took it personally. Understanding that the probability of encountering someone who is not a match for you is higher than the probability of encountering someone who is a great match for you can make it much easier to deal with the rejection experienced throughout the process.
Rejection provides us with opporutnity. Don't roll your eyes just yet... When someone applies for ten jobs and does not receive a call back, it stings. Typically, however, the individual who has failed to land an interview will take the time to reflect on what he/she is doing wrong. Is it my resume? Am I not interviewing well? Am I applying for jobs for which I am not qualified? Answering these questions provides the opportunity for refinement. Changes are made to ensure a better outcome, often leading to the overall betterment of the individual who was rejected.
Rejection received throughout the dating process also provides the opportunity for introspection and growth. Am I coming on too strongly? Am I too clingy? Am I choosing the wrong type of individual to date? The realizations that result from this introspection can help form a person into someone much better equipped for finding and keeping the relationship for which he/she is truly searching.
5. Know Your Worth - At some point during the interview process, the question of salary would always rear its head. The answer the candidate gave would always give me a clear indication that they fell into one of a three different categories:
... First, my personal favorite, the person who underestimates his/her worth. I loved these candidates because they gave me the ability to be a hero. I could hire them for less than what I would pay anyone else with their particular skill set to do the same job, making their manager and my company very happy with the outcome.You do not want to emerge as the person who undervalues themselves on dating scene. It will result in settling for a person who invests less in the relationship than what you deserve.
... Occasionally when trying to fill a position, I would encounter the person who overestimate his/her worth based on their experience and skill set. I would NEVER hire these individuals, regardless of their qualifications. The reason why did not only relate to money, it also stemmed from an innate understanding that the organization would never be able to make and keep this individual happy. Being the person who overestimates their worth on the dating scene leads to a lack of dates and shorter relationships because most people realize that they will have to invest far too much to keep you satisfied.
... Most candidates I interviewed fell into this last category: The person who has no concept of his/her value. When the question of salary would arise, these candidates would freeze like a deer in headlights before answering with something like: "I don't know... Whatever the position pays. I can be flexible." The person with no concept of their value comes across as lacking confidence. Hence, I always offered them less than a candidate with confidence would receive. This is no different on the dating scene. If you leave it to someone else to define your worth, you will always be left with less than you desire, and often less than you deserve.
Fortunately for me, I DID land the relationship of my dreams, but the path to it was not perfect. Before finding my current spouse, I married and divorced. Although it was painful, the whole process helped me to identify what I wanted. It made me certain of what I absolutely did NOT want, which led to the realization of what I DID want. It helped me learn that not every attempt at a relationship would result in success, and how to turn the realizations from my failure into opportunities to form a better relationship in the future. Finally, it taught me a lot about my value, because I understood that I was worth immensely more than what I settled on the first time around (a man who constantly cheated on me and was unwilling to contribute emotionally, physically, or financially). When I started treating dating in a similar way to finding a great job, I ended up with the relationship I had always hoped I would find. I have now been married to my best friend for the last decade. We have two beautiful children together and are still immensely attracted to one another.