Looking for a job is a full-time job. Unfortunately, the dating process is it's evil twin.
You lost something that once had an extremely meaningful purpose in your life
Whether you were forced to move on because you were let go, or maybe the company shut down, you experienced common behaviors and emotions similar to a breakup with a lover. In hopes of taking your mind off things you hang out with friends but feel alone and self-conscious for being a loser (okay more like feeling like one). For a while, you isolate yourself with the comfort of sleeping in, junk food and overdosing on Netflix. Then finally when you have wallowed in your sorrow for long enough, you force yourself to conquer all of the resentment, anger, disappointment, lack of appreciation, and mourning that the loss made you feel so that you can pick yourself up and begin the next step; the tedious job replacement process. You can't stay unemployed forever, just like you can't stay single forever! Okay truthfully you can but both make it really hard to get laid!
You begin to rebuild
To land a decent job or date in 2017 it's mandatory you get extremely comfortable surfing, swiping, talking to strangers and becoming photogenic overnight. The path to a new career requires a resume update on LinkedIn just like the pursuit of a mate requires a profile update on Match.com. The search engines and applications just to find a decent match, can leave you extremely exhausted. Not to mention the countless hours you spend attending networking and social events in hope of meeting some power players. You even attend a few career fairs, and seminars for helpful industry tricks and tips. For your love life, you attend, a singles mingle happy hours and speed dating events.
People close to you offer to hook you up with their single cousin at the next get together and like an unsolicited job referral, you reluctantly accept.
You start to attract prospects
The interest an organization expresses in learning more about you resembles the same feeling of hope a potential significant other can evoke. Your tenacity on making connections begins to pay off and you have some headhunters emailing you and setting up interviews. In dating land this would be texts, initial phone calls and time spent getting to know one another.
You hope you aren't wasting your time getting to know some of these dating prospects, similar to prepping for a job interview. It's daunting because you're researching multiple companies that you know you aren’t going to end up with but you need the practice getting back out there so you go anyway. You tell yourself “you never know what could happen” and your confidence starts to come back after you do better than you thought.
The time and maintenance of getting dressed is nerve-racking.Then wondering if they liked you; replaying the conversation over in your head, questioning what you could have said differently to impress them. Wondering if you smelled great and hoping for that callback for another chance You check your armpits again and remind yourself to pick up a new deodorant from Target before the next interview/date.
You finally find a great fit
This time around you promise not to compromise what’s important to you. You want to avoid repeating mistakes with the next company the same way you would proceed cautiously going into a new relationship. You refuse to be undervalued, overlooked, disrespected or easily dismissed like the last time. You lay out your non-negotiables hoping that they will meet your demands but in the back of your head, you know you will compromise something because you have convinced yourself you need them. The process of finding them has been so tedious that it’s refreshing to be wanted again. The relief of being able to stop looking and taking yourself off the market sounds great. You searched for months for this security and benefits package. Although they fall short of a few things, they provide 80% of what you’re looking for so you compromise the 20% and you jump all in.
You have completely moved on
Previous experiences lose relevance on your resume, just like previous ex's become distant memories. You can't afford to waste another minute wondering if your past company or lover still wants you. You start waking up with purpose again.
Sure you may still be recruited by outside prospects but you remind yourself that you made the right choice. You worked hard to be recognized as an asset and you’re more mindful of being a team player. You attempt to work smarter and not harder. You’re strategic in your approach and dedicate yourself to projects that will make your skill set and relationships stronger. You wonder for a quick second if it’s too good to be true and dread the thought of having to start over again. Then that little voice says "I did it once and I can do it again if happiness requires it of me."