Searching for both a new love and a new job? You must be exhausted. It can be rough to be in “sales mode” all the time. But don’t worry – you’re developing some transferable skills.
Having taught career management to over 2,000 MBAs and having gone on manyyyy dates in the LA area (before finding my perfect match😍), I knew how similar the two search processes could be…and drew plenty of parallels between them during the class I taught at UCLA Anderson. It’s also why I was asked to interview Tinder CEO Sean Rad (see above photo).
Here are seven major similarities between dating and recruiting:
Dating: It all starts with figuring out what you’re looking for. If you’re single, you figure out the traits you’re looking for in a romantic partner, including which attributes in another person bring out the best in you.
Recruiting: Same thing when choosing the career path that is right for you; it should let your best qualities shine.
- Spread the Word
Dating: You tell your friends what you are looking for in a mate, and they suggest acquaintances to set you up.
Recruiting: Similarly you will want to tell your friends, family, classmates and social network the type of internship or job you are looking for—particularly the industry and function—so that they can connect you with individuals who work in that field and with possible job opportunities.
- Expand Your Network
Dating: You start attending events where you know there will be lots of single people: bars, birthday parties and mixers.
Recruiting: For the job search, I recommend a similar strategy. Go to meetup and startup events in your area. Check out speakers at your school and networking events through professional clubs. You never know what conversation is going to
lead to your next job.
- Use Some Apps
Dating: You foray into online dating and create your profile. That’s the
dating equivalent of your resume and LinkedIn profile.
Recruiting: Your profile is super important –94 percent of recruiters use LinkedIn to
discover and vet candidates!
Dating: You start to swipe on Tinder, Bumble and the League.
Recruiting: In career terms, that’s you sending your outreach emails, and customizing your template to the recipient so that you get a response. You’d be amazed at how many people don’t take the few extra minutes to send a customized note.
Playing the Field
Dating: You go on a series of dates and you both pitch yourselves and determine the match. With each date, you get better, not just in your delivery, but in understanding what you are looking for in a significant other.
Recruiting: By the same token, you will conduct dozens of informationals and go on lots of interviews. You will get more comfortable and articulate as you go along. Plus, the experiences will help you solidify if an industry, function or company is right for you. Finding out something is NOT a match can be just as valuable and time saving as finding a
company and role that IS a match!
- It’s a Match!
Finally, you will find a mutual connection and someone you want to commit to, maybe just for a summer fling (similar to an internship) and perhaps for
longer than that. I know this was really about how to find the right
career…but a quick plug for finding the right life partner too: the person
you end up with will have a dramatic impact on your career, especially if
they’re supportive. And having another household income will allow both of
you to take more risks in your career choices.
I wish you luck in love and your job search. So go forth – start swiping and submitting. Overwhelmed? You’re on your own for dating, but I can definitely help with the career search. Just swipe right on NextStep Careers 😉