As a Career Matchmaker I get many single professionals asking me if I can also introduce them to the right love match. There are many similarities with dating for long term relationship and dating for a career match. Although flattered they have that much confidence in me to inquire about making a love connection, I respectfully decline. Romance is not as predictable as employment and you know the sayings on fury and scorned lovers.
According to Associated General Contractors of America, the industry has more than 733,000 employers in the US with over 7 million people employed in the industry. Close to a million of those people work in management, administrative, and accounting roles. There are over 7 million employed in the industry and way more than 7 million in our single and dating pool in America, yet the perception people have with both job hunting and love hunting are there are few choices. The acuity of few choices will hold true if you have unrealistic expectations that few or none may be able to live up to; employer or mate.
Money, Money, Money
If you accept or expect wages that are higher than the return on investment an employer gets from you, or if you have an asking price that keeps getting turned down, you may spend more time unemployed than others with equal credentials to yours. It is the same when dating. Your expectations when it comes to financial support being more important than a mutually vested overall relationship will often come to an unexpected ending, and I am not referring to “until death do you part”.
Author V.J Lao says; “Time well spent is an investment of the present for a practical and abundant future.”
Investing the time to get to know the people and company you are considering employing with is much like dating before you take a personal relationship to the next level. Spending time with your future employer and co-workers, other than around a conference table, allows you to see them in action on the job. We recommend shadowing, visiting jobsites and going out for a meal together to see how the people you will be committing to interact with others. I know a lot of people that are ecstatic about a first date, only to find out after spending more time together the chemistry is missing. Cultural fit is 80% of a match for a long-term employment match, just as chemistry is a large factor for a lasting love connection.
The only stupid question is the one not asked. This is fact when interviewing and with dating. If it wasn’t important to you, you probably would not even think about asking it. Don’t be shy, although choose your delivery and timing. You hopefully would not ask how many children they want to have on a first date as it is irrelevant unless you know they want to marry you. Likewise, you would not ask when you get a promotion on your first interview since they have not even made you a formal offer. Information is confirmation. Assumptions lead to false expectations. If you can’t get a straight answer from your future boss or co-worker before you accept the job with them, how will you get the answers you need in the future to do your job or reach your career goals. Effective communication is key to building healthy relationships that last.
Jobs Become Available Within Organizations For A Myriad Of Reasons
New position created, position changed, lay-off, resignation and death to name the most common. The reasons mentioned all equate to an end in a working relationship, just like people reenter the dating world due to life’s circumstances and events, planned or unplanned. Whether you are choosing to make the change or forced to make the change, be realistic about what you can do, what you will do and discuss clear expectations. Long-term relationships start and end well with clear expectations from both sides. When healthy relationships end, they often lead to healthy new beginnings elsewhere because everyone recognizes circumstances were the cause and not unjust behavior. Like your body and car require check-ups along the way for good health, so do your relationships at work and home to confirm expectations are being met. So often in both dating and careers people are willing to settle. They brush things off thinking it is less painful to ignore in the present than addressing for clarity, only to find the pain of separation way worse.
Make time to date and evaluate and yes, you need to initiate. That’s the first step to finding mutual relationships that last.
Happy Valentine Month,
Great article Suzanne! Well put!