Dating isn’t all that different from job searching: there’s the first impression, the awkward first date, the assessment of one another’s character, and the excitement and uncertainty.
Over the years, I’ve established my own set of dating rules, and as it turns out, they have a dual purpose. These guidelines have helped me along my way to a meaningful career, and perhaps, they can help you, too.
But first a fair warning: we can obviously be quite choosy about who we date, but that isn’t always the case with where we work due to our need for financial stability.
Take this into consideration when you read these rules. Sometimes, it’s worth compromising a rule or two if it grants you financial independence and moves you in the direction of your goals!
1. Be yourself
If you show up to a date and pretend to be someone you’re not, you’ll never know if you and your date are actually compatible. The same goes for a job interview. How will you know if you and your potential employer are a fit if you aren’t honest about who you are?
Falsehoods serve neither party and aren’t sustainable. Do yourself a favor and be true to yourself through each stage of the job hunt. After all, that’s how you attract the right fit!
2. Make decisions from your core values
Do you and your employer share the same vision? Do you support the company’s culture? Answering questions like these can help you uncover your core values. Whether you’re searching for a mate or a job, the decisions you make based on your values will never fail to lead you in the right direction. Trust yourself.
3. Wait to jump into bed
There will undeniably be pressure (both from your date and society) to move quicker in the bedroom than you probably should. The same goes for accepting a job offer. You will likely feel rushed to make a decision on the spot, but it’s okay to slow down for a minute and really think it over. Are you ready? Is this what you really want? Decisions made slowly and thoughtfully are often better in the long run.
4. Respect yourself first
As the old adage goes, you have to love yourself before you can love another. In a career context, respecting yourself means acting in alignment with your values, living up to your standards, sticking up for yourself as needed, and knowing (and protecting) your self-worth. When you respect yourself, others will too.
5. Maintain balance
By tending to all areas of your life and balancing where you place your energy, you stay centered. This is the best place from which to seek and start a relationship, as well as a new job. If you put all your eggs in one basket, you’re bound to be let down. And that rings true even after you’ve landed the job. No one area of your life is meant to be the single source of meaning and joy. In other words, a contented life takes a balance of work and play.
6. Know your deal breakers and act accordingly
Based on your past experiences, take the time to determine the characteristics you cannot tolerate. For example if you cannot tolerate deliberate harm to the environment, and you discover a company you’ve applied to work for not only doesn’t recycle, but has a pollution track record, don’t just walk, RUN the other direction! Do your research and take note of the red flags. Settling won’t serve either party.
7. Believe in abundance
There are lots of fish in the sea! I know it doesn’t always feel like the economy is getting better, however, slowly but surely, it is! There are many companies seeking wonderful employees like you. Believe that and write it on your bathroom mirror if you have to because the positive attitude of abundance opens new doors.
8. Stop over-thinking it
We all do it from time to time. I am especially guilty of this! But try your hardest not to think too long or too hard about a new relationship or a new job. Give both time to grow and eventually, the right course of action will become clear. Relax a little – it will all make sense eventually!
9. Follow your dreams
You must follow your dreams. Period. It doesn’t matter who you date, or who you don’t, you won’t be a whole and happy person if you aren’t pursuing your life passions. Obviously, the same goes for your career. Keep taking baby steps toward that dream job and don’t give up if it takes longer than you had hoped. Most good things are worth waiting for.
Good communication is the foundation for successful personal and professional relationships. Strive for honest, open and respectful dialogue. If you invest time and energy into honing your communication skills, you’ll see all areas of your life benefit.