January 11, 2021.
Choosing a company is like choosing a partner. You need to know what you are looking for to select wisely. Today, I was just thinking about how many similarities there are between job search and dating.
Here are some thoughts.
That is the most important thing. As there are no perfect matches made in heaven in romantic relationships, there are no perfect matches in employment. However, if you find the right partner (company) and you can see that they are willing to put in work to forge something truly long-lasting and unique, you might want to consider doing the same. It is worth going an extra mile for someone who makes you feel special.
In relationships, we are looking for a psychological match, for alignment in tastes, values, and life aspirations. In job-hunting, we are looking for the following:
· Learning and Growth opportunities
· Opportunities for Career advancements
· Relatedness factor (Good people to work with and for)
· Autonomy factor (Being trusted to do our job independently)
· Challenge & Competence — our ability to work at the level of peak performance (knowledge and skills)
· Recognition & Appreciation
· Sense of Fulfillment
It doesn’t mean that you have to go into great detail considering all those factors while job hunting, but a rough idea of what you are looking for will set you in the right direction.
The term of the relationship.
Are you looking for a life-partner or a causal relationship to get some more experience?
Some people are looking for 1-night stands (projects, contract jobs) and there is nothing wrong with it. Sometimes we need to taste things before we understand what do we want in life and if we want to commit.
Other people are looking for something long-term. They value stability and trust. They want to be reliable and to have someone to rely on. And there is nothing wrong with that too, if you are smart you can be happy in marriage and any kind of long-term arrangements. As long as both parties are satisfied, all kinds of relationship dynamics work.
Zig Ziglar once said:
“If people like you, they will listen to you. If they trust you, they will want to do business with you.”
The question that many ask themselves remains the same — How can I effectively build trust?
It turns out the answer is rather simple.
There are 2 elements of trust-building:
First, likeability. If you want to be likable, you just have to be warm. We like people who are kind and compassionate, those who listen actively and show us that they are genuinely interested in what we have to say. Then, similarity. We like those who are like us, we tend to trust those who have something in common. Lastly, authenticity. We are naturally gravitating towards those individuals who possess this incredible magnetism that can only originate from the truth about who they are in which they are deeply grounded.
Competence. This one is simple. We like those who are professional, who know what they do, and who possess the work ethic and integrity. Look professional, speak like a professional, have impeccable manners, or show class, which is even better. Know your stuff, and be constantly deepening your professional expertise. Finally, deliver on your promises and claims. If you say you’ll do it, get it done. It is the people who have strong principles yet who are humble and coachable that find a lot of sympathy with strangers.
First impressions matter. Reputation matters even more. It takes years to build it, but 5 minutes to ruin it. I think Teddy Roosevelt said it.
You have to learn how to close.
In any interaction, each party has their personal interest in a particular outcome. You know how it is in relationships, people get together for all sorts of reasons — sex, power, promotion, creating a family, coming to an agreement, pursuing revenge, forgiveness, and even compassion. But whatever the unspoken deal is, there is a point in time when a closure must occur.
Job search is the same. You have to learn how to close, or as they say it in court, deliver your closing argument. Closing can be as simple as an answer to the question: “Why we should hire you?” But it also can be stretched to a lengthy several-step process. If you want to be more effective in building all sorts of relationships, you have to learn how to close.
You have to learn how to end it.
Have you ever stayed in a relationship that should have ended way earlier? If you have some experience in life, I am sure you have answered positively to this question.
With job hunting, it is all the same. Some companies create a routine that can suck you in, and you don’t notice how 10 years of your life have passed in a hamster wheel. The worst part is that many of us are often late to understand that 1 year of experience repeated 10 times is not the same as 10 years of experience, even if on paper they are called the same.
What we forget, in both dating and job hunting, that life is too short. Life is too short to spend it with small-minded people who limit your growth. Life is too short to work for companies that do not respect you. Life is too short to be shy, unconfident, always afraid to speak up for what you think is true.
Life is too short for not realizing your full potential. Or at least, you know, striving for it.
You have to be brave enough to give up something good to pursue something great. What are you willing to sacrifice to go and create a life that is truly yours?
How to deal with rejection.
Both in dating and in job hunting, the mental mechanism of dealing with rejection is the same.
You approach a girl on the street. You tell her she is cute. She is making a bitch face and walks away. If you were invested in the result before the approach, you feel bad. You can close your eyes, breathe in, breathe out, and move on. The longer you stay in the “bad”, the more time you are wasting instead of looking for a girl who would appreciate what you have to offer. But you know what? It is always a better idea to approach without investing. Act without expectations.
Use the same mindset in job hunting. Imagine that you are a hitchhiker who wants to get from point A to point B. You raise your hand on the road, and the car stops. You tell the driver where you are heading and he tells you: “Sorry buddy, I am going in a different direction.” Do you get mad at the driver? Do you resent him? No, of course not. The car goes its own way, you go yours. You close the door and you raise your hand again, waiting for the car that will take you where you need to be — your car.
A company is a vehicle, its sole purpose is to deliver you to a certain destination in life. Well, of course, this is valid only if you have a destination. But again, no one says you have to. Maybe you don’t much care where you are heading. Maybe you just want to have a good ride. And that’s ok. Life should be a good ride after all. There is nothing wrong with that approach too. As long as you remember, that the company is the vehicle that must serve you, and, not just capitalize on your service, you’ll be fine. You will be balanced, no matter what car will stop to your raised hand.
It is never too late to mend your broken heart.
Breakups suck. Even when we understand that pain is an inseparable part of maturing in life, this knowledge doesn’t help us when it hurts.
Same thing with companies. Life happens. We lose jobs, we get fired, we get laid off, oh and yes, even when we think that everything goes just fine God sends us a pandemic.
You can see it as a sign, a test, a challenge, a lesson. Whatever hardship you are going through right now is given to you for a reason, but it is only up to you to understand what that reason is. Your mind will be creating some interpretations of the current experience — they can be automatic, or they can be designed by you. Making yourself miserable, or making yourself strong. The choice is always yours.
Whenever there is pain, you are not experiencing suffering. You are suffering your experience.
What if you choose not to?
Think about it. And I will see you tomorrow.