Dating and Job Hunting – Striking Similarities

Ahh…the challenges of searching for a job. The expenditure of time, energy, and effort in presenting yourself in the best possible light. Coupled with anxiety and frustration, the search can be nerve-racking. If I were talking about dating I could say the same thing. In fact, they are the same thing.

To be successful in your dating endeavors it requires the same persistence as your job search, and vice versa. Aggressiveness will benefit you in both pursuits; however, it would behoove you to seriously think about what your ideal job, or mate, should be like.

It all starts with what you valued; the qualities, characteristics, and personality type that best complements your own. People are generally attracted to those who are similar in terms of education, intelligence, religion, and financial status. In other words, “like attracts like” to create what’s called “positive assortive mating” and “fitness matching,” says Helen Fisher, Ph.D., anthropologist and author of Why We Love.

The same dynamic applies to the workplace; thus the reason why most hiring decisions are based upon the likelihood of you “fitting in” (i.e. being able to assimilate into the company’s culture).

After working in a myriad of industries I can positively affirm that this is true. The similarities are not only in attitude, disposition, and personality, they are also physical. There are exceptions (as I often was), but generally, a company’s employees are cut from the same mold.

So are the people that we tend to date. Similarity is the cornerstone of acceptance in both the workplace, and the dating world. Helen Fisher explains why: “The reason it’s important is pretty obvious: When people don’t see eye-to-eye on many levels, they just simply don’t ‘get’ each other, and that can be tough for any couple to overcome.”

The same can be said of an employee who is not comfortable with his boss or co-workers. Differences in attitude and opinion are at the root of personality conflicts – which are the number one cause of strife and dismissal in the workplace.

It’s difficult to get a true sampling of a company’s culture, but if you ask the right open-ended questions during your interview you can get a clearer picture of what they are looking for and how well you fit in. My favorite interview question is “could you describe the personality type of the person you feel would best fit this position?” If that description matches your own, you have a match.

While your search for the right job or the perfect mate my seem interminable, your perseverance will pay off – if you don’t allow desperation to derail you. When short-term desperation influences your choices, your long-term happiness gets compromised.

The anguish you experience in both your dating and job search pursuits will can be greatly influenced by adjusting your attitude and approaching both as adventures. As long as you know where you want to end up, and who you want to end up with, the process of getting there can be both educational and fun.

Gian Fiero is an educator, speaker and consultant who specializes in business development, career planning, and personal growth issues.

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