Friday, November 1, 2013

How Online Dating Skills Can Improve Your Job Search

...and interesting article from on the parallels of online dating and searching for a job.

Ladies and Gentlemen: you’ll be pleased to discover that those hours of your life you’ve wasted on OKCupid, e-Harmony and may come in handy – your online dating skills can help you improve your job search. How?
Finding the perfect company is a little bit like online dating… minus the fake names and creepy messages, of course. It can be overwhelming at first. There are thousands of potential matches out there, many of which you would probably enjoy – however, there’s a major difference between Mr. Right and the dude you let take you out to dinner because you’re flat broke, desperate, and sick of eating ramen noodles with your cat.
If there’s one thing more important than finding a job you love, it’s finding a company that you love. A job might make you happy in the short term, but being with a company that shares your personality, values and ideals will offer you opportunities that can keep you happy in the long term. Ready to improve your job search?
Like online dating, you have to narrow down the pool. Why? Because you want to:
A) Ensure that you don’t waste your time
B) Find a company in which you will flourish
Your first step in the hunt for your ideal company should be similar to how you’d proceed on an online dating site. Spend some time getting to the bottom of who you are. What’s your personality? Who are you and what’s important to you?
IMPORTANT: absolute honesty is key here. If you’re not upfront with yourself about your personality, you won’t be able to narrow your search effectively. For example, maybe you’d feel warm and fuzzy if you went to work for a non-profit that encourages volunteerism – but if you don’t give a flip about volunteering, it’s not going to be a good fit (and let’s face it – you’ll seem like a total Bozo every time your team gets excited about a trip to the soup kitchen while you roll your eyes and go back to your spreadsheets.)
So ask yourself – who are you?
Are you an introvert? If so, you should probably mark off the companies that put a big emphasis on teamwork. Are you an extrovert that needs constant action? If yes, then you’ve just marked through a big chunk of employers in the government sector.
Also, consider what is important to you.
What about your personal values? Do you value time off more than money? Making that distinction will definitely narrow down your choices. What about things like religion or politics? Could you work for a company that politically supports an idea that you’re in strong opposition to?
You should even consider your hobbies and recreational pursuits.
Do you absolutely love the arts? Sports? Accounting? (Seriously. Some people do.) Maybe a company in one of those industries would be a perfect match. Or maybe not – you might be the type who wants to keep work and play separate. It’s just as important to know what will make you happy – and what will make you miserable. 
Once you’ve made a list of all the things that define your personality, spend some time searching for a company that fits that profile. Narrowing companies down based on your personality type will not only make your job search faster and more relevant, but you’ll be a much more attractive candidate when you do land that first date…er… interview.
No fake names required, of course.

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