I like to compare a job search to dating because it takes time to get to know someone and determine if they are who you are looking for in a relationship.
Dating is a process. It takes time to find your mate who is perfect for you.
And just like dating, creating that next advancement opportunity takes time.
Here are my “Ten Reasons Why That Next Advancement Opportunity is Like Dating.”
- Know What You Like and What You Don’t Like
Be very clear about what kind of work you like to do and what you don’t. This will help you get very specific in your job search. Think about what kind of opportunity you want to create. Are you looking to make a big leap or just looking to make a lateral move at this point in your career?
It’s okay to know what companies you want to work for based on climate, geography, work travel, etc. For you to “show up” fully in this relationship, you have to know what you want. Otherwise, you won’t be “all in.”
- Know Where You Want to Work and How Far You Are Willing to Commute
Be very clear on how far you are willing to travel for that amazing and incredible job opportunity. Sometimes job opportunities are geographically undesirable. My husband and I dated long distance for two years. One of us traveled to see the other practically every weekend. We did that because it was worth it to us and to our relationship to see where it would go. If you are going to go the distance, make sure it’s worth your time, effort, energy, and investment.
- Know What Values You Are Looking for in a New Position
We are attracted to companies and jobs that align and complement our core values. If you can’t align your core values to a company’s mission and values, it’s not a fit. It’s important to know and communicate what the values are so you can make an informed decision as to whether or not you are interested in this new company.
One particular value is connection. I see the value of connecting being exceptionally high in younger professionals. It’s essential for them to connect with their work, the people on their team, their leadership, and the company. If they don’t feel a connection or sense that the relationship is not as important to their company/boss/leader as it is to them, they are more inclined to walk and go somewhere else.
- Know What the Income Bracket Is
Money isn’t everything, but it does help us maintain a certain quality of life. Know the role money plays in your life and find the position that best complements it. When interviewing, if you can’t confidently and competently talk about money, you aren’t showing up at your best. Yes, talking about money can be uncomfortable. The company is going to pay you what they think you are worth. The best place for you to negotiate salary is at the point of hire. State your worth. Ask for what you are worth and see if it aligns with the company’s expectations. If it’s a match and you both agree it’s a good fit, you will work out the salary conversation just fine.
- Look for Ways You Are Interested, and They Are Interested
When you and a potential organization are interested, you will know it. Find those subtle, and not so subtle, clues that let you know there is mutual interest in pursuing the relationship further.
- Know How You Want to Communicate
Make sure that all of your verbal and non-verbal communication reflects your best intentions. Just like in dating, people pick up on signals. Be careful of your posture and the language you use. There is no place for inappropriate language. Keep your jokes appropriate and in good taste.
- Look Good
Have you seen that commercial where the guy goes on a date and the woman comments that he looks very “comfortable” because his V-neck t-shirt has lost its shape? First impressions count. So, when you get that first opportunity to meet your potential employer, make sure you look professional.
- Act Competently and Confidently
I’ve never known someone whose “cockiness” helped them gain a new position. Being knowledgeable about your abilities, and how you can best leverage them, is what most employers look for in a new team member. Remember, you are being considered for the position because the company has a “need” and they are looking for you to fill it.
- Know What You Are Worth
Your proven ability to do a job well is what makes you highly marketable in the workplace. Know how your skills translate to other organizations and where you can best satisfy a need. Here is an excellent opportunity to be confident about what you bring to this relationship.
- Be Challenged and Look for the Growth
Relationships move us to do great things. Create that next advancement opportunity that is going to motivate you, challenge you to grow, and continually help you be your best as you show up professionally and energetically. Don’t let the relationship get stale. Look for those opportunities that allow you to stretch, pursue a passion project, and make the impact you know you can make.
Once you accept that new position, you are naturally going to be excited about it. That excitement leads you to say, “I get to go to work” because of what is waiting there for you. Just like being in a great relationship, there is an excitement and an opportunity to do great things together.
Here’s to us saying, “I get to go to work!”.