Is it possible that job searching is worse than online dating?

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online datingFirst off: I have to say that the stock art that I have selected for today’s post is awesome. I don’t know the context behind its genesis but all I can say is “wow” and “bravo.”

So small update on the job search front: for one company that told me that they were gathering feedback and would let me know about the jobs I interviewed for, I feel like they are making offers to two other people which is why the delay is so long. Which is fine. I can give my opinions on that job after they give me the official “no.” I should also know the status of my candidacy on another position hopefully by the end of this week. Supposedly it came down to two strong candidates, so I’m going to guess that if I don’t hear soon, they are going with the other guy. I’ve found myself in this position before– sometimes it is the worst knowing you were so close and yet so far.

I also did get a job offer yesterday. It is bittersweet because I will need to turn it down. I don’t want to give away too many details but my sense is that they are searching for a much more junior team member to add to the team. I want to respectfully decline to give them the opportunity to find that person.

Today’s post isn’t fully thought out but I recently thought about how job searching is like dating and how, in my recent experience, it’s worse than online dating. So in online dating, you see a person’s profile– their pictures, their self-written assessment of their quirks and preferences, and their definition of what they are looking for. Typically they have read your profile and you meet up because you both sense that there is some level of similarity in your backgrounds and expectations.

Now, I’ve gone on some bad dates. I think most of us have. The number one culprit seems to be, a majority of the time, deceptive photos. I talked to a guy once and asked him the worst part about online dating as a guy. He said that females’ photos tend to be very selectively curated and that in person, most girls are noticeably fatter. In my experience, the guys tend to be really boring. At any rate, in most cases, what you thought you saw is not what you actually get.

Now imagine a scenario where a not very fit, not very attractive, not very accomplished man relays his ideal date: 5’9, 110 lbs, beautiful, smart, accomplished female who makes a ton of money, loves sports, cooks the most delicious foods for her boyfriend and is always ready and willing for sex. So this is like interviewing for some of the startups that I have seen. The company is eh. The office is blah. The revenue potential is ew. But they are looking for a superstar to do pretty much everything. Oh yeah, and the pay is lower than industry standard. BUT you get equity. Which means nothing in a land where a majority of startups don’t make it out the gates.

So here’s another example: I have this running joke with a high school friend. She always says that she would love to date a white guy, but that the guy has to be a good dancer. To which I reply, sure, that guy exists. He’s gay. But he exists. But these weird pairings exist in the job market too. I went to a job interview for a B2B product, an updated product for a pretty old and boring industry. The hiring manager said that in addition to having all these skills, the ideal candidate also needed to have a design background. He said that he knows that that’s a tall order but that they absolutely want to find that one perfect person. That person doesn’t exist. Or maybe they do but that company advertised for the perfect individual for well over 6 months. I personally suspect that they didn’t actually find that person but settled on someone after the lengthy search. Also the company was eh so if that person existed, I don’t see why they would have wanted to join this particular organization anyway. Also, very often people indicate that the perfect person for a role would be an engineer who is a GREAT writer and communicator. Has anyone every gotten an email from an engineer? It is full of clipped phrases, tech jargon, and run on sentences. Good luck with that.

The worst is when you talk to a recruiter or a hiring manager and they have a list of things they are looking for (a list, mind you, that they didn’t bother putting in the job description that they posted online). And one by one they ask you, “Can you do this….? Have you ever done this…? Do you have this critical skill…?” And you want to pull your hair out b/c 1) if you would have known in advance that these were deal breakers, and because you don’t have any of those skills, you wouldn’t have applied for the job. And 2) if these were deal breakers all along, they should have been posted in the job instead of being sprung on you during conversation. Or they should have looked for something implying that skill on your resume b/c had you done that very impressive thing in a previous job, YOU WOULD HAVE PUT IT ON YOUR RESUME. It’s like going on a date with a Jewish guy who tells you, “Oh yeah, I only date Jewish girls.” And you’re sitting there, all 100% Asian you, thinking, “Ok, you are a moron.”

So yeah, it is very possible that job searching is even WORSE than the already terrible process of online dating.

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