Friday, November 14, 2014

Dating and Applying for a New Job

I've found there are many similarities between looking for a job and dating. Some of the similarities are obvious: you're usually trying to balance candidates that you have differing levels of interest in.

The sacrifices you're willing to make depend on your expectations.

You try and find out as much about them as possible before you commit.

You get told by the ones who don't stick with you that you're great, but you're just not right for them right now. Really, it's not you, it's them...

Both experiences are not good for your telomeres.

Both are costly - trips, phone calls...

The ones that are mainly online are usually not a good way to go.

Where you live changes your options drastically. If there aren't interesting jobs, you're not likely to find interesting people.

It's all about reciprocation - you wonder what they can/will do for you. And vice versa.

The older you get the more the priorities change.

You aren't attracted to the same things anymore. Sure, when you were younger a big open "work and play" "innovation space" was so free and refreshing compared to a cubicle. Now you don't care if it's small and boxy - you're looking at the 401k.

As time goes on you stay in more.

After a certain amount of time together you learn some hard truths and unexpected information comes to light. More than anything, how you deal with that will likely determine if you stick around.

If you stick with one for your whole life people are kinda impressed, but also kinda depressed. Anniversaries get more bittersweet as the number rises. I mean, you aren't going to remain together forever...One of you has to go first. Which do you think it will be? And how can you go on without them, if they are all you've ever known? You start suspecting they'll get on with you easier than you without them...

When you leave you're briefly freaked out by being on your own. And also liberated.

The idea of looking (again) is more dreary the older you get. Why are you still looking? Aren't you good enough for anyone? Are you lacking some unknown qualifications?

Of course you are! That's why they let you go. You weren't enough for them anymore.

Oh, sure, they said it was them, they said they had to do it to you - not lead you on, They weren't in the right place for you to be a part of their life. The weren't able to commit. That's what they said.

If you've been with them a while and leave them, they will likely be bitter and hold a grudge. With luck they won't badmouth you to others. Worse, though, by far: if they're glad to see you go.

But you know what? You don't need them! Think of all the free time you'll have now they're out of your life. You're going to finally do what you wanted to all those nights you wasted with them... You're going to experiment with ideas you've wanted to put into practice. Look around, make a careful choice this time - someone who'll appreciate you for who you are, and not what they can just get from you.

A lot of your options look sleek and too-good-to-be-true. They are. Bastards.

You're going to talk about what you've been interested in doing - in public - and not worry about what they would think. You actively check out new options and feel no guilt doing so, like you did when you were with them.

But for all the bravado and celebration... they did provided some needed security. And, if you're honest, comfort. There's so many of them out there. How do other people even choose? And why does everyone else seem to be settled while you're not?

And the advice - the inane, babbling advice - is the same in both. "Reach out to those you admire." "Sell yourself." "Stay positive." "It's all about who you know." "The first date/interview is not to show off you are ready to get married/become a partner." And so on...

Sometimes the people giving you the advice make you want to do exactly the opposite of what they tell you.

And why are so many of the happliy paired people around you so god damned cheerful all the time and can't seem to wait to spend more time...

Forget it. Deep breaths. You'll find 'the right fit'. 'The one'. The one and only that will make you happy for the rest of your days.

Unless you don't.

And that - terrifying - reality is what makes both so damned stressful. And the longer you are without, the greater the pressures are to find one, and fast (which everyone tells you what you shouldn't do is jump right in with the first one that seems interested). You simply can't go on without one, though. Not for too long, at least...

So, you know. Good luck out there and all that. And if you don't find what you're looking for now, don't fret. Give it time.

After all, eventually you'll be too old for anyone to want you.

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