Dating and interviewing for a new job have more in common than one might think. You dress up for both, think through what you’ll say, try to put your best foot forward. Often times you’ll try to censor yourself on dates and in job interviews, figuring out ways to make all of your quirky attributes seem endearing and irresistible. After a date and an interview you’ve probably asked yourself, “Should I call?” Or thought to yourself, “Where is this going?”
While those of us at Glassdoor are far from dating experts, we have come up with some simple rules that not only apply to your dating life, but also to your career. Instead of swiping right, simply take note of the following as you click “apply” for your next dream job.
1. Be persistent but don’t be needy.
In trying to land an interview at your must-work-at company, it’s tempting to follow up with the recruiter to ask if she’s received your application, needs any additional references, has any questions about your qualifications. However, fight the urge to pester. While you shouldn’t be afraid to follow up and make your presence known, professional and persistent is different than pesky. It’s just like dating. Don’t look too eager or available, especially later on in the process. For example, if you’ve interviewed and things are going well, don’t email incessantly asking about an offer. Play a little hard to get by mentioning how much your current employer values your work or notify a recruiter that you are entertaining other offers.
[Related: The 2016 Best Places to Interview]
2. “To call or not to call.”
Like an amazing second date, you just had an incredible interview. In fact, the HR associate is best friends with your brother’s college roommate’s sister. It was all laughs and you barely spoke about the job; there was an instant spark. However, three days go by, with no phone call, no follow-up. Unlike dating, the “busy” explanation is a legitimate reason and not an excuse. Nevertheless, you should absolutely make sure you haven’t been forgotten. A simple follow-up or thank you email expresses that you still have interest without being invasive. If they don’t contact you back, keep looking at other positions. Like dating, there are plenty of fish in the sea.
3. Playing hard to get may backfire. Proceed with caution.
Playing hard to get during the negotiation process might have worked a decade ago when we were in an economic boom, but there is plenty of talent out there now. If you’ve gotten an offer, you’ve likely outperformed over 100 people already, many of them as qualified as you. By playing hard to get, you just might find a job offer rescinded. Instead, make sure that a company knows how much you bring to the table and how interested in their offer you are. Like a relationship, if you want to negotiate your salary or needs, you have to give the other side a reason to bargain back.
4. Own your mistakes.
Owning short-comings in a relationship is often mistaken for weakness. The truth is, however, it is actually a display of self-awareness. Accepting faults and taking responsibility for them is also healthy for your career. This shows your employer that you can take feedback and handle criticism when missteps occur. Like a healthy relationship, be sure you also emphasize how you are going to be solution-oriented and prevent mistakes in the future.
5. Practice some give and take.
Those who insist on always being right when dating, are typically the ones who end up alone—living with their opinions. The same applies to the work world. No one likes a colleague who thinks they are better than everyone else. Compromise goes a lot further than pride in the boardroom and in the bedroom.
6. After a year, ask yourself the tough question.
If you’re dating someone for a year, you need to ask yourself, “Is this what I want? Where is this going?” The same goes for your professional life. After a year of being in a relationship with your current job, you should decide if you’re committing or moving on. if the company culture is a fit, you’re pleased with growth possibilities and management, it may be time to settle down for 3 to 5 years. Otherwise, it is time to evaluate what you do not like about the role and consider moving within the company or seeking new opportunities elsewhere. But just like dating, “defining the relationship” or having the DTR conversation with a manager or a partner may not be easy. Be ready for feedback and have a backup plan if he/she says “I’m just not that into you.”
7. Don’t settle.
The same way you’d never settle for someone you are sort of in love with, don’t settle for a sort-of satisfying career. Of course, we don’t advise jumping ship at the first sign of trouble, but if you are anything less than happy, keep looking. If a role isn’t giving you what you want professionally, settling isn’t the answer. Instead, create a plan for achieving your goals whether that be a higher salary or a better work-life balance. The key is to know your worth and devise a strategy for how to achieve it.