POST 1 |081015 - CAREERS + DATING

This is a first post - ever. ..And my first time using Illustrator (whoop!). Grace is appreciated.

DURING THE PAST 11 MONTHS, I'VE INTERVIEWED A LOT OF PEOPLE - MOSTLY COLLEGE STUDENTS, AND RECENT GRADS. HERE IS A SNAPSHOT OF WHAT I TELL THEM THAT I THINK WOULD HAVE BEEN HELPFUL, HAD THESE PARALLELS BEEN LAID OUT FOR ME.

 

PARALLELS BETWEEN CAREERS AND DATING: 

ANYONE WHO TELLS YOU THEY AREN'T STRIKINGLY SIMILAR PROCESSES, IS NOT PAYING ATTENTION.

1. FIND THE JOY IN DISCOVERING WHAT YOU DON'T WANT.. as much as finding what you don't want. Some of the most valuable lessons in both careers and dating are learning what doesn't work for you. You'll naturally discover gems of what works for you in a partnership.

2. PRACTICE AS MUCH AS POSSIBLE BEFORE YOU HIT THE OMEGA.. Too many people seem to be focused on finding the "right fit," the "perfect job," and use phrases like, "it's not exactly what I want to do," or "he/she's not really my type." Absorb as many experiences dating people and companies with different backgrounds, personalities, and in different environments as much as you can before you get to the "10" or Omega. Otherwise, by the time you find "exactly what you want to do," you'll botch the "dream job" or "the One" (a whole other post..) before you even had a chance!

3. (On that note) FOCUS ON THE "8's" AND THE "9's".. in jobs and people! They usually have more substance than the "Perfect 10" you imagine. Instead of pretzeling yourself to fit a mold, you'll lead with confidence and joy in being in a great partnership.

4. CHEMISTRY DOES NOT EQUAL COMMITMENT.. A job or person may seem sexy, but when you are ready to dive in for the long haul, ask yourself - do they actually value you or are you just another body? What skills, relationships and perspectives will you retain a few years after leaving the job or the individual?

5. YOU ARE AN ASSET, NOT A FAVOR. Don't sell yourself short. You (shouldn't) be hired or asked out on a date as a favor. The company or individual is investing in you as a potential asset, just as you should be investing your time in the company or person because you believe there is opportunity for partnership. Believe in your worth, carry your weight, prove to them and yourself that you made the right decision.

6. DO NOT FALL INTO THE (OTHER) "DON'T ASK, DON'T TELL" TRAP.. If you don't (make an educated, appropriate) ask for the salary requirement you believe is appropriate for the job responsibility level and your experience, they won't tell you you could have asked for it.

Similarly, if you don't express your needs and deal breakers in a respectful way during the dating process, the other person won't know to provide a solution. In both cases, you have to speak up about what's important to you in partnering up; you cannot expect the other party to read your mind or grant unspoken wishes. 

7. DO NOT HALF-ASS TWO THINGS, WHOLE-ASS ONE THING.. Whether you are going through a rough patch in a personal or professional relationship, don't throw in the towel just yet. Make the time and put forth the effort to sit down with your partner, coworker, or supervisor and talk it out. 

What's getting stale, and how you envision the current role evolving or even evolving into another role is important to moving forward in a positive direction. Chances are, they may be on a different rhythm and have frustrations of their own you did not know were affecting the relationship (most that probably don't even have to do with you!). If you are in a healthy partnership, these conversations can really refresh perspectives and even set you on new paths of growth. 

**Of course, if the relationship is abusive or oppressive, find support (HR or Friends & Family) and move on.

8. FOLLOWING THE TIDES AIN'T WASTED TIME.. If you work hard to rekindle the drive to make it work or find common ground (in careers or dating), and it's just not happening - do not look at the experience as wasted time. Take inventory of all you have learned, the areas of joy you found in the process, the mistakes you made, and take them with you as preparation for the next career opportunity or person in your life. 

Just because you've outgrown a job or a person, does not mean the job/person was bad, or a mistake, or ill-suited even.. It just means you have had a full experience and you are ready to see what else is out there. 

9. DO NOT TREAT ANY TWO JOBS OR PERSONS THE SAME.. By assuming that what you know is what will continue to hold true, you will set a negative tone, and close off so many beautiful new realities and possibilities. Humble yourself and be brave to make yourself vulnerable to learn new systems, personalities, and ways of being.

If you are having a hard time breaking down your thought or behavior habits from previous experiences, be honest. "I know I may seem a little terse (or nonchalant, disengaged..etc.) when we discuss XYZ. My old job/relationship was really competitive and intense (or free-spirited, casual.. etc.), and I felt I always had to be on my guard (or fluid, unfazed..). I'm working hard to break down those walls, and I appreciate your patience."

10. IF HE/SHE/IT WERE A STRANGER.. Every day, every week, or anytime you feel yourself getting into a mental or physical rut, ask yourself, "If I met this person/team/company today, would I want to learn more about them and spend time with them?" If the answer is YES, you've got something good going. Press through the hard days (work out, walk around the block, make some time for your creative side, write a blog post.. etc.) because when the foundation is so good you would keep coming back - Everything else works itself out.

Hope these were helpful. Interested in feedback. "Likes" will help to see if you want more, or if I'm clogging the Internet. 

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