I couldn’t help but wonder: was Carrie Bradshaw really talking about Job Hunting instead of Dating?

I recently came across a list Vulture.com put together of all of the things Carrie Bradshaw wondered about in the 6 seasons of Sex and the City. As I perused the article, I started to realize the striking similarities between Bradshaw’s musings about dating and my own about the job hunting process.

“I couldn’t help but wonder: Can you make a mistake and miss your fate?” [Episode eighteen, Season four, “I Heart NY”]

In today’s dating scene, apps are king: Tinder, Bumble, Coffee Meets Bagel, Hinge, OkCupid, Tastebuds — really the list is endless. For those who may not be familiar with the process, it typically goes a little something like this:

  1. Craft your profile — this is the thing that will draw your potential matches in, so you want to out your best foot forward: flattering pictures and a clever profile should do the trick.
  2. Start seeing what’s out there — with the apps this usually means being shown potential match’s profiles one at a time and interacting with them to indicate an interest or not (from a UX side the entire concept of swiping to select is fascinating, but that’s a whole different post!)
  3. Hope they are interested too… if they are, you get a cheery ‘you’ve matched’ message, if not well, just move on to the next one — eventually you’ll match with someone right?
  4. Have some pleasant small talk, maybe tell a joke or two to show how witty and clever you are, then set up a time to meet for a first date.
  5. As you prepare for this first meeting, you’re inevitably nervous. Will they be as awesome as they seem online? Will they think I am as awesome as I seem online? What if they ask me that awful ‘so why did your last relationship end?’ question… so much to be nervous about.
  6. Go on date #1 and try not to make a fool of yourself.

Now from here on out, the process pretty much goes one of two ways: you both like each other and decide to go on date #2 (always a great feeling) or one of you decides the other isn’t really what you’re looking for and that’s that.

Now let’s review those steps again and I think you’ll start to wonder too…

1. Craft your profile

You say profile, I say resume…

2. Start seeing what’s out there

Hop on LinkedIn or do a quick google search to start finding job openings and apply like crazy.

3. Hope they are interested too

Wait to see if the company gets back to you. This is that accepted or rejected moment, the ‘we’d love to bring you in to chat’ or ‘we’ve decided to move on with other candidates’ moment.

4. Have some pleasant small talk, maybe tell a joke or two to show how witty and clever you are, then set up a time to meet for a first date

Maybe you tell less jokes and focus on seeming competent instead of witty, but either way you’re now in full-on ‘I need to impress this person/ company’ mode as you set up a time to interview.

5. As you prepare for this first meeting, you’re inevitably nervous. Will they be as awesome as they seem online? Will they think I am as awesome as I seem online? What if they ask me that awful ‘so why did your last relationship end?’ question…

Who isn’t a bit nervous for a first interview and who doesn’t want whatever company they are interviewing with to think they are awesome! And that “awful” question about how your last relationship ended? Yeah read that as your last job instead…

6. Go on date #1 and try not to make a fool of yourself.

Finally, go on your first interview and hope that all goes well.

I rest my case.

Now I think this analogy could continue on forever, paralleling job hunting with dating, and working with relationships, but here’s what I find the most interesting: most people hate both dating AND job hunting and can’t wait to get into a work environment or relationship. The courting phase is daunting and frustrating and can make you question yourself. It leaves you wondering, could a simple mistake — a joke that falls flat, or a typo — lead to missing your fate?

So now I can’t help but wonder: how can we make those two experiences better? Therein lies another UX-of-life challenge…

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