03 Mar

Single or Unemployed?

The commonalities between dating and the search for employment have been referenced time and time again.  This past week I attended an Etiquette Dinner arranged by Skidmore College.  The Board of Alumni attended as experts in the field of the Dos & Don’ts of networking.  While I enjoyed the conversation and truly appreciated the opportunity to make new connections, my real take away included an increased interest in the similarities among pursuing the beginning of an emotional relationship and the hopes of gainful employment.  The following is an analysis detailing this fascinating relationship.


– The origination of all relationships between two individuals is sparked by an initial intrigue instilled in one party by a unique characteristic, be it physical or emotional, of the other.

– Similarly, the aspiration to secure employment at a specific firm can precipitate after hearing about a unique organization that specializes in a field with corresponding interests of the individual.


– Whether a man is intimidated by the prospect of rejection from a woman, or a woman doesn’t know how to approach a love interest of hers without being intimidating, introducing oneself has become more and more complicated with the advent of online social networks.  In both instances, relationships and employment, we must decide how best to approach the other party to achieve the most favorable results.

– The following is a chart comparing only a sampling of the various tools now available to initiate contact:

Relationship Facebook MySpace Text Call Social Event Introduction
Employment LinkedIn Twitter Email Call Network Connection


– First dates, job interviews and project proposals all face similar threats of failure at the initial meeting.  What do you order?  Can you handle eating a sandwich without staining your freshly dry-cleaned shirt?  Should you finish all the food on your plate? Should you salt your food?   I could digress, but the idea will remain the same: parties in attendance, the guy and girl, the unemployed and potential employer, are in attendance for future benefits.

Follow Up

– This is where most of us drop the ball.  Once again we are faced with various options, all with accompanying underlying meanings.  How much time in between the first meeting and a thank you note?  Are both parties being sincere?  The beginning of an emotional relationship can be confusing, while at the same time, quite exciting.  However, there will always come that point in time where an open and honest talk will be required in hopes of bringing both individuals’ true intentions out into the open.

– The truth is also the same between an organization and a prospective hire.  Throughout negotiations there is, unfortunately, sometimes some dishonesty and stretching of the truth.  The company can state that they do not have the funds to take on another employee, while the truth may actually be that the candidate does not fit the right requirements.  Likewise, the applicant may attempt to create a sense of urgency pertaining to offers from competing firms (see Media Jobs Daily advice on this faux pas).

Relationship Develops

– All relationships are continuously progressing or regressing.  They are, at no time, stagnant.  Growth at a company is necessary to retain the employees’ interests and boss’s recognition of his subordinates work.  Change in the type of work assigned, new projects and increased workload will serve to stimulate workers and achieve greater productivity.  The common goal among all employees is to eventually improve their stance on the corporate ladder and to maximize remuneration.  Each employee presumably contributes to the firm’s growth, while the organization supports and encourages individual growth.

– A couple is very similar.  Both parties involved facilitate their partner’s success.  A relationship should only be maintained if the lives of the man and woman are better together than if they were to be separated.


– Overall, the ultimate goal of employment and relationships is growth.  While the specifics differ with the individual, everyone strives to achieve growth in education, wealth, love and above all, happiness.  All of these are achieved easiest with the help of others.