Whether or not we admit it, we all have habits that follow us through our romantic endeavors. Some of us have a “type,” while others’ relationships always seem to fall apart for the same reasons. While these coupling patterns don’t always serve us in our search for “The One,” they can be surprisingly useful in our search for “The Job.” Which dater-turned-jobseeker are you?
The Serial Monogamist
Who we’re talking about: We all know one. He falls in love every couple of months. His favorite line? “It’s different this time. This time it’s real.” You double-tap his “me & bae” pics on Instagram, but it’s always over after a few weeks. When it comes to his career, he moves around a lot.
Making this pattern work for you in your career: Job hopping can be a smart strategy, particularly when you’re starting out and can use it to ramp up skills and salary. Just be sure to commit for at least one year. Staying for two years is even better if you can make it. Go in with specific goals such as gaining experience in a particular industry or with a well-connected manager. Make sure each job gives you accomplishments you can use to prove your value, and references who will recommend you. Understand what you will have after one or two years with the company and how that will position you for your next step.
Who we’re talking about: She’s the one you love to hate. Her phone is always going off, her lock screen filling up with texts from Sam, Jesse, Brad… You couldn’t count the number of heart-eyes emojis in her Contacts if you tried. She can’t hold onto a partner, but it doesn’t seem to bother her. She’s not looking for that kind of commitment.
Making this pattern work for you in your career: Freelancing or temporary work is the perfect choice for somebody who likes to keep their options open and is willing to trade security for variety and flexibility. Develop core skills that are always in demand and can be used for short-term projects. Always be on the lookout for your next opportunity. Unless you’re independently wealthy, you will need to hustle to feed yourself, but you’ll never be bored.
The Perpetually Single
Who we’re talking about: He’s holding out for The One, which means he’s letting a lot of great people who could be good matches pass him by. As time goes on, his list of requirements gets longer and his desirability gets lower. Hopefully he is able to find the one, but it’s a high-risk strategy.
Making this pattern work for you in your career: Everyone has a dream, but understand that there are no perfect jobs. You’ll have to make some compromises. If you recognize that you are passing opportunities by because they don’t seem exactly right, sit down and take a good hard look at what you expect. Then, figure out where and how much you can compromise. If you do want to hold out for the perfect job, find a “for-now” job that will help you earn a salary and develop skills. While using somebody like that would be cold in a romantic situation, it’s much more defensible when it comes to work. Just be sure to put in a good day’s work so your employer gets something in return for the money and experience they’re giving you.
Who we’re talking about: She got it right. She found “the one,” and even though you want to hate her and her longtime partner (how can they be so perfect together?!), you just can’t do it. Everyone wants what she has, but she never flaunts her happiness.
Making this pattern work for you in your career: If you find a great company and you want to stay with them for the long haul, you will need to continuously challenge yourself to grow and develop. Even the best job in the world can start to feel like a chore if you aren’t pushing yourself to develop new skills and to try new things. Work with your supervisor to develop a career path within the company, but be sure that through all of this you are able to hold onto the aspects of the job that make you love it.