What Job Searching and Girl Hunting Have In Common

Auguste Renoir, Dance at Bougival, 1882
Okay, so girl hunting sounds like I’m going out with my club at night, knocking innocent women unconscious, and bringing them back to my lair.  Or I’m going out to a bar looking for a cheap thrill.  Neither of those images is even close to what I mean, but no other combination of words seem to work, so I’ll leave it as is.  Or maybe I should title this entry, “What Job Hunting and Girl Searching Have In Common.”  No wait, now I sound like a pervert. :-/

ANYWAY, there are more similarities between the two, at least in my case, than you’d think.  In jobs, I tend to settle for part-time work in which I am overqualified.  In girlfriends (DON’T GO THERE), I tend to settle for women whom I am overqualified for [and no, I’m not talking about THAT.  You people and your sick minds 😉 ]. Since I tend to settle for jobs that I’m overqualified for, or any job that I can get, I don’t tend to work long at them.  I have not been at any job for more than two years, unless you count the Mark Twain House, where I worked for slightly over two years, but slightly less than two years in any one position (I give up).  And for legal reasons, I must state that all of the opinions expressed in this blog are my own opinions and do not necessarily express the views and opinions of the Mark Twain House or its workers, except for this one: Mark Twain is a golden god.  No wait.  That’s from Almost Famous.  Even in Japan, where I spent three years of my life, that time was split between two different companies.

I fare worse with women.  My “record” for dating someone is two months, and during those two months, I saw her twice.  Seriously.  She even broke up with me by email.  To my cell phone.  While I was watching Azumi.  For the second time.  Of course, it’s the quality of the time spent with someone, not its length, that counts (as Before Sunrise proves–click here for my review of that movie and its sequel, Before Sunset).  In that case, my track record is even worse.  Not that I didn’t have some blissful moments with my exes [again with the dirty minds ;-)], but in the end, none of the relationships were quality ones, ones I wish hadn’t ended.  What I usually wished was that the person I had dated had been the person I hoped her to be, rather than the person she actually was.

Dream jobs and dream girls seem much the same to me, too.  Always just out of reach, always requiring much planning and/or gumption to get.  Crushes tend to be like jobs we think we want to have: when we don’t get them, it allows us to fantasize even more about how great they are.  Also, job hunting and dating can get stuck in similar ruts.  In job hunting, one can get stuck in the seasonal, part-time, retail rut, while in dating, one can get stuck in the type of girls that one dates (I said type!).  Those who like retail and are looking for part-time work, of course, are fine with ruts, as are those who end up marrying their high school sweethearts (don’t go there).

free public domain image man with glass writing at desk clerk thank you card paying bills dot is pen ink drawing

With online dating and personal ads, even methods of finding jobs and girlfriends are the same.  You can find both through networking, both through print ads, both through online ads, both through search engines.  Jobs sites include descriptions of the jobs; dating sites include descriptions of the people.  Both include qualifications (1-2 years customer service experience a MUST; SWF looking for SWM 18-39), both include preferences (college graduate preferred; looking for someone over 6’2″, nonsmoker), both annoy you with their restrictions.  Yet the best way to find one, both a job and a girlfriend, is through other people.  Networking results in the most job hires; networking results in the most relationships.  Picking up a woman at a bar, on the other hand, is akin to answering a “help wanted” sign–and perhaps less satisfying (though I can’t speak from personal experience on this).

Job searches and dating also share one other thing in common: I’m bad at both.  But might it be the same failing?  Might my failure at both have the same root cause?  Perhaps.  Perhaps I lack the knowledge necessary to know when to keep fighting for what I want, and when to let go (I always let go when rejected), and that goes for both job hunting and girl searching, or job searching and girl hunting, or career chasing and girl grabbing (well, maybe not that).

So, which one will I prove more successful at?  As far as jobs are concerned, sooner or later, everyone gets one (we are told).  Whether it will be the right job for me remains to be seen.  At least I know that my writing career awaits.  So even if I get a full-time job that’s a disappointment, if it can sustain me financially–and allows me to continue writing on the side–I can deal with it for a few years.

As for a girlfriend, well, having one is the means to an end, and perhaps I’ve been too focused on the end.  There’s no need to date someone because, in the future, we’re going to get married.  That kind of thinking eliminated too many choices for me in high school.  Rather, I should date someone because I like them now.  Or, to quote what one of my friends said about her then boyfriend (now fiance): “I don’t know if he’s the one, but he’s the one right now.”

Living in the present, while the artist lives in the future.  And yet, I’m learning.

NOTE: The same friend whom I quoted above is also the one who convinced me not to delete this post after hearing the gist of what it was about, so be sure to thank her in your comments, if you like what you’ve read, and curse her, if you hate it. 😉

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Author: Greg Salvatore

Writer. Voice Actor. Humanist. Feminist.

8 thoughts on “What Job Searching and Girl Hunting Have In Common”

  1. Many thanks to your friend!! =DI have very little experience with dating or job hunting (actually, make that ZERO experience!) but I wish you the best of luck! Because I may live in fantasy world but I think everyone deserves to have a job they at least semi-enjoy, and someone they want to spend the rest of their life with. 🙂

  2. Thank you. By the way, I've realized something that children know but adults forget: if you live in your head, you can live anywhere, under any circumstances. So, while you shouldn't block out reality entirely, feel free to continue living in your fantasy world. 🙂

  3. Trust no Future, howe'er pleasant !Let the dead Past bury its dead ! Act,— act in the living Present ! Heart within, and God o'erhead ! Lives of great men all remind us We can make our lives sublime, And, departing, leave behind us Footprints on the sands of time ; Footprints, that perhaps another, Sailing o'er life's solemn main, A forlorn and shipwrecked brother, Seeing, shall take heart again. Let us, then, be up and doing, With a heart for any fate ; Still achieving, still pursuing, Learn to labor and to wait.

  4. Certanly not me!It's part of a poem by Longfellow.It's called A Psalm of Life and is a great favourite of mine. It is especially meaningful to me because the second of the above quoted verse was a parting gift from a beloved teacher, the late Reverand Brother W.I. Mc.Keough of Ireland.

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