I was hanging out with some of my fellow graduate school friends the other day while I was back around Rutgers. We were talking about the job search we went through and how other folks are about to go through it, which reminded me of a great metaphor I kept sharing with my cohort while we were all trudging through applications and interviews. It is how the student affairs job search process is a lot like dating when you think about it.
From the very first stages of perusing job postings to the campus interviews, it is the same process that one goes through for dating. I’ll go through this chronologically how either of these situations would typically happen, and you can immediately see what I’m talking about.
So when you decide you’re ready for something new, you figure you’ll go see what’s out there and who is looking for somebody. You have your standards that you aren’t willing to negotiate and maybe some that you are. You might try to send some signals at the beginning to get their attention, and then you’ll lay out who you are with some zing and zest. You both hit it off and you start leaving little notes and treats for each other. They might ask to see you again, you start meeting people they know, and it feels like it’s all getting to be pretty serious. They eventually invite you over to see their place, you see where they live, and you can really feel like this is a match. You can really see yourself here together. They ask you to move in and then it’s happily ever after. Well, until you see how they really are, and after a few years you might be ready to move onto the next one.
So while you brush up your resume and cover letter, maybe you should also watch some romantic comedies while you’re at it.