Monday, June 23, 2008

How Job Hunting Is A Lot Like Online Dating

Since last summer, I have been looking around for a new job. I pulled out the old resume, dusted it off, loaded it into Monster and Career Builder and started surfing to see what was out there. I even updated my State of Florida application in our online state website and perused through there to see if there were any state jobs out there that would tickle my fancy (and pay me at least what I make now). Over a year later, I'm still looking around getting very little action.

I don't think the problem is a down trodden economy or the lack of jobs. I think the problem might be the new way of job searching. It reminds me of online dating. You go online and find a few jobs that interest you. You do your homework and make sure you meet all of the requirements for the positions and you hit the "apply now" button to send them your awesome resume and cover letter. You wait for the offers to roll in. And you wait and wait and then wait a little more.

If you do get a response that even tells you they got your resume, you are lucky. More often than not, you hear nothing. Or you might get the equivalent of the OLD, "thanks, but no thanks" email that tells you someone else was chosen and they will keep your resume on file.

The new apply online approach makes it very hard to stand out in the sea of resumes that employers get for each job. I've seen it happen in the office where I work now. 500 or so people will apply for one job using the online application process. Because it is so easy to just push a button and apply, many times, people will send in an application when they don't even remotely meet the qualifications. The poor administrative assistant saddled with the task of going through the applicants will print out the first 20 or so that meet the qualifications and schedule a few interviews. The other 400 or so people are out of luck. Their applications never even get reviewed. The "selection" of applicants is based more on where your resume ended up in the pile than if you were really the most qualified.

There doesn't really seem to be a way differentiate yourself from the crowd anymore. You used to be able to make your resume stand out by using really nice paper or writing a kick-ass cover letter. But in this new electronic age, I'm not sure half of the resumes even get looked at. There's just too many.

Back in the day, you actually had to print out the resume (on really nice paper) put it in an envelope with a nicely written cover letter and mail the thing to an actual person. I think the fact that you actually had to pay to mail your resume out and take the time to package it up might have made the difference. Since all we have to do is push a button these days, the process of applying might be "too" easy.

The whole process smacks of the complaints I see about online dating. Men and women get frustrated with sending out emails (cover letters) and hoping the person he/she is interested in takes the time to check out his/her profile (resume) and initiate a meeting (interview). Didn't find a good dating candidate? Go back to the pile and pull out a few more. See the similarities?

Again, I don't think the problem is necessarily that the dating scene is bad. I think sometimes you just get overloaded with possibilities. Some people just get overloaded with looking at profiles and managing emails and winks that really good dating candidates might fall through the cracks. The "click a button to get a date" process has made it a little too easy.

Perhaps our "instant gratification", "get it now", "push a button and make it happen" society has created a few problems along the way to making our lives easier. Maybe some things were better when they required a bit more work.

Monday, June 16, 2008

Gettin Out of My Dating Box

In one of her comments, Average Girl challenged me to think about dating guys that aren't my "type." As I pondered her suggestion, I couldn't quite figure out what my type is. I don't have many deal breakers in dating, I'm pretty open to dating just about anyone. I don't want to waste time with men who are only separated or who don't ever want to have kids. I also don't date smokers or self professed animal haters. But other than that, I'm fairly open minded.

However, I do have preferences that are based on past experience. I prefer men who are within 10 years of my age and who are my age or a bit older. Past dates have taught me I don't have a ton in common with younger men or men that are way older than me. I also prefer to date men 5'10" and under. I won't turn a date down with a tall guy, but shorter is a preference.

So, to broaden my horizons, I'm starting my own Date Out of the Box Dating Challenge. I've put my online profile back up and I'm getting rid of my preferences. I'm going to date men that I normally would turn down. I'm going to ignore my preferences and see what happens.

I started this past weekend. I went out with a guy that I fell out of touch with last year. Normally, I have a "no be backs" rule. If something didn't work out the first time, I usually don't go back for seconds. I broke my rule on Saturday and I had a pretty nice time. Not sure where it will go, but I'll keep you posted. ;)

If anyone out there wants to join in on the dating challenge feel free to comment and tell us about your experiences!

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Self Discovery With a Root Canal

I went for my previously blogged about root canal this week. The entire experience has me wondering about fear and my response to it.

I've never really considered myself a fearful person. In fact, most of my friends would tell you I am one of the most fearless people they know. Need someone to speak up during a meeting at work? I'm your girl. Need someone to trek off into the jungle in a foreign county and climb a temple? Sign me up. In my quest to make sure I live life to the fullest, I've turned into a "try anything once" kind of girl.

However, just one bad experience at the dentist and I was completely white knuckled at the thought of having this root canal. I had to talk myself into getting out of the car and going in for my appointment. I thought I was going to pass out. Of course, everything turned out fine and I've had no pain at all, but it's gotten me thinking about what other kind of pain I might be trying to avoid. If it only took one bad experience with one dentist to freak me out about ever going back to another dentist, what have my bad relationship experiences made me afraid of?

In actuality, I have only had one bad relationship experience. My marriage and divorce was not so terrible. I came out of that experience stronger and more confident, knowing exactly what I wanted and didn't want in my next relationship. I trusted my instincts pretty well.

My post divorce relationship (about year after my marriage ended) is what I would consider a bad experience. I left that one not trusting myself or anyone else. I didn't know what was up or what was down. I felt utterly confused and, in a word, crushed. No, make that completely crushed. I still knew what I wanted, but I didn't trust my instincts to recognize it.

So, if one bad dentist visit could make me so fearful of ever going back, did one bad relationship make me afraid of getting into another one? I don't have the answer, but the question is an interesting one.

Monday, June 9, 2008

It's Not What You Think....

Just because I don't ask you to pay my credit card bill, mortgage or car payment, it does not mean that I don't need you. It means I know how to manage money.

If I don't call you or text you 20 times a day, it does not mean I don't want to talk to you. It means I don't have to be in contact with you constantly to be reassured you care for me.

If I don't show up unannounced at your house five nights a week, it does not mean I don't want to spend time with you. It means I respect that you may have a life outside of me.

If I don't start moving my things into your home and space, it doesn't mean I don't want to be there. It means I respect your space and I'd rather be invited in rather than manipulate my way in.

If I handle my own affairs and business decisions, it doesn't mean I don't value your opinion about them. It means I can make decisions and manage my life.

When I go to the movies or happy hour with my friends, it doesn't mean I don't want to spend time with you. It means I have a life outside of you with friends and family I need to attend to from time to time.

When I'm quiet, it doesn't mean I'm mad at you, I may just be in a quiet mood.

Just because I am independent does not mean I'm a man hater or that I don't want a husband or boyfriend. It means I've learned to stand on my own two feet so I can meet you half way as an equal and a partner.

Just because I want to get married and have a family does not mean I want to trap you, cut off your balls and keep them in my purse (or wear them as a beautiful necklace). Nor will I steal your house, car or most prized possessions. It simply means I would like to spend my life with someone and have a family.

All of these things mean that I have a full abundant life. And having my own life doesn't mean you can't fit into it, in fact, I'd probably like to share it with you.

Saturday, June 7, 2008

When To Find A New Dating Ground

.........when you can go to two different bar/restaurants in one night and run into two different men you have dated.

I'm am so going to have to move out of this damn town.

Thursday, June 5, 2008

Do What You Say You're Going To Do!!!

Is it really that effing hard to call when you say you will? Is it? Is it really so hard to follow through when you say you will do something?

Am I just being unreasonable thinking that if *I* model the "following through" behavior that a boy would catch on and treat me the way I treat him?!?!? Is it really too much to ask?

Am I so old fashioned that my idea of treating someone well is outdated? Someone tell me please, cause I'm really not sure anymore. Do I really have to be a bitch and play hard to get to get a guy to be interested? I'm really not naturally a bitch. I'm a pretty nice girl, but my patience is completely warn thin. I think my inner bitch just might take over for PollyAnna for awhile. PollyAnna needs a vacation.

Dr. Denkin is in the House for a Bit of Expert Advice!!

Dr. Denkin author of Relationship Magic has graciously offered to write an article to assist those of us who may be a bit on the relationship challenged side. (Of course, I actually have to get past the second date to actually get a relationship, but this is good advice none the less.) Check out her post below:

Developing a Deeper Communication with Each Other (Mirroring)

When couples have been dating for a while and become more comfortable with each other, they often start to share their feelings and opinions on a deeper level. As trust is built, couples feel more comfortable disagreeing with each other.

This is a healthy and much needed phase in developing relationships, but can often cause problems. Couples without adequate relationship tools need to learn how to disagree without turning the conversation into a battle of wills.

Imago Relationship Therapy shows people how to use Mirroring to learn to listen and empathize with their partners while developing a deeper level of communication.

How does mirroring your partner’s feelings, or having your feelings mirrored increase intimacy and improve relationships?

Obviously you enjoy being with your partner and want to continue the relationship. But what if when a certain subject comes up you two have totally opposite points of view? What if no matter how many times you explained your point of view your partner does not want to hear it? You think you love him, but somewhere deep in the back of your mind you wonder, “What happens if he is never interested in what I have to say? Where will this take our relationship down the road?

Would you feel better if he showed you that he understood your point of view, listened to it, but thinks differently about it? If you did the same for your partner, could you benefit by understanding his point of view, rather than just dismissing it?

Which scenario feels better to you, A or B?

A, You tell your partner your opinion about a particular movie, and he tells you that he disagrees. Then he proceeds to tell you why you should think a different way about the movie. How do you feel?

B. You tell your partner your opinion about a particular movie. He disagrees with you, but does not want to invalidate you; so he mirrors what he heard you say: “So you believe that the hero was not interested in the heroine’s feelings in your example, and that made you feel angry towards him? Can you tell me more?”

You then go on to explain why, and even though your partner continues to disagree, he will continue to ask, “Can you tell me more about why you feel that way? Again, you feel like your partner cares about what you said.

Which scenario resonates for you? Why? How did each one make you feel?

When mirroring, keep asking “Is there more?” or “Can you tell me more?” until there is nothing left to share.

This is what Mirroring is really about. You may never agree on a certain subject but knowing your partner understands why you feel the way you do will make all of the difference.

If you were to use mirroring to resolve a conflict, it takes time and is not always easy, but leaves you with a feeling of understanding.

If there is a conflict, listen to your partner’s feelings and when she is done sharing, express that you understand how she feels and ask “Is there more?”

After you had mirrored your partner’s feelings, and continue to ask, “Is there more?” until she is finished, it will be her turn to mirror you. This might take a while, and therefore, you will need to plan at least 60 minutes to talk about this subject.

But after you are both through and have presented your point of view, you would be in the unique position of understanding each other at a deeper level. It is also possible that you might come out of the discussion with a different opinion. But even if you do not, you will be beginning to know each other in a way which ultimately leads to personal intimacy.

Click here for more information on her book!

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Bad Date: Traci Hall, Author of Love’s Magic

Always on the search for a great read, I have another author who sent us a guest post! Check out Traci Hall's bad date story below. Enjoy!

In the search for love, I made a lot of detours. And so far as bad date stories go, this one is a doozie. See – there was this guy that I thought was the absolute coolest of the cool. So when he called and asked me out, I said YES. Never mind the fact that I was definitely not cool. Or that he was a few year older than me, in a band, and he hung out with all the people in the ‘scene’.

He didn’t have a car, so when he came to pick me up in a cab, I thought it was very, very grown up.

We went to dinner at a restaurant instead of a fast food place. Normally our crowd was a 99 cent menu crew. Instead of picking up on any of these RED ALERTS, I ordered dessert, floating on cloud 9.

We made arrangements to meet the next day to go shopping for matching new leather jackets. True studded love, lol.

I was so painfully na├»ve that I actually had my feelings hurt when he ditched me the next day. This was before the advent of cell phones – and he couldn’t call from where he was--Jail :)

Turns out my Knight In a Shining Checker Cab had been using stolen checks to treat me to a night on the town…

It was a painful lesson that still makes me cringe – agh!

Check out Traci's book here!

Monday, June 2, 2008

Since Inquiring Minds Want To Know......

Yes, I did go to the beach house with the cute boy last weekend. It's the same cute boy from Valentines Day. (We'll call him Mr. Almost Perfect.) He's a great guy I have a lot of fun hanging out with. Unfortunately, he doesn't really seem to be on the same page as I am with what I want in a relationship. I would still like to get married and have a kid someday and he doesn't seem interested in that. But other than that, we are compatible in every way. And he's very easy on the eyes.

It's situations like this that make me think the Universe is messing with me. I meet this great guy who is just about perfect, but he doesn't want marriage or a family. Gahhhh! Enough with the boys I can't have already. Send me one I can have!