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ux job search is like dating

March 2019 – Joanne Weaver

Award-winning UX recruiter Joanne Weaver tells UXswitch.com how searching for your next UX role is rather like searching for the love of your life.

Knots
in your stomach

The hope and the despair. The “putting on a
good face” while wanting to remain authentic to yourself and the situation. The
sweaty palms and knotted stomach, the re-thinking of your outfit, and the
quiet, unspoken, yet fiercely deep desire that that person looking across from
you sees you for who you truly are, and loves you.

Yep. The job search is just like dating.
Except here, in the workplace, you’re not supposed to admit you’re afraid, or
even a little insecure. And there’s probably – hopefully – less cologne.

Hey, the job search can be fraught! I’ve been
there too, and now I coach people through it on the daily, and have done so for
15 years, in my current role as a user-centered-design recruiter with my own
agency. I had also been an avid dater for most of my 20’s and 30’s – confession:
I was doing online dating way before it was widely considered shame-free – so,
I feel like I’ve gotten some solid, boots-on-the-ground experience in both
domains.

So I thought it’d be fun to diffuse the tension
that can be ever-present during a job search, and shed a little light on the
ways that the job search can be like dating….and tips on how to use that to
your advantage and maybe even enjoy it, and if you can glean some useful dating
tips out of this too, then all the better.

What
are they REALLY like?

Chris Rock had a bit where he said, “When you
meet somebody for the first time, you’re not meeting them. You’re meeting their
representative.” Good comedy is good when it tells the truth, right? Maybe
you’re not “letting it all hang out” on that first interview and you’re on your
best behavior. You’re minding your manners, bringing a good story or two to wow
them, dressing one notch up than perhaps you would otherwise…and that’s good!
It’s a sign of respect to prepare ahead of time and dial up the best things
about you. Your interviewer is doing the same.

That’s why I often recommend to people to show up 5-10 minutes early for an interview. You’ll be calm and centered if you’re not harried and worrying that you’ll be late (or worse yet, be late), and – the best part – you can see your interviewers in their natural habitat, and get a feel for what it’s really like there. Is it abuzz with activity, or quiet like a library? (Keep in mind that early morning or late afternoon interviews can tend to be quieter than normal.) How do people interact – or not interact – with each other, is it a homogenous or diverse team, and what does your gut say about the vibe there?

Just
say “YES” to the date.

Back in 2009, in my second year of business, I
had hit a pretty good stride, and had most of my processes and rhythms figured
out. But I was still sacrificing my social life and working late hours in my
tiny little East Village apartment, and was generally overextended.

So when Mark, a guy I had repped in the past, recommended that I go have lunch with this friend of his named Rebecca Levi – “You’re an artist and recruiter, she’s an artist and recruiter; go!” – I honestly didn’t really want to do it. “I’m so busy, I’ve my own thing going on, I’m not looking for a partner, blah blah blah.” But a little voice inside me told me to do it anyway.

And voila, that first lunch at Cafeteria led to
another, and flash forward to today, she’s now my business partner of almost 10
years, and is one of the most treasured people in my life. I can’t imagine
doing this work without her, and not having her to commiserate with, celebrate
with, strategize with…not to mention we’ve grown the business together in a way
that would be nearly impossible to do alone.

I feel so grateful towards my former self for saying “yes” to lunch that day, which amounted to me saying “yes” to myself, and all the many people we get to connect with and help with everyday. Rebecca and I remind each other to this day to “Take the lunch!” (or interview, or networking event, or conference), and I think it’s a good thing to get in the habit of doing, especially if you feel overworked or just plain over it. You never know where it could lead, or who you could meet, and how that connection might come back to you years later ….

Coming next week ….. How Your UX Job Search is Just Like Dating – Part 2



Source link https://www.uxswitch.com/part-1-how-your-ux-job-search-is-just-like-dating/

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