Q&A: Dating coach Dr. Jane Greer dishes about love and the job search
It turns out that dating and job searching aren’t all that different. One expert shares her best advice for flirting, handling rejection and avoiding being too picky.
Since it’s February and Valentine’s Day is on a lot of people’s minds, Monster wanted to get job search advice from someone who specializes in helping people find a different kind of right match—the people kind—so we reached out to Dr. Jane Greer, a nationally renowned marriage and sex therapist and author of How Could You Do This To Me? Learning To Trust After Betrayal.
We learned that Dr. Greer’s advice for finding love can also work for your job search. Listen to our podcast, or take a look at an excerpt below. And we wish you the best of luck finding whatever kind of match you’re looking for.
Monster: There are so many parallels between dating and job search. What’s one of the biggest?
Dr. Greer: That they’ve got to have everything that you’re looking for. For the job, it’s the salary, the benefits, the right boss and the great location. It’s similar to the expectations people put on themselves for finding the right partner. They have to have a certain qualities and traits and certain financial success, for instance.
Monster: Do you think you can be too picky?
Dr. Greer: Absolutely. When your expectations are too high or unrealistic, what happens is nobody is going to measure up, no job is going to be good enough and you’re going to continue to be on a search rather than have the opportunity to get involved and get into a new situation. You want to be flexible as much as you can afford to be, so you aren’t limiting yourself.
If you say, “If I don’t get an offer at this number, I’m not interested,” you could be looking for another six to seven months, and in that time, you might have been working at a lower salary, but you could have been A) earning money, B) gaining experience and C) positioning yourself to get a raise or have another opportunity if a position opens in the company for a different job.
Monster: One difference between dating and looking for a job is that you only have a couple of interviews to decide whether a job is the right fit. What can a job seeker do during the interview to try and assess if it’s a right fit or not?
Dr. Greer: The first thing is, take inventory of your emotional state. When you’re meeting the interviewer, are you feeling comfortable with them? Are you feeling anxious? Pay attention. The next indicator is, are you excited? Are they talking to you about aspects of the job that are really turning you on? How enthusiastic are you becoming? Like dating, you want to go on your gut and think, “Do I like this person?”
Monster: What else should you look for?
Dr. Greer: It’s really important to read not just the red flags, but to read yourself and to trust yourself. And if it feels really uncomfortable, don’t say, “I should just take it.” Have confidence in yourself. You don’t have to take it.
Monster: Another commonality between dating and job searching is rejection. How do you help people cope with rejection when it feels like it’s happening over and over again?
Dr. Greer: The natural, knee-jerk reaction is to take it personally and say, “I’m not good enough; I’m not as good as everybody else.” What you want to keep in mind is it’s really not about you. You have to toughen your skin and not take other people’s needs personally. That means that if you’re not getting a job, it could be because they already had an inside candidate, or they’re looking for a candidate with X number of years of experience. With dating and jobs, it’s a numbers game. You have to keep putting yourself out there—because you don’t have to please all the people and get every job offer. You just have to get one.
Monster: Interviews are like first dates. They’ve seen your resume—now they want to see if they like you enough to work with you for eight hours a day. How do you build that rapport quickly?
Dr. Greer: The first thing is to notice something about them that’s appealing to you that you like and express it. A compliment goes a long way.
Monster: Let’s assume you got the job, and now it’s your first week. What’s your advice for making a good first impression?
Dr. Greer: Rather than making assumptions about how things work, ask questions. This advice works in a work relationship and dating relationships and it’s one of the hardest things for people to do. Avoid assumptions at all costs.
Monster: You also don’t want to come in like a know-it-all.
Dr. Greer: Exactly. Also, there might be all kinds of feelings brewing under the surface about your arrival that you’re not privy to. They might have wanted someone else in that position; they might have loved the previous candidate. And whatever preconceived notions they might have about you, you get to dispel it by being likable and personable and relatable.