“Dating” to find a job. A unique and successful approach.

In my work, I help people figure out what career path they want to be on. It’s a meaningful endeavor that has the power to get people moving into occupations that fit their talents and interests. Typically though, it’s not a linear process.

On average, more than fifty percent of people will tell you they don’t feel like they’ve found a good match career-wise, and for those in that boat, most aren’t sure how to resolve it. Often they default to reading job ads in hopes that it will lead to a helpful revelation.

This isn’t so different from the search to find a life partner, where singles seek matches using online services. They read profiles, look at pictures, and then decide if it’s worth throwing their name in the hat in hopes that a connection will result. Some meet ups happen, and it’s in this regard that daters have an advantage over career seekers.

When it comes to finding a life partner, singles have the opportunity to meet, chat, and evaluate potentials before committing. In the professional realm, the equivalent of this would be a job interview. However, career changers have a difficult time landing interviews for positions for which they have little knowledge or experience.

Yet a solution to this dilemma does exist, called a career research conversation. In this meet up, individuals interview people working in specialties that interest them just to learn more about them—pros, cons, education, etc. There are no jobs on the line; it’s purely to gather information to help with decision making.

But like dating, the first attempts usually don’t work. Experts say you’ve got to date about 37 people to find a great match. In a career-search, I find it’s at least ten tries. The more you investigate, the more you learn about what you like and need, and the better you get at ultimately identifying something (or some ONE) that will work for you.

So if you’re looking for a profession that makes your heart flutter, embark on a journey of exploration. It could be just a few “dates” away.