5 Ways Looking for a Job Is Like Online Dating

High hopes and disappointment are par for the course.

Table, Tie, Blazer, White-collar worker, Varnish, Conversation, Picture frame, Poster, Official, Desk,
Table, Tie, Blazer, White-collar worker, Varnish, Conversation, Picture frame, Poster, Official, Desk,
(Image credit: Getty, design by American Artist)

"You have to see yourself and be viewed as a commodity," said a colleague whom, before this comment, I would describe as Pharrell-like (opens in new tab) in his perpetual sunniness. "It removes your humanity." It's the same with job-hunting, which is just simple economics when it comes down to it: You're looking for work. Firms are looking for workers. EXCHANGE OF SERVICES FOR MONEY. We're all just living in one big textbook, didn't you know? 

Excuse me while I laugh like Mrs. Rochester, because IRL, this is not how it turns out at all. True, the memes make it sound like we think of work only as a Weekend Dalliances Fund, but deep down, don't we all want something real? I'm not so cynical yet that I'd say no, but Lord knows the roads to true love and professional happiness are both long and windy and laden with dick pics. 

Your face (or not your face). Your résumé. Neither of them give the best picture of the well-rounded, three-dimensional person you are, but that's how it is.

Even when both parties have gotten to the point where they're like "Ayyyy. This is cool. Let's meet," it could still all go south when you actually start the job/date and you find out the weekly fruit deliveries and comfy nap chairs are a conspiracy to control every aspect of employee life. (Or that the guy looks nothing like his pic. There's that too.) 

Like that cuttingly pragmatic Stanford economist dude said (opens in new tab), you're looking for a great match, not perfection. But that doesn't mean you should stop trying. 

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Chelsea Peng is a writer and editor who was formerly the assistant editor at MarieClaire.com. She's also worked for The Strategist and Refinery29, and is a graduate of Northwestern University. On her tombstone, she would like a GIF of herself that's better than the one that already exists on the Internet and a free fro-yo machine. Besides frozen dairy products, she's into pirates, carbs, Balzac, and snacking so hard she has to go lie down.