Speed dating and online dating are all the rage.
Websites like Match.com, OKCupid.com and Tinder.com are dominating the market for people seeking soul mates.
These match-making portals accelerate the courtship process, but at the same time, we don’t want these services to sacrifice quality while we’re trying to find the right life partner.
In fact, these sites are impressive in hooking people up. One-third of married couples between 2005 to 2012 met online, according to Stanford sociologist Michael J. Rosenfeld.
Preying On The Vulnerable
As wonderful as that is, online dating horror stories abound. There are too many crash-and-burn tales on the podcasts, Reply All and Start-Up. They graphically depict the emotional wreckage of on-line “relationships” that went awry.
A common theme of these horror stories is that needy people fall prey to the practiced courtship of opportunists.
Why do people do that?
The sweet-talking suitors succeed by telling online daters what they want to hear. That’s not right.
The same romancing is happening today in Corporate America.
Almost every major industry is consolidating, and this has created a large pool of people who are going to be displaced from their current employer.
As we all know, when your livelihood is in jeopardy, it’s easy to feel desperate. When you’re in this vulnerable position and are getting two to three job solicitation calls a day, it’s difficult to analyze the sweet nothings being whispered in your ear.
So like Tinder users, who must decide to Swipe Left or Swipe Right, how do you proceed?
The Virtues of A Professional Recruiter
In my view, the conversation needs to be much deeper than just a guaranteed salary and bonus, or 3.5 times trailing 12-month revenues.
The best people to help you make a good decision are professional recruiters who have stayed in contact with you over the years. These are the people you may have spoken to you when your situation wasn’t desperate.
Recruiters who have kept in touch are great resources because they understand something about you. Better yet, they really understand the market. It’s worth your time to schedule a thirty-minute or one-hour call to ask the questions flooding your mind.
After talking to a few recruiters, the goal is to narrow down the field to two or three firms for serious consideration. Then go to each one and request a dinner with your potential boss and their spouse, along with your spouse.
Priceless Asset: Your Spouse’s Judgment
The date with your prospective boss and his or her spouse is an opportunity to evaluate a person who you are betting your career on.
When you’re out, observe how your potential boss and spouse interact with each other. Equally importantly, see how they engage with the waiters and support staff at the restaurant.
They should be on their best behavior. However, if you or your spouse spots something that doesn’t pass the sniff test, that could be a huge red flag.
When you get home, compare notes. Ask for your spouse’s thoughts. Because you’re doing most of the talking, your spouse is in a better position to check out your dinner guests. Usually, your spouse will have a better gut feel. That’s because your better half isn’t as emotionally involved as you are.
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Where and who you work with is one of the most important decisions you’ll make. Just like you might think twice about marrying someone you met at a speed-dating event, you shouldn’t rush a career decision, either.