How trying to find a job is like trying to find love

A job seeker shakes hands with a potential employer during the 'Put Your Talent to Work' job and resource expo Dec. 17, 2008 in Concord, Calif

Patti Stanger (L) and Destin Pfaff (C) on Bravo's "Millionaire Matchmaker."

Kai Ryssdal: Whatever the news is when the November unemployment report comes out Friday morning, there'll be no change in one economic indicator: Finding work still isn't easy. So many people, so few jobs.

It can be, in some ways, not unlike looking for love. So we asked Patti Stanger and Destin Pffaf to come in and give us some pointers. You might have heard of them -- they are The Millionaire Matchmakers of the reality show on Bravo that helps rich people find love. We decided to extend that metaphor.

Hey guys, welcome.

Destin Pfaff: Hey.

Patti Stanger: Hey how are you?

Ryssdal: So the reason we have you guys in here is to talk about this connection we came up with between finding love and find a job. There are some similarities, Destin, yes?

Pfaff: Oh, there's absolutely similarities. I mean, it starts right off with the interview. When you go on a first date, you can never make a first impression twice. When you go in an interview, don't go in there casual and cocky -- go in there wanting to show your best you.

Ryssdal: And yet there are some problems. Let's play a piece of tape from the show.

"Millionaire Matchmaker" clip: One of the problems of being in a dating situation and being rusty is that they vomit too much information. It's T.M.I. And that's a really difficult thing.

Ryssdal: Vomit too much information. There are things that you don't need to share in a job interview, just like you don't need to share them on a date.

Stanger: No, you know, now they can ask for your credit background. So I wouldn't recommend telling people, 'I've been in debt, I've been out of work -- but I'm a real hard worker.' Nobody's going to want to hire you.

Ryssdal: But what are you supposed to do, though? You're out there, you're desperate for a job. What are you supposed to do?

Pfaff: If you're a single man or you're a single woman, you go out there and you date. You date and you date and you date until you find the person that's the one. The last person that you date is the last person you're going to be with; you don't need to look anymore. The same thing goes for a job.

Ryssdal: How do you not get stale, though? If you date and you date and you date, it gets stale. You can only go and have dinner and a movie a half-zillion times.

Stanger: Well we call that dating detox. After a while, if you're not hitting, you take a break for three months and in this case, you take a break to redefine who you want to be. So let's say for instance I'm looking for a computer job and it's not working, OK? Maybe I need to expand my horizons, you know, and do something related to computers. There's lots of things that you can do. But here's the thing: You can get the job -- doesn't mean you're going to keep the job. You can get the guy, doesn't mean you're going to keep the guy. Staying there, building your net worth and who you are -- because that's really what a job's about -- that's just the same thing as dating.

Ryssdal: What happens when you find the perfect job, you're really excited about it, you had a great interview -- same as on a date: find a great woman, find a great man -- and they don't like you as much? How do you handle that rejection?

Stanger: You have to learn to know that god's rejection is really protection. So you have to look at it like that, and your number will come up. But it's a lot of perseverance, you can't take it personally, that's all it is.

Pfaff: As a society, American in general, we've gotten really wimpy.

Stanger: Well men have.

Pfaff: And it's just mend the bridge and get over it. You didn't get the job you really wanted?

Ryssdal: Wait, men have?

Stanger: OK, women are multitaskers. They take jobs for less money when they should be taking more, OK? Reinvent yourself. That's what women do. We reinvent ourselves when things aren't working. I don't want to hear 'nah nah nah.'

Ryssdal: There comes a time in every relationship or job application process where the other person is more into you, right? And the employer's more into you and you're like, 'Yeah I really don't want this.' How do you gracefully handle that?

Stanger: What I would do in a situation like that is -- because you never know when you're going to need a favor -- I keep the door open. And I say, 'Listen, I'm really not feeling this job's right for me at this time, but I have a friend.' But I would also say, 'Let's keep it going here.' Because maybe there's a better job in their company that will come up in six months. And it's the same thing with love. I've put a lot of people on ice, and the truth of the matter is, it works.

Ryssdal: She says heartlessly.

Stanger: It works. Now, have I been wrong? Of course I've been wrong. And sometimes, the job you think is the pain in the you-know-what can turn out to be the greatest job in your life.

Ryssdal: Patti Stanger and Destin Pfaff from "The Millionaire Matchmaker" on Bravo. They gave us five extra tips that apply to both job hunters and date seekers, listen below.

 

 

  

About the author

Kai Ryssdal is the host and senior editor of Marketplace, public radio’s program on business and the economy.

Patti Stanger (L) and Destin Pfaff (C) on Bravo's "Millionaire Matchmaker."

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