The Dating Corollary: Desperation and Jealousy

As mentioned in the introduction (and you read the introduction, right? No? Go read it over here), we’re going to chat about some of the similarities between the wild world of dating, looking for a job, hiring someone, and just networking in general.

Like when you thought you really had a strong connection.

You had an awesome conversation.

You had what they were looking for.  They had what you were looking for.

It all seemed to be going so well.

This might even be…could it be…The One?

But then, when you came back from that quick trip to the bathroom…they had that same look in their eyes…but they were talking to someone else

Take a breath, dude.

We’re talking about a recruiter here, and you are at a networking event, after all.

Just because the recruiter is off and into their next conversation doesn’t mean that they think any less of you – it means that they’re doing what they’re there to do.  Meeting as many qualified candidates as they can, so as to maximize their chances of being successful.  They’ve taken time out of their day, usually their own personal time out of their own lives, in order to keep doing their jobs.  Do you get out of work and get your friends together for a rousing staff meeting?  Do you look forward to curling up on the couch after a hard day at the office and putting together another Gantt chart?  Do you rush home from work to fire up Visio so that you can tweak yet another org chart?

(note: if any of those are true…seek help.  really…seek professional help.  there’s only so much we can do with beer)

Hopefully you get the point.

Follow up like they asked you to follow up, and for the love of all that’s good and decent in the world…don’t turn into Creepy Guy.

If you’re a recruiter, this explains the following scenario for you: You just had a really nice conversation with a potential candidate that might work out well for a few gigs you have open. You gave them your card, and requested that they follow up with you tomorrow morning, first thing, so that you could get their resume, start talking through what’s available, and try to find a fit.

So why are they now shooting lasers out of their eyes at you from across the room while you’re chatting with another potential candidate?

Because you’re their recruiter, dammit, and nobody else can have you, your attention, and damned sure not your jobs.

Potential Creepy Guy, Level 1.  Make a mental note, just to be safe.

But I’ve seen the opposite happen, as well.

The recruiter meets their friggin’ dream candidate at one of our events, and then does everything short of actually peeing on them to mark their territory for the rest of the night.  Other conversations get blown off.  Other interested potential candidates get ignored.  Conversations between that candidate and other recruiters get interfered with, sabotaged, and mud is slung about reputations in sidebar conversations at the earliest opportunity.

Relax.  They’re just doing what they came here to do – meet with as many recruiters or other people that might be able to help them find a new gig as they could.

And in case you missed the memo, desperation is a major turn-off.

Sort of like how “the best time to look for a job is when you don’t need one immediately” …there’s just something about desperation that changes people.  A pheromone that’s given off or something that just completely changes the dynamic of any conversation that takes place.


Have a little confidence in yourself and what you do.

If they’re smart, they’ll be coming back to you anyway.

You have the skills they need, right?

You have the job they’re looking for, right?


So chill out a bit.  Grab another drink and move on to your own next conversation.

Besides…we all know that a little bit of playing “hard to get” or showing someone that you’re moving on just fine without them just makes the other party crazy and want you all the more.