I'm reading a new book about modern romance. Yup, that is seriously what it is about. I'm not afraid to admit it. Admittedly, I did not know it was about that when I started reading it, but by the time my Kindle told me I was 15% into the book I was hooked. It got me thinking about how weird the concept of romance has gotten and how that same weird concept has infiltrated our work life as well and if it was a good thing or not.
I'd like to meet the first person that asked their significant other to marry them on an arena score board or the first person to YouTube a flash mob wedding proposal. I'd like to meet them and punch them in the face. (It may sound mean but it is what it is.
This happens SO much, there is even an infographic on the set costs of doing such a thing. So much for original
When those people did that, they changed everything because they made proposals this massive event that now has no originality, no meaning and forces people to think bigger and bigger is their only option. (If you asked someone to marry you in this form, I'm not talking about you, you didn't have a choice, it was expected so I understand. I'm mad at the 1st person who did it, they are on my list.) Now we live in a world of awkward white guys dancing to impress their wife and relatives at the reception and millions of judging spectators on YouTube.
You are probably now wondering, what in the world I am talking about. Modern romance has turned us into braggadocious show boating competitive weirdo's. It isn't just with potential lifemates either. All of the sudden we are trying to do the same thing at work.
We apply for jobs online with a thousand other yahoo's for the same role. A computer picks up if we chose the right generic words to win the interview lottery. Then we chat with an HR person that often times hasn't been provided any real information on the role. If you pass this step you then get to meet with 1 to 20 other people on the team to determine if you are a fit for the role. There is no timeline provided, call backs are never when they say they will be, nobody responds to your thank you email, voicemail or thank you card, even though it is an expected practice. So basically we do all of these things just to play the game. What this means, is that the idea of "modern romance" or technology has quite literally turned getting a new job into winning the employment lottery.
I sound bitter, I know but maybe I am. I have been helping a lot of people lately to find jobs and the responses and experiences I hear about are appalling. These are seriously qualified people with good resumes, good personalities and everything else you would expect from someone you wanted to hire. Now being qualified isn't enough. You need your own career flash mob. Full disclosure, you probably shouldn't do a flash mob for an HR department.
So I guess the question is, what would be the equivalent to a wedding proposal flash mob for our careers? How do we let people know who we are and what we have to offer in a compelling "man I gotta hire this kid right away" kind of way?
Some people do have some pretty interesting ideas from sandwich boards saying "hire me", taking out ads, video resume's etc. In some small cases, that works, but it isn't a guarantee. I am not sure I know the answer but...I will say this. Maybe this type of crazy idea job hunting will lose its luster. Maybe we are in the down slide of schemes and tactics to get a job and we are moving up towards good old fashioned hard word, dedication and drive...I said MAYBE, which probably reinforces the fact that I have no clue what the answer is. That reinforces the fact that maybe this post doesn't have its plot wrapped up in a nice bow.
Let's bring it back to the beginning and the idea of a flash mob wedding proposal. How many stories that start that way end with a 50th wedding anniversary? This is not meant as a judgement more of a hypothesis. When you start something as life altering as a marriage or a job it is special. You are learning new things every day, you get butterflies, there is always something new and exciting to talk about and share. All of that means that there isn't a need for any flashy addition to make it better, it's already awesome.
As time goes by, in a marriage or a job things start to settle, they become a little more routine, the quirks we used to love now make the hair on our neck raise up. THIS is when we need a scoreboard proclamation of love. This is when we need to be reminded why we are there. This may be easy to imagine in relation to a marriage or love, a tad harder maybe for a job. I see i like this, fancy resume's and big bold gestures may in fact get someone's attention at a place of employment, they may even get you in to a job but getting in is only the first step. Once you're in is when the hard work really begins and unless you are always at score board level or above, the expectation you created isn't being met. You have to do more and more to be seen and recognized for your work and it is usually at this point when people start to not like the job they so publicly fought to get.
I think it is time to bring some real romance back to our lives. It is time for us to do the work that gets us scene, recognized and adored. Modern romance? I'll take good old fashioned "till death do us part" kind of romance and get a career instead of a job.
no flash mob or scoreboard required.