A few years ago when I entered the dating pool after being out of it for ten year, people were dating differently—everyone was online and I couldn’t figure out best-practices. I decided to apply four rules of job-hunting to my search:

Keep your profiles updated: I registered to five dating sites and apps. I used my most robust profile, to pull tidbits of information for the secondary sites that required less information.

  • Perfect your elevator pitch: “I’m into boxing, I’m training for the Brooklyn half marathon, did I tell you about the time I learned to drive stick for a trip to Portugal?”

  • Network: I said yes to activities with groups of people I barely knew, I went to happy hours, I signed up for events that I had even the slightest interest in.

  • Use your past experience: I studied my past relationships. What parts worked, what characteristics was I looking for in a partner?

Eventually a combination of all of the above led me to my now husband.

Since following job-hunting rules for dating worked for me, now that I’m job-hunting for the first time in ten years after back-to-back jobs, I’ve decided to approach it with these four rules of dating:

1. Perfect your online profile.

I am constantly updating my various profiles on networking sites and refining projects on my website.

2. Don’t let the fear of rejection deter you.

I reach out to recruiters, old colleagues, I ask for phone numbers and email addresses. I apply to jobs and pitch projects that seem out of my league.

3. Know your worth.

I figured out my rate and I let recruiters and clients know. I am getting used to saying no to opportunities that I feel are too low.

4. Figure out what you’re looking for.

I am exploring my options, seeing what is out there, and working on my skills in the meantime. I want to be 100% sure before I commit again. As I search the many job and networking sites I’ve registered to I find myself thinking, maybe there isn’t one right one for me. Maybe now is the time to finally pursue the freelance career I’ve always dreamt about, but have been too afraid to pursue.

I’m only a few weeks into my search, so I can’t say for certain that it is working, but I’m hoping that the rules I learned from dating will help me professionally as applying the rules of job-hunting had once helped me find my way personally.

Kruti Joshi is an art director and graphic designer who has spent the last decade working in publishing, media, and advertising. She has recently transitioned to freelancing full-time, mostly because the lap pool is empty from 9-5.

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