The Job Search Tango

Have you ever danced with someone you were really attracted to and all you wanted to do was kiss them in the middle of the dance, like some big romantic scene right out of a movie that probably starred Katherine Heigl or someone equally ridiculous? There's a problem, though; everytime you go to kiss them, something in the dance itself gets in your way. There's a spin, or a twirl... or in some cases a dip that ends in someone getting dropped on their ass. Sounds fun, right? I mean, if you're a masochist. Otherwise, it sounds like hell.

And that is exactly what job-hunting in today's world is like: an unending, nightmarish job search tango. Think about it for a second.

This has absolutely nothing to do with anything. I just love Brittany S. Pierce.

You start off by finding someone you want to dance with and then ask them to dance; you submit your resume. If they like what they read, you come in for an interview, and the dance begins. You're dressed to impress. You already know what's coming, all the steps to the dance: why did you leave your last job? What are your goals? Your strengths? Weaknesses? What makes you right for this position? Why should I keep dancing with you? Maybe they throw a few movies in that you weren't expecting... you think it's a waltz and they start breaking...

The obligatory Breakin' 2 reference.

and you're caught flat-footed. Does anybody really know how to answer "If someone wrote a biography about you, what do you think the title should be?" No. But you keep dancing. Because if you stop dancing early, you don't get the job.

In the old days, in the time of sock-hops and malt shoppes, you'd either get that kiss or get dropped in the dip at the end of the first dance. People would get hired or not at the end of the first interview. Now, though, in the days of flash mobs and trance clubs, there's no such thing as a kiss in the first dance... but you can sure get dropped on your ass. If you manage to stay on your feet, that special someone you want takes your number, and maybe they'll call you back for another dance, with different steps and rhythm and even more surprises. Or you'll never hear from them again. See, there's an even bigger problem than anything else.

You're not the only person trying to dance with them. It's not like Saved by the Bell, where Kelly just has to pick between Zack and Slater.

Love triangles and bizarre Drivers' Ed cars do not mix.

No, in today's economy it's more like you're trying to dance with Cinderella, and so is everyone else in the whole damn kingdom. With tens of thousands of people unemployed now, competition is fiercer than ever. In a perfect world, luck wouldn't play into it, but it does. Sometimes Cinderella picks someone to dance with before you even get her attention. The only thing you can do is find another partner and keep on dancing.

But I have to be honest, I've never been a big dancer, and my feet are killing me.