Planning a wedding is like looking for a job – no, really

Apr 11, 2011 by

It’s possible that I’ve already lost you with such a seemingly crazy analogy between planning weddings and applying for jobs, but bear with me.

I mentioned a while ago that I was engaged to Dan, my partner of over 5 years. I also mentioned that I was excited, but also scared. I’m not the type of woman that has dreamed of her wedding since she was a little girl; I’m also not the kind of woman that attempts to adhere to many gender stereotypes. Thus, the idea of a wedding kind of freaked me out.

As we started working on planning it, I started to realize that the feeling was similar to one I’d experienced before. Oddly, it’s a lot like applying to jobs.

But why?

Let’s be honest: no matter how much the wedding is about you and your partner making a lifetime commitment to love and honor each other, its also just as much about bringing together friends and family and appeasing their need to see something they expect from you. In that way, its exactly like a job search.

Job searches are about you finding an amazing position doing something you love. But they really aren’t. They’re about fitting your cog into an employer’s machine and appeasing that employers’ essentially selfish need to get a job done well. And in the frustrating and difficult crush of job searching, it can be easy to forget about yourself and your needs. It can also be easy to fixate on somehow blaming yourself for not being exactly what that employer wants. But in both the job searching and wedding planning business, you have got to remember the real truth behind the noise.

Here’s what you have to do:

  • Pick your battles – There are a ton of small decisions that make up wedding planning (I’ve studiously avoided many of these decisions by choosing an unconventional route, but that still leaves hundreds instead of thousands). If you fight each and every one out with your partner, family or friends, you’ll be exhausted within the first month. Same thing goes with job searching. If you’ve been reading this blog for a while, you know my opinions on job searching; essentially, you shouldn’t apply to every job that comes your way. In fact, you should only apply to a very few. Over the 5 and 1/2 month course of my last job search I only applied to 7 jobs (I did have the privilege of having a job during that search; if I didn’t, then of course would have applied to a few more). I put in a lot of time for each and every application because I determined that the particular job was perfect. That’s the only reason you should apply for it, period.
  • Step back once in a while – Every time I’ve gotten overwhelmed with wedding planning, I’ve taken a break of at least a few days. The same thing applies to job searching; you HAVE to take a break sometimes. Put away the job ads for a day or a week, go out and have a drink with friends and just decompress. If you keep pushing it, you will explode. Trust me.
  • Take a deep breath and try not to take things personally – Whether we’re talking weddings or job searches, you have to remember that despite lip service to the contrary, people aren’t always making decisions based on your needs and desires. Employers and family members have their own viewpoints they will exercise in spite (or maybe because) of your opinions. Mostly, their decisions have nothing to do with you personally; to think otherwise is to torture yourself needlessly.

Good luck and let me know how your job search – or your wedding planning – is going.

*Flickr photo courtesy of user vanberto

Related Posts

Share This