dating is a lot like picking a new company to call home.

Seriously, what happens with DNA? How is it I am the marketer/advertising geek, and both of my brothers are math/science wizz-like? Maybe I should take credit for leaving part of my own DNA so theirs could double. Wait, that wouldn’t double…see, exactly my point.

well, when one brother has recently finished his PhD in chemistry and asks his older but worldly sister for advice on how to pick the right company when multiple offers present themselves, how can I resist but compare my professional and personal dating drama…..

Imagine moving in with someone you JUST met after one or two dates, maybe a meal, no sleepover, and if lucky, more than a few hours spent together talking about real issues, not just surface stuff. A new company is not much different. It’s a second home.

Ask yourself what it will be like to get irritated and find resolution with new people you’ve not spent years together getting to know (and a quick Meyers Briggs doesn’t change us overnight)?

Will you have room to assert your opinion even BEFORE asked?

Meeting the kids and parents (meaning, those you manage or those who manage your own supervisor) – My experience is the more you meet the staff in advance, the smarter and stronger your second home will be. You are “on” with the big wigs, but you are in the trenches with peers and the on the ground supervisors. If you haven’t met them, ask. What does it say if the company doesn’t allow? The goal being to learn how open the company treats employees- do the colleagues really “get” the company vision, are they empowered to make change, do they know their own succession plan, are they threatened, etc? The best matches- at least for me- are open and ready to offer growth in the public eye.

Imagine brushing your teeth next to the folks you met (b/c traveling, late nights and long days means getting to know someone very very well).

Imagine a peer steals an idea and markets as their own. How will you address or will you chose long relationship over the short term moment? In essence, you are signing up for a second home, and without the dating or really getting to know culture. Consider which company you know you can call a peer out and still end as comfortable colleagues who work as a team.

Ask yourself what it felt like to walk in and out? Is the vibe a match for you? Not b/c you want the role and they want you- remember this is like a date, and you are both courting today. In a few short weeks, that part is gone, and you are part of a team. The vibe must be win-win.

What did they wear, how did they speak to you, was it conversational, all biz, comfortable and open, etc? And what works for you- 8+ hours a day?
This is your second home, and it won’t feel like a home for a while. You will feel displaced, so finding a confidante early and letting them do the talking (while you observe without offering big change immediately) is critical. Regardless of what you choose, don’t jump in and start making changes in the first 90 days. Observe, make note, think at 30k’. Time will allow for the opportunities you see for change in time.

Money is just money. Don’t make a call because of a higher salary. It will come if the fit is right. And if not, own your own path and move forward.

The fit MUST be right, and only you can trust your inner guide to make that decision for you. Just listen.