Photo by Michele Agius.

Looking for a new job can be a lot like buying a car or buying a house: painful. I’m currently on the lookout for a new home, and it’s been reminding me of some good job search lessons.

We recently found a great place that had a lot of the features we were looking for: good location, decent price, a charming space that would feel like home. We even negotiated down on price! But at the end of the day, we weren’t in love and decided to pass on it. It was a tough decision because, again, it had almost all of the features we were looking for. It’s also not as if we have another home lined up. At the end of this process, we’ve got to end up with a place to live!

But the truth is, getting to NO (or YES) as quickly as possible is in everyone’s best interest. This applies directly to your job search too. We’re not saying you should rush to a conclusion without thinking things through. But the truth is that even before you are given the job offer, or you make an offer on a new home, the bulk of your evaluation has already occurred. By this point, you’ve got to have a solid handle on how much you like this job or potential new home. If you like it enough to go through with it, press on with the rest of the process. But if you don’t, stop! Do not pass go. Do not collect $200. And press on in your search.

In looking for a new home or a new job (or a new car, and I’m sure many other things), there is a fine line between staying true to what you want and simply being too picky. Timeline is another important factor here and will grant you more or less flexibility depending on your situation. As for our house hunt, we weren’t desperate to find a new home immediately (in a few months, though, we will be). Maybe you can afford a few more weeks of looking for that perfect job - or maybe you can’t.

The point here is that you’ll have to make tough decisions when it comes to your search for a new home, or a new job. The sooner you can make those decisions, with confidence, the sooner you can move forward in your search or get settled in your new job or home.