July 19, 2016
Finding a job can be exhausting. Between sending out resumés and going to interviews, there is almost no time to vet the companies you’re applying to. And when you don’t understand who might be hiring you, that’s when you make the worst mistake of all: accepting a job you’re definitely going to hate. Fortunately, one author has come up with a way to play the odds and get the perfect job on the first try every single time.
That’s right, Brian Christian has cracked the case when it comes to how to make decisions. In his book, Algorithms to Live By: The Computer Science of Human Decisions, he outlines a number of different math equations that can help you lead a better life. Among them is the rule of 37 percent. When looking for a job, or a house, or even a lover, the mathematically calculated best time to commit is 37 percent of the way through your search.
This optimal stopping theory has been applied to everything you can imagine, from job searches to hiring events. The theory is that after seeing approximately one third of the field, you will have a good idea of what you are looking for and how to get it. However, if you wait until the “perfect job” hits you in the back of the head, you’ll be left holding your resumé without an offer in the world.
“Optimism minimizes regret,” explained Christian to Medium. “You’ve found some restaurants you really like. How often should you exploit that knowledge for a guaranteed good meal, and how often should you optimistically take a chance and explore new places to eat? The answer, again, depends partly on the interval of time involved.”
The theory is obviously not fool-proof. In fact, the theory can be damning if followed to the letter. While the math is as sound as it can be in such a subjective study, you could end up with the perfect job on the first try. But the key to being happy in your selection of a not-so-perfect job is to follow this equation. Like Christian said, optimism goes a long way in making life a little easier.
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