Since we’re at the end of 2022, it’s a natural time to reflect on the past, present and future. People also start acting on switching careers. This year brought a lot of layoffs from large tech companies. If you’re someone who is in between jobs - either voluntarily or involuntarily - or one of the estimated 50% of the U.S. workforce that is “quiet quitting”, let me plant a career seed that you probably never thought about: become a matchmaker.
Whaaaaat?! That’s not a “real” job, right? You thought about hiring a matchmaker last year, but then did some research, found it really expensive, and buried yourself in other priorities again and put love and all thoughts of matchmaking on the back burner.
It is a real job, I assure you! I’ve been doing it since 2014, so over 8 years. In my opinion, and the views of many DateSpot partner matchmakers, it is the best career out there.
Here are 10 main reasons why:
- The industry is on the rise amid dating app fatigue and non-committal behavior. This translates into growth opportunities for you and stability over time. Keep in mind too that matchmaking is literally one of the oldest industries. It’s just making a major comeback. Think about the 8 seasons of Millionaire Matchmaker and the popularity of Netflix’s Indian Matchmaking series. It’s just a reflection of what’s happening out there - but dramatized and taking the most entertaining cases possible, of course.
- It’s fun, fascinating, challenging work. You get paid to get to know people, ask them about their lives and what they’re looking for, and assess compatibility based on a lot of different interesting dimensions - none of which is an exact science so you can’t mess it up too bad. You’re constantly trying to prioritize and balance your client load so you learn that skill. You can be super social and be “working” just talking to singles at parties and events, and if that’s not appealing just know it isn’t necessary for success since everything can be done online. And it’s nearly impossible to be bored…if you ever are, there’s always more proactive recruiting outside your database that you can do!
- It’s one of the most collaborative industries out there, giving you a strong sense of community and connection. You can get started, and immediately start making connections with other matchmakers to help each other and match among your clients. If you focus on a particular niche - say those who are Jewish, or divorced, or LGBTQ, or even in open relationships, these are all categories that can succeed well because there is demand and you wouldn’t be competing with the rest of the industry – in fact, you can partner so they send you referrals of people they don’t service themselves and they receive standard 20% commission.
- It makes you a better person. I can confidently say that matchmaking did that for me for sure. You have to find out others, including how and why they see life in various ways. You recognize there is not just one way of viewing the world or doing things. Your empathy makes you kinder. You learn to ask questions that matter. You continually translate answers from singles and relay them to others, which requires you to be an excellent listener, and get clarification if needed. And you become extremely open-minded since you’ve seen the value of clients being open about their partner criteria and so encourage openness as much as possible.
- You learn how to be even-keel and “ride the waves” well. Matchmaking is a roller coaster of emotions, with a different ride for each client. Many matchmakers want you to believe that nearly all of their clients find “the one”, but in reality I will tell you from behind the scenes and partnering with over 80 matchmaking companies, true long term successes are generally NOT the norm. Because people who hire matchmakers have a lot invested mentally, emotionally, and typically financially, emotions run strong. As a matchmaker, you learn to handle ups and downs all the time, maintain perspective, and help your clients keep perspective too. You also celebrate your wins and can let your losses go when you know you did your best match efforts. (Note: this is part of the reason why I run DateSpot as a pay-per-match service - I see less volatility and upset people because people pay nothing upfront so there’s no real risk, though high client expectations and managing those expectations is still a major part of my job).
- You can do very well financially. What’s a discussion of career without consideration of finances? ZipRecruiter reported that as of Dec. 2022, the average annual pay for a Matchmaker in the U.S. was $47,524, but that generally does not include sales bonuses, which can easily push you into triple digit income. And if you have the courage for entrepreneurship, running your own business can be extremely lucrative after the initial ramp-up period of building your database. There are tons of resources available to help you succeed, including training, certification, CRM software, online collaboration groups, and the DateSpot potential match database. Matchmaking companies generally charge $5-100K for dedicated service (of all our partner companies who charge upfront, the average is $21K). You can see how revenue can add up quickly with new clients if you charge upfront, which is standard. If you prefer to do DateSpot’s more unique pay-per-match model, you’ll give up overall revenue, but you trade for a lot less stress and problems because you’re not pressured to materialize “matches” that don’t exist.
- It’s easy to make the transition. Nervous about not having the right background or skills? It’s one of the easiest careers to transition into. I shifted after 10 years in advertising and having no certification or special training before getting hired. In fact, most matchmakers don’t have special certification and just learn quickly on the job. You don’t even need a college degree - though of course this helps with high-caliber people relating to you and then signing on as a client. In terms of skills, you’ve got to have excellent written and verbal communication skills, relate well to people, and multi-task well, but that applies to a lot of the standard workforce so you probably already qualify.
- You can find a life partner free through matchmaker friends. You get to be in front of countless single people. This can get sticky so you have to be careful and set and maintain boundaries. So can you just take the “cream of the crop” for yourself? No, dating a client at another company can be grounds for firing - and even if it’s your own company that would be awkward and unprofessional. But you can tell your matchmaking colleagues and partner matchmaking companies that you’re looking for love and be an official potential match for clients. Of course, you can also get in front of matchmakers across companies at once by joining DateSpot.
- It’s flexible. The US Surgeon General released a report establishing five essential pillars for wellness in the workplace, with “work-life harmony” as one. This includes flexibility and autonomy - and a matchmaker gets a lot of both. Since you can easily work for yourself, you can also set your hours and even take an extra day during the week for yourself if you want to make that financial trade. There are rarely matchmaking emergencies, and you don’t need to be “on call” unless you choose to arrange blind dates. So generally you say when, where, and how, which contributes to more overall job satisfaction. To give you a sense, I had my first child this year, and have been essentially working part-time since Ava Celeste was born in February. I hired a fabulous assistant, which I highly recommend doing if you want a lot of flexibility to give your clients the service and attention they deserve. Having a job that allows me to be a mom AND be a professional is important to me, and though it’s a challenge, I also thrive on that balance.
- The sense of meaning at work translates to greater life meaning. Another one of those five workplace wellness pillars is "mattering at work". We’ve heard that Gen Z places even more importance on this pillar. Matchmaking offers a clear purpose. When you hear the news that a pair you matched is engaged or married, there’s nothing better. You brought love into the world where it didn’t exist before…and this is a lasting energy for the rest of their lives. Karmically, that’s got to amount to some reward. Even without some next-life upleveling, it sure makes this life even more satisfying.
I can’t say there are no downsides to the role - but I’ve already alluded to them.
If you do take the plunge to become a matchmaker, I encourage you to sign up for DateSpot to immediately secure members who are single at that time. Feel free to set up a one hour consulting call as well for $250. I’m here to help you succeed.
No matter what your next step is, I hope it’s something that inspires you every day. Let’s raise a glass to cheers to your career happiness in 2023 and beyond!