Have you ever been to a party and someone asks ‘What do you do’? In New Zealand, it is usually the next thing someone asks after you have introduced yourself!
How do you feel you handle this question? Do you feel you have your elevator pitch primed and ready to go?
An article by Amanda Berlin via ‘The Muse’ highlights seven ways of answering the question, you know is coming… “What do you do?”
Amanda’s first way is: talk about how you help people. I used to work in a retirement village as an Activity Coordinator. Nowadays there is a better understanding of what is involved in this role, but I was there over 10 years ago! During this time, I had to constantly dispel the myth that I sat round calling housie all day. However, once I explained that I helped motivate residents by planning activities and events for them to enjoy, it broke down the misconception and allowed a really interesting dialogue with the person.
Another suggestion Amanda offers is, make it a teachable moment. A couple of weeks ago I had a get together with family I had not seen for a wee while. We had a wonderful catch up and of course one of the questions I was asked was ‘What are you currently doing?’ I explained I was an Employer Relations Consultant and that I liaised with employers to find out what programmes/vacancies they had that were suitable for our students, and then how we promoted these opportunities to our students. As some family members there had teenagers, they were very interested in hearing more about my work. A definite teachable moment!
Amanda other ways are described here in ‘The Muse’
- Tell an anecdote about your job
- Be vulnerable
- Be relevant
- Let your freak flag fly
- Be self-promotional
If you want to learn how to answer the ‘what do you do’ question more successfully. Make sure you check out our careers networking workshops advertised here