It’s easy to get stuck in the same scripted response to, “What do you do?” There are always multiple ways to introduce yourself, and you can decide where the conversation goes based on how you answer. Explore these four options and the next time someone asks what you do, chose the answer that excites you.
1. I am working on learning x so I can rethink industry y.
This response will most likely prompt questions about your industry or what rethinking means. You can then ask, “What industry are you in?” Ask if there are any upstarts rethinking their industry, and the conversation will continue from there. If they ask more questions, discuss how your non linear career path prepared you for this work.
2. I work in x space/area/industry doing y.
y, in this case, is your broader career goal rather than a job description. For example, y =
- Helping people build their companies (if you want to work in Operations)
- Helping people get jobs (if you want to work in HR)
- Working on the business side (if you want to work in sales or leadership)
- Working on the creative side (if you want to work in graphic design or strategy)
Their next question will likely be about how you do what you do. Choose this introduction if you love talking about the future of your work.
3. I am trying to figure out where to go from x, but we will see. I have time to figure it out.
x in this instance will be an explanation of the last project you were excited about at your previous job. Choose a project that really animates you, about which you know a great deal. Before you finish talking, ask them: “What do you think your next career move will be?” This conversation tends to be about the non-linearity of life in general.
4. I am learning about x right now, which is very exciting. What learning edge are you experiencing in your work?
You will likely be asked why or how you are learning x. If you are excited about learning and expanding your skill set, choose this introduction.
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