Select Page

-What do you do-- (1)

 

Firstly, let’s all just marvel at how crappy a slice of small talk the question “What do you do?” is. It’s like we haven’t quite copped on that we’ve left the industrial revolution behind and people are no longer just working machines (mostly) that have no other life and/or interests to speak of.

I do have beef with this question. And for years I thought that the reason was because I was stuck in a string of jobs that just didn’t “explain who I am, man”. But now, I run my own gig and I love every speck of what I do and I STILL hate it when this question is offered up in conversation.

So let’s make a pact right here and now, you and me, that we will never utter these words to someone ever again?
Cool, I’m glad we’re doing this together.

I’ve heard myself say it in the past and the instant cringe of self awareness almost hurts.

No more!

However, there are those people out there that aren’t reading this post (do they know what they’re missing?!) and so we’re going to eventually be faced with ‘the question’ again sometime soon. But don’t worry, because I did a heap of thinking and reading and I’ve figured out 3 simple ways to answer the awkward question of ‘what do you do?’. Just find out where you fit in and amend the scripts I’ve given you. Easy! Phew. What a relief!

You’re unemployed and currently trying to figure out your jam

There is no shame in being without work. Whether you’ve chosen that path or not. We’ve all known someone between jobs over the last 7 years. And also, don’t be self conscious that you haven’t quite figured out the direction you’d like to take next. You don’t need to have it all figured out, ever. How about that for refreshing? Most business owners I know are just testing what works and figuring it out as they go along. So when ‘the question’ arises, simply say…

“I’m taking some time to redirect at the moment, but I’m really interested in {insert one of your interests here}. I’m looking into {insert the next step you can take to make your interest into your job}.”

Eg. “I’m taking some time to redirect at the moment, but I’m really interested in virtual assisting. I’m looking into finding some business owners that need help with their general tasks.”

This not only lets the person you’re speaking to know where your interests lie, but it may also open you up for referrals to explore possible job opportunities. BOOM. Done. Next?

You’re employed, but you don’t like what you do (and maybe have a side hustle)

Ahhh… This one rings so familiar for me. At one point, I was working as a receptionist for a building company and HATED having to answer this question because I didn’t particularly enjoy the job and I was juggling side hustles of event styling, interior design, photo styling, graphic design and web design. Yep. That’s a whole lotta hustle. But it shouldn’t make you a bumbling wreck when faced with ‘the question’. Here are two ways to answer it if you find yourself in this position…

“I’m a {insert side hustle here}.”

Yes, that’s right, I’m giving you full permission in writing to call yourself by the profession you wish to be in. Why? Because there is no stronger way to manifest a reality than by living as if you have arrived (click to tweet). And as far as I’m concerned, if you are prepared to spend your only free time to moonlight as any profession, you deserve to shrug off the title that doesn’t fit your soul and label yourself accordingly.

Option two is a little more comfortable and jovial. It’s also a favourite with my husband.

“I’m a {insert day job profession here} by day and a {insert dream profession here} by night.”

Eg. “I’m a truck driver by day and an author by night” (aka my husband Gavin Liddell)

You’re an entrepreneur or in a day job you heart

You get to play it safe and say “I’m a ‘insert profession here.” But let’s be frank, it’s boring as all hell. It also doesn’t open up any emotion in that other person for what exactly it is that you do. Here’s my favourite way to answer this question:

“{Insert question that allows person to be put in the position of your client} Well, I {explain how you solve that problem}.”

For instance, if you were a copywriter you could say:

“You know the content you find on a website? Well, I write that content for business owners so they can make more sales and spend more time actually running their business”.

It allows the person to feel, even just for a split second, what it would be like to have you solve a problem for them and opens up further questions and potential referrals.

Clever, eh? And would you look at that, there were actually 4 ways. You got bang for your buck.
Also, in case you were wondering, this is how I would answer that question too:

“You know how a business needs a logo? Well, I design an entire brand for entrepreneurs that goes beyond a logo and reflects their personality. Because that’s how to attract incredible customers.”

Much love,

Naomi

 

Pin It on Pinterest