This summer, how many times will you be asked, “What do you do?”
Twenty times? Thirty times? More? How will you respond? “I am an accountant.” “I am a project manager.” “I am a mechanic.” “I am a system designer.” “I am…Forgotten.”
Yep. Forgotten. When you ask the same question to someone you have just met, and they provide a standard and—let’s face it—boring ‘I am a Career Coach’ response, do you remember what they do a week later? Do you remember them at all a month later? Back at you. Forgotten!
Whether you’re at a BBQ or network event or having drinks, every time you are asked, “What do you do?” you have the opportunity to standout and make a memorable impression!
The theory goes that if your response to that question is creative, outcome focused, and passionate, then a month later they will remember what you did even if they may not remember your name or face.
For example (and marketing purposes), let me share my response to “What do you do?”
New Person: “What do you do, Kim?”
Me: “I run a career coaching service that specialises in working with businesses. As a result of my coaching, staff members are happier and more productive, and the manager has more time in his or her day.”
Now, imagine that person is at a BBQ two months later talking to their best friend who is complaining about not having a happy team or not enough time in their day. Or six months later, that person I talked to is struggling with a team member themselves. I may get a phone call.
This works just as well for individuals.
Forgotten: I am a project manager in the city.
Memorable: I manage large, complex projects. I only lead projects over $50 million in the IT space, and my experience and skills usually result in the project being delivered ahead of time and budget.
Forgotten: I work for QDX as a system designer.
Memorable: I am a system designer, and I help companies with their data, systems, and interfaces. My clients are grateful for my expertise in this complex area and for a more simplified architecture.
Likewise, CEO’s and management should train their people on how to pitch the company (or team).
Forgotten: I work at L. J. Winger, a real estate company.
Memorable: My company, L. J. Winger, is located in the Crystal Springs community. We are a local real estate company with historic ties to the area. Our local market and property knowledge are why nearly 75% of residents in the area use us to sell their homes.
Not sure how you might respond to questions about what you do? Or would you like to learn how to update and use your bio, stump speech, or elevator pitch? Then attend my pitch class this Thursday, 13 September. Details here.
Oh, and this summer, instead of asking someone, “What do you do?” ask “What has been keeping you busy?”
Looking for more career tips and tricks? Keep an eye on my weekly blog.
Quote of the week: “Communication works for those who work at it.” – John Powell