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"7 Ways To Answer: What Do You Do " (Florence)

The question “What do you do?” has basically become synonymous with “Who are you?” There’s a reason it almost always follows “What’s your name?” in polite conversation: It’s helpful. It’s get-to-know-you shorthand. The one-word answer to “what do you do?” lets people categorize us and gives them a snapshot of what we do or who we are.

But there’s also a dark underbelly to introducing ourselves with this kind of shorthand: When labels go wrong, they can lead to stereotypes. Perception becomes more about the experiences accumulated by the people you’re talking to than anything that they may or may not know about you, personally.

For example:

You Say: I’m in sales.
They Think: You’re a pushy, sweet-talking charmer.

You Say: I’m a lawyer.
They Think: You’re the argumentative type.

You Say: I’m an accountant.
They Think: You’re a numbers geek.

Maybe I’m being a little harsh, but you get the picture; odds are, whatever quick description you’ve used in the past barely does what you do—or who you are—any justice. But everywhere from networking events to family gatherings, this question is going to live on. So we need to find a way to answer it so it’s an energizing conversation starter, instead of a fast track to the pigeon-hole.

Here are seven ways to reframe this common question to help you come up with a more compelling answer:
1-Talk about how you help people "your clients"
2-Tell an Anecdote About Your Job "give a short story related to what you do, so people will link"
3- Make it a Teachable Moment "talk about a point that will make Read more in our Professional Networking Group : Protected content

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