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7 Better Ways to Answer "What Do You Do"

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https://www.themuse.com/advice/7-better-ways-to-answer-what-do-you-do

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7 Better Ways to Answer "What Do You Do"
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?" allows people categorize us and gives them a snapshot of what we do or who we are.

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Categories And Stereotypes

To the question 'What do you do'? we usually give one-word answers, that allow people to categorize us and create stereotypes. For example:

  • I’m in sales. They think:

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Talk About How You Help People

Start your next response with “I help people… because it usually takes the stereotype away from your job title.

For example: You can say you're a copywriter or you can ...

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Tell an Anecdote About Your Job

Tell a story about something that was fun or inspiring to you at work.

It will help you make connections: the brain activity of the storyteller and the listener mirror each other,...

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Make it a Teachable Moment

You are educating the other person on the subject of you. 

So instead of just saying your title, explain something he or she might not know about your work or industry. 

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Be Vulnerable

Make it personal and talk about your journey: talk about your dreams and aspiration,  and about what led you to where you are today, etc.

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Be Relevant

Pass on the details about you and your work that are relevant to the person you’re talking to.

Think about what experiences you have that will resonate with the people you’re talking t...

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Be Self-Promotional

You’re doing everyone a favor by being honest about what you’re good at and what lights you up. 

We need more people who can speak frankly about the value they bring to the client...

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SIMILAR ARTICLES & IDEAS:

An asshole

An asshole is someone who consistently makes the people around feeling humiliated, de-energized, disrespected, or oppressed.

Take responsibility

Some people are so thin-skinned that they think everyone is offending them when it's nothing personal. Other people are objectively treated like dirt everywhere because they're doing something to prompt that punishment.

We've got to take responsibility.

Consequences

Mean-spirited people need someone in their life to tell them they're contemptible.

In the very short-term, it might seem to your advantage to let someone feel like dirt. However, in most situations, we actually need collaboration and should be givers rather than takers. By being an asshole, you might be destroying your organization by driving out the best people, undermining their productivity, creativity, and so on.

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Rob Hill Sr.

“My goal is to build a life I don’t need a vacation from.”

Rob Hill Sr.

Creating the life you love

Make choices leading to the life you want to create for yourself. Don't let your past hold you back.

Your life might not seem to be the best fit for someone else, but it should a life you are happy with. Create a life you love.

How to create an authentic life

Start where you are right now.

  • Align your life with your own core values - those things that are most important to you personally.
  • Find time to do the activities you loved doing as a child. - join an activity group or take a class.

Listen to yourself and take action on what you discover.

Be a Professional Cheerleader

Charismatic people offer encouragement instead of skeptically listening to people’s goals and ideas. Find ways to encourage people while still holding them accountable:

Charismatic People Bring People Together

Charismatic people have lots of connections and share them regularly. Highly charismatic people are not only great at meeting new people, but also sharing their talent with their connections by introducing people who they know will get along well.

This quality is part of the reason charismatic people are such sought after connections; they spread their social wealth.

Likability is Key To Your Own Charisma

Likable leaders earn the trust of their team members and treat them well, and that makes the team’s performance better.

Teams with likable leaders tend to be more stable long-term because of lower turnover rates and are also better with changes since they are more likely to have employees committing to adopting to new ways.

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Clarify the question

Make sure you're not assuming what you're being asked and take the  time to really understand the question.

Insert parts of the question in your answers, but never repeat the negative la...

Take thinking time

When you're faced with difficult questions, make sure you buy yourself enough time to determine how you want to respond.

Repeating of rephrasing the question could give you some extra time for thinking about how you want to answer.

Answer part of the question

Find a part of the question you are comfortable answering if answering the whole question is not an option.

This may sometimes be enough to satisfy the other person.

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Answers To Common Interview Questions

  1. Can you tell me a little bit about yourself? Don’t tell your life story; answer clearly and concisely. Focus on professional accomplishments.
  2. Why should we hire you over the other appl...

The Smartest Way To Answer Interview Questions

The interviewer is likely looking for someone who can solve problems, has good interpersonal skills and the ability to get things done using good judgment and effectiveness. 

Not every question lets you show skills easily, so reframing a question to get to the answer you want to communicate might be the best way to do so.

Better conversations

They're usually the conversations with minimum friction, repetition and misunderstanding, and maximum alignment between the people that take part in it.

A good communicator

Good communicators:

  • They are very good at listening
  • They see how the other person is reacting and fir their responses accordingly
  • They make space for the other person to make productive contributions.

What to avoid

  • Don't start conversations with aggressive or challenging statements.
  • See the difference between arguments that do and don't matter and let the insignificant things go.

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What you say, and how you say it

When trying to explain complex information to an audience, the first task is to get the content of what you're saying right. 

How we communicate is also cr...

How much technical detail to include

Try not to use technical language. If you do, make sure it is absolutely necessary in order to help the audience understand or appreciate your point – and ensure that you explain the word or term immediately afterwards.

Keep your words as simple and clear as possible, and use real-life examples and illustrations where possible. But don’t patronize your audience.

How to use body language

If you look alert but relaxed, your audience will mirror this and feel the same way. Stand up straight, but relax any tension or stiffness in your body. 

It’s a good idea to gesture with your hands in such a way that helps to make clear what you are explaining – but only do this if it feels natural, and try not to wave your arms around unnecessarily.

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Emotional intelligence

It is the ability to manage our own emotions and react to the emotions of others.

People who exhibit emotional intelligence have the less obvious skills necessary to get ahead in life,...

5 key areas of emotional intelligence

  • Self-awareness: it involves knowing your own feelings. 
  • Self-management: it involves being able to keep your emotions in check when they become disruptive.
  • Motivation, for the sake of personal joy, curiosity or the satisfaction of being productive.
  • Empathy: the skill and practice of reading the emotions of others and responding appropriately.
  • Social skills: this can include finding common ground with others, managing others in a work environment and being persuasive.

Improving self-awareness

  • Keep a journal of your emotions. At the end of every day, write down what happened to you, how you felt, and how you dealt with it. 
  • Ask for input from people who know you well about where your strengths and weaknesses lie, to gauge your perception from another’s point of view.
  • Slow down (or meditate). The next time you have an emotional reaction to something, try to pause before you react.

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A raise

... is a recognition that you’re now contributing at a higher level than when your salary was last set. 

A raise isn’t a favor or a gift; it’s a way for employers to pay fair market valu...

It’s normal to ask

It’s not greedy or entitled to ask for a raise.  Unless you work somewhere truly dysfunctional, it’s understood that you work for money. This is okay.

  • you’re not asking for an amount that’s wildly out of sync with the market for your work, and 
  • you have a track record of strong work.

Be emotionally intelligent about your timing

You shouldn’t ask to talk about your salary when your manager is especially harried or having a bad day or nervous about impending budget cuts. 

On the other hand, if you’ve just saved the day with an important client or garnered rave reviews for a high-profile project, or if your boss has seemed particularly pleased with you lately, now might be a particularly good time to make the request.

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Be realistic about the risks

Our natural bias is to start by imagining all the things that will go horribly wrong if we disagree with someone more powerful. Yes, your counterpart might be a little upset at first, but most like...

Decide whether to wait

You may decide to hold off voicing your opinion if you want to gather your army first. People can contribute experience or information to your thinking — all the things that would make the disagreement stronger or more valid. 

Also, delay the conversation if you’re in a meeting or other public space. Discussing the issue in private will make the powerful person feel less threatened.

Identify a shared goal

Before you share your thoughts, think about what the powerful person cares about. You’re more likely to be heard if you can connect your disagreement to a “higher purpose.” 

State it overtly then, contextualizing your statements so that you’re seen not as a disagreeable underling but as a colleague who’s trying to advance a shared goal. 

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