Whether I’m speaking at an event, teaching a workshop or attending a networking event most people, without hesitation will introduce themselves by their job title.
“Hi, my name is Karen Taylor, I’m an administrative assistant.”
“Hi, my name is John James, I’m just the IT guy.”
“Hi, my name is Lisa Wizdel, I am the managing director of Kentwood Enterprises.”
ME (5 minutes later): Um, yeah so, what is that you do again?
So, can I keep it real with you for a moment? Hearing someone introduce themselves by their job title makes me cringe because job titles do not define who you are. Most times, job titles are conversation blockers because nine times out of ten, the person hears your title but, they still don’t have a clue about what you do or the value you bring to the table. These are the juicy details that help us develop meaningful connections with people. When you clearly communicate the value you provide, it can help someone recommend you for a job, persuade a journalist to cover your story and even inspire someone to make a major investment in your business.
But listen I get it, “What do you do?” is such a silly question, because it could mean a gazillion different things. But hey, it’s a small world. Whether you’re riding on the train to work or attending a friend’s wedding, you never know when an opportunity might knock. So stay ready with a value statement that shows who you are and what you bring to the table.
Seth Godin said it best:
. So stop defining yourself by your job title. The next time someone asks: “So, what do you do?” Follow the tips below to help you respond in a way that helps you stand out from the pack.
Response 1: Describe the Problem You Solve
My name is Kelly. I teach managers how to communicate more effectively so they can avoid unnecessary conflict and boost productivity in the workplace.
Hi, I’m Kim. I’m a techie. I troubleshoot hardware and software issues for 10,000 employees at Facebook.
Response 2: Describe Something You Created & How it Helps a Specific Audience
Hi, I’m David. I developed an online learning system to help people with disabilities prepare for employment.
Hey, I’m Dan. I love everything about numbers so I created a financial literacy program to help high school students prepare for college and avoid credit card debt and student loans.
Response 3: Talk About Your Why & The Impact Your Work Has on The World
My name is Mary. There are 60,000 children in NYC who grow up with a parent who is incarcerated. My organization provides resources to help children thrive and stay connected to their parents in prison.
Hi, my name is Jimmy. I’m an award-winning filmmaker with a passion for spotlighting social injustice in underserved communities around the world. In 2016, I published a collection of photo and film documentaries to help spread the word about injustices happening in New York, Cuba, Haiti, Brazil, and Ghana.
Have you struggled with answering the question: What do you do? Drop me a comment below or if you need help writing your value statement send me an email at Hello@Kandiajohnson.com.