How To Answer "What Do You Do?" The RIGHT Way

How To Answer "What Do You Do?" The RIGHT Way
The RIGHT Way To Answer "What Do You Do?"

I want to challenge you to learn the right way to answer the question, "What do you do?" Most people answer with their job title. "I'm an accountant," or "I'm a digital marketer," etc. The problem with that is that's not what they asked you.

Don't Respond With A Noun!


They asked you, "What do you do?" That's an action, an activity. You're responding with a noun, a label, and you're shortchanging yourself when you answer it that way. This is an opportunity to enhance your brand.

For those of you that hate the idea of personal branding, let's just call it reputation management. This is a chance to build your reputation every time you get asked this question!

Talk About The Value You Provide

I always teach people to answer this in three parts. The first part? You're going to talk about what you love to do in terms of the problems you solve or the pain you alleviate for an employer.

You want to explain the value that you provide. Why do you get paid? Why do you love doing it?

Talk About How You Deliver

Professional man thinking about how he delivers value in his career

The second step is to follow up with an explanation of how you do that. What's your methodology? What's your thought process? This will help them better understand how you actually deliver on that value.

Tell Them Where You Want To Go

Two people talking about their career paths and career stories

The third step in the process is to talk about where you're going with this. If you're not growing your career, my friends, you're dying! You've got to be growing your career and you need to let the world know that.

This last step is going to be about what you're looking to achieve moving forward with respect to these skills.

Getting People To Ask YOU Questions


This is the perfect brand message. And yes, it's a little bit more than what you're used to responding with. You'll quickly get over the discomfort because when you start responding this way, people start asking you questions.

They want to know more. They're curious, and you have their attention. You're not holding their attention when you say, "I'm an accountant," or "I'm a digital marketer." You're holding their attention when you say, "I love to solve this kind of problem. I do it with this kind of methodology, these skill sets, and now I'm really looking to grow my career by becoming in expert in (blank)."

This is a transformational, impactful way to answer, "What do you do?" The more you do it, the more natural it will feel! You can fine-tune it as needed when you see what really lands with people and encourages the most engagement.

So, today I challenge all of you to answer the question, "What do you do?" with this process.

Don't love what you do? Work It Daily can help! Find the tools, resources, support, and confidence to take control of your career today by joining our career growth club!

Man on laptop enjoys summer while working full time

There you are: sitting on the beach, covered in sunscreen, reading your favorite book, drinking your favorite drink under the cool shade of an umbrella. Life doesn't get any better than this. Suddenly, a door slams, a phone rings, a printer turns on. You jolt back into consciousness. You're at work, sitting in your cubicle, without even a hint of sunshine streaming in from outside.

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