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What Do You Do? Crafting an Tribal Introduction


Gayle Hallgren-Rezac co-author Work The Pond!

What Do You Do? Crafting an Effective Elevator PitchAre you prepared to answer the question “what do you do?” Do you have a 30-second Tribal  Introduction prepared? Here’s what we find when doing our Positive Networking® workshops: people work up a sweat when we ask them to answer this question! And if you are between jobs, the question “what do you do?” is even more anxiety-laden. But it’s a question you’re going to be asked—

What Not to Say

Let’s start with what not to say: “Well, actually I’m unemployed.” Also, avoid the needy answer: “I’m looking for job.” Worse yet is the dreaded war story: “I worked for company XYZ for eight years and was emptied out last month. It was unbelievable what happened!” This tale of woe is definitely not the right story. In Work the Pond! Use the Power of Positive Networking to Leap Forward in Work and Life, we give this advice on avoiding the gory details:

“Why not say, ‘I just spent five incredible years with Global Networks as an IT specialist. It was an amazing learning experience, and now I am looking forward to applying my experience to a new opportunity.’ Tell this as a quick upbeat story about yourself. Remember, you are a champion, not a victim.”

Create Scenarios about What You Do

Create a number of scenarios for how you will respond to “what do you do?” One size does not fit all. Practice your positive responses. Actually write out your answers. It will force a reality check when you see it in black and white. The key thing is, does it sound authentic? Is it something that you would really say?

Project Positivity

Even if your job search is challenging, project a positive attitude: “I’ve met some wonderful people.” “There are amazing opportunities out there.” Give the impression you have simply not found the right fit. Do not paint the mental picture of being someone who is sitting around waiting for the phone to ring. If you have been taking specific courses to upgrade your skills or if you’ve committed some of your time to rewarding volunteer work while looking for paid work, share that information.

Practice Positive Networking®

As a Positive Networker you know networking is all about discovering what you can do for others. While this may seem like a time in your life when you feel you’re the one who needs the help, keep the conversation focused on the other person. By being genuinely interested in their firm or industry, you are making the right impression. What’s the most important thing? Make a memorable impression; one of these folks might help you realize your dream job


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