What Do You Do?

You’re at a networking event. Mingling and conversing with people you’ve never met. There are tons of questions to ask. But one that gets asked more than anything.

What do you do?

Red and white puzzle pieces

Image by Patrick Hosely

Without a thought we normally spew out the simple answer. Stating the career we’re in. Or what we do professionally.

And we state it in simplistic terms.

  • I work in IT
  • I’m an accountant
  • I make sales

Is that all that you do? Do you just work in a field?

If you’re anything like me, the answer to the question is a resounding NO.

There’s so much more to you than what you do during your day job.

For example, let’s look at what I do.

My day job is that of an IT professional. Simply put, I make sure the computers at my place of employment are up and running.

That might seem the end of it. It’s not.

We could put it into different terms. More descriptive. More vibrant. More ME or YOU.

Lets try it this way: I ensure the users in my company have a pleasant experience using technology to fulfill their roles. Proving excellent and quick service when technology goes down. And bringing new and exciting technologies to the company to improve.

But just like you, life doesn’t end when I clock out at the end of the day. There’s more facets to our lives.

We’re more like a body or a puzzle. Many pieces fitting together to create a whole.

You may:

  • be a creative
  • have a passion for youth
  • desire to promote others
  • love to put events together
  • speak and inspire others

Whatever it is, it is something that you DO.

So why are you giving a partial answer?

Instead, begin to craft a value statement. Your value statement will state the value you have to offer to the world.

Put together pieces of your professional life, your values, and your passions. You’ll be prepared to give an answer that will blow away the person who asked the question.

I’ll help you out and show you how I’ve created my value statement.

1. I created a list of activities that I do on a regular basis. Putting them into a list to review.

Here are the elements I chose:

  • I work in IT and give my users the tools they need to work.
  • I train and led students to become leaders in school, work, and society.
  • I search out the best tools to give people the skills and knowledge they need to succeed.
  • I write and create new material to help young leaders grow their skills.

2. After creating a list of activities, I looked into common threads.

You will do the same. Look for areas that are similar or contain overlapping themes.

The areas that I seen overlap in were:

  • Providing
  • Guiding
  • Training
  • Leading

3. With this list, I formed an answer to the question. This was accomplished by looking at the overlapping areas and combing them with wording from my activities. Coming up with this statement:

I give young leaders the tools to thrive in a hectic world.

You will be able to come up with a killer value statement in the same way.

Get ready to blow the other networkers out of the water when you unleash your new answer.

You’ll get a different response. It won’t be the standard “Oh, that’s nice” or “Where do you do that at?”

Your value statement will create a standout memory in their minds. You’ll be remembered. And they’ll know who to call when they need the services you offer.

Question: The next time someone asks you “What do you do?” what will your answer be? Please share your thoughts in the comment section below.

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