How many times have you been to a networking event and asked someone the question “So what do you do?”.
This question has always bothered me. My husband is affectionately known as “the support pole to our circus tent”, but he has no plans on shouting this phrase from the rooftops. On top of renovating and maintaining our properties, he takes care of all of the household duties and is the primary carer of our daughter. But how does he confidently tell people what he does? What is his job title and why does he need to be defined by one? Does he lose his identity because he’s not officially earning a crust?
There is so much more to us than “what we do”. Are we placing people in an awkward situation if they are not currently working or earning money? What if you attended a networking event and asked someone this question and they haven’t decided on what they want to do as yet, but are looking to start a business? What if they have recently lost their job?
This week I hosted a “Strategic Networking” event with guest speaker, Sharon Ferrier. We discussed rephrasing the question “What do you do?” with “What keeps you busy?”; “What do you care about?” or “How do you like to spend your time?”.
Not only does this remove a possible awkward situation, but it may give us a deeper understanding of the person we are meeting and can help the conversation with someone we just met flow.
This was just one of my valuable take-aways from this event. Participants also walked away with suggestions on conversation starters at networking events; tips on body language and ways to approach people. Those who attended are now armed with loads of ideas to help them get the most from their networking in the future.
I am a guest speaker at the WEA’s “The Bold and The Brave” series on 25th February 2019. I will be sharing my journey in business and how I have structured my business to be self-sustaining and profitable in my absence. The event also includes food and wine! The key to my heart!