What do you do? What have you done? Why should I care?
These are important career and brand-building questions that you should ask yourself constantly, and answering them from a place of honesty can help you really stand out. Too often people answer the question, “What do you do?” with a description of what they do at work. But there is so much more to a person than his or her occupation. Thinking creatively about what you do, what you’ve done, and why it’s of interest to others can help you on your path to true success. As much as conventional professional experience is important, you have to get creative about how you present yourself in order to really stand out. Here are some ways to go about it.
Talk about what you love
The next time you’re asked to describe what you do, talk about what you love instead. What are you passionate about? What are you interested in? What are you planning on doing next? Even if it’s something as simple as a short trip that’s coming up, a new fitness class you’ve started, or a great recipe you’ve recently discovered, talking about what you love from a place of honesty is often a way better conversation starter than talking about where you work.
Talk about what you want
Our generation has often been told that we should appreciate what we’ve got and stop complaining. But no matter how much we’ve got, humans desire more. While this can be an unfortunate symptom of consumer society, it can also be a chance for growth and forward-thinking. Talking about what you want next, whether it’s a designer bag, a new apartment, a new job, or to read a new book, will help you show your true self to others and will often allow them to empathize with your wants.
Talk about your wildest dreams
I find that if I don’t talk about my dreams, I lose sight of them. If I sit back and truly, deeply think about who I want to be and what I want to do, I can keep focused on my goals and work hard to achieve them. By talking to people about your dreams you keep them in focus and hold yourself accountable to reach for them.
Presenting your true self and communicating your passions can make you more memorable to people. Whether at a networking event, a job interview, or a family reunion, talking about your interests and passions with others can benefit everyone, and can make certain social obligations seem less arduous.
So give it a try and cut through the platitudes. It might surprise you how much interest others take in your deepest, darkest desires.