In a culture where your job is often linked to your identity, being unemployed can make social interaction tough. You don’t want to put an awkward damper on the conversation, but you do need a quick answer to that inevitable question, “So, what do you do?”
Here are some ideas on how to keep the conversation flowing (and possibly gain a new professional contact!):
1. Avoid using the word “unemployed,” instead talk about your “transition.”
Try statements like, “I was formerly with Company XY, but am looking to transition to a smaller, more focused company ” or “I’m hoping to transition to a new department in my field, so I’m currently on the hunt for marketing jobs instead of admin.”
2. Talk about your field–no need to mention a specific job.
You don’t need to name a company when you talk about your career: “I’m in book sales–I specialize in young adult fiction.” Statements like this are the truth, and can open the door to a conversation about your skill sets and what you might be looking for in the future.
3. Change the subject to activities you take part in outside of your career.
Responses like, “I’m currently looking for work, but in the meantime, I volunteer at my local animal shelter” are a graceful way to answer the question and discuss interesting projects close to your heart.
Even if you’re unemployed, you’re still the same talented person with a collection of interests and skills to discuss in any social situation. Always present yourself as capable and confident about the future to come–and open to making new networking contacts!
How To Introduce Yourself When You’re Unemployed
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