For so many people who they are, is tied into what they do. I have noticed when you meet someone for the first time; it’s acceptable to ask “What do you do?”
Many people seem to define who they are as a person by stating what they do for work. So then, what happens when you lose your job?
“What do you do?” becomes a dreaded question seeming to require admission that you’re unemployed. As if this is the equivalent of saying you have the plague or you’ve just discovered you are totally worthless.
Being laid off, RIF’ed (reduction in force), down-, right- or smart-sized, redeployed, being part of a simplification, shaping, or optimization of the workforce, having your job outsourced or whatever the term of the day is does not mean you have no value. If you have never had any of these things happen to you, you are extremely rare!
You are still a person and can still use your career as part of your definition of yourself. It is important to have a positive attitude and a smile!
Some responses I’ve heard from some very upbeat people to the question “What do you do?”
- I’m currently an unemployed Electrical Engineer, but I’m working on finding a new employer and in the meantime I’m working on some design ideas of my own.
- Right now I’m a Nutritional Delivery Expert (aka pizza delivery) but I plan to go back to Software Programming and I’m taking on-line courses in cutting edge technology (insert latest software language here)
- I’m an Accountant. While I’m searching for my next position I’m studying for the CPA exams.
Whatever you say, make it a positive statement that indicates you are seeking something appropriate, you’re not just waiting for a job to fall into your lap, you’re keeping current in your field and you have a sense of humor.
Never under estimate the value of a good sense of humor!