Holiday Parties and How to Answer the "What Do You Do?" Question

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The holidays are here, and that means gatherings with friends and family, holiday parties and other get-togethers. With all of the great food and fun, it can be one of the best times of the year. But, for many people who have found themselves joining the ranks of the unemployed, it can also be a time of tremendous stress.

First, there are worries over finances. Having to make do with very little is challenging any time of the year, but during the holidays, there is a profound sense of failure if you aren't able to put lots and lots of presents wrapped in shiny paper under the tree. Added to that, if you are unemployed, you might even avoid going to holiday parties and events with extended family, because you dread the inevitable question and conversations like this:

"So, what do you do?"

“Um, well, I used to work in Logistics, but I was laid off a few months ago. I am looking for something new, but, the job market is tough right now.”

“Oh.” (pitying look) “I'm sorry. Hey, have you tried [job advice that probably isn't very useful]?”

Then, repeat with each new person you talk to.

Pretty soon, the conversations becomes focused on your unsuccessful job search, when all you wanted to do was relax, enjoy some food and forget your troubles for a little while.

I don't know why this is the first question that most people ask when trying to get acquainted, but it seems that our identities are unequivocally linked to our job titles. So, when you get asked this question, and you are unemployed, here is the phrase you need to remember:

“I am currently looking for a job in the logistics industry, preferably a management opportunity.”

When you answer the question by telling the person that you are looking for work and giving them an idea of what sort of position you are looking for, you will take the focus off of your unemployment and put it on looking for a job in your field. In most instance, this will cause the other person to think about whether they know about any jobs in that industry. Handling the question this way will turn a dreaded situation into a great networking opportunity.

Keep in mind that most people you meet at social functions, friends, family, acquaintances and the like really just want to help and be supportive. The problem is, that in a conversation, the listener feels like they need to express empathy and offer some sort of help. Their brain focuses on what you just said and thinks about what they should say in response. By answering the question with a firm statement about your job search, you are, in a way, throwing them a conversational life-line. This way, their brain can grab onto the facts of your job search and offer empathy and support that might actually be helpful.

No matter where you are in your job search or your career, don't let these details keep you from enjoying the fun and togetherness of the holidays. Whether you have a job or you are still looking for the right opportunity, you still have a life to live and don't let anything prevent you from enjoying it to the fullest.

Are you looking for a job in Logistics? Be sure to visit Logisticsjobsite.

By Melissa Kennedy- Melissa is a 9 year blog veteran and a freelance writer, along with helping others find the job of their dreams, she enjoys computer geekery, raising a teenager, supporting her local library, writing about herself in the third person and working on her next novel.

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