Don’t you just love it when you are in a social setting and that inevitable question comes up, “So, what you do for a living? Where do you work?” You may not recognize it at first, but it is also the “Tell me about yourself” opening statement in every single interview. I have also used this as the “So, who exactly IS (insert your name)? Sometimes someone will give you a brief introduction. Many times they are not actually prepared and just ramble on about their last job. Now if you are unemployed, like millions of people right now, you might have a hard time identifying with your job. Some people can’t remove themselves from their job and even when it doesn’t matter they tell you they are a ______ (lawyer, doctor, cop, etc.). You can also say you are an aspiring ____(YouTuber, influencer, artist, actor, singer, … you get the idea).
So rather than telling new people you aren’t working, let people know you are “open to new clients/opportunities”. Ah, such a classy way to say that you are an independent kick ass sales person. I have also found that people who just choose not to work find all kinds of ways to identify themselves. Now you can come up with as many impressive titles, companies, or whatever you like to make yourself feel good about yourself. Most of the time, people are just looking for something interesting to talk about and to find some sort of a connection. This is true in social settings and true in work place hiring. Just remember, when you are in a social setting you might accidentally be talking to someone who is looking to hire someone … just like you. I can think of dozens of times where someone met someone’s friend, … or spouse, and the next thing you know they are working at the same company or as a vendor for that company. Dude, life is all about who you know, who likes you and who is willing to recommend you. That goes for working relationships and future business. You might be that self-employed ________ that is going to come to the rescue. When I was actively soliciting new website customers I would build the website that I was selling on one of my servers and present it to the prospect. For some reason people like to see what they are getting before they give you any money. Funny right? So sometimes when you say you are in between projects, that will open the door of conversation for you to actually talk about what those projects are/were. Projects like something that require a project manager, such as hosting a big event can leave you talking for days. Other projects like organizing your garage also count. They show hard work, organization … the list goes on. You should be able to think of the ways you have positively influenced the corporate objectives of the jobs you have held. Lots of things can never really be proven, but if you can discuss some of the highlights and details that your role had, that is all it takes to convince the interviewer.
Your goal today is to get your notebook and fill it full of projects that you want to talk about in interviews, and in social settings. Talk casually but also discuss things like metrics. Employers want to hire people that are going to make positive contributions to the overall success of the organization.