August 3, 2022

One of the Most Dreaded Questions to be Asked: What Do You Do?

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Posted by Sharmarke Hujale

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2 min read

As individuals the question "what do you do?" can be a challenging question to answer.

During your professional career, you will meet people in a professional context like networking events or conferences. And when you meet new people, the question "what do you do?" almost always will be asked.

You might freeze up, and sweat a bit (or a lot)—or worst-case scenario, you will start rambling about all the things you do until the other person loses interest.

The easiest way or the usual way you would answer such a question is with the exact thing you are making like "I design logos", "I build e-commerce websites, or "I write books".

But that doesn't paint a clear picture of what value you bring to the table. People value their time. So if you are not clear and confident in how you communicate, you will lose the.

What if there's a more exciting and compelling way to communicate what you do?

Nick Parker, the founder of Framework, a community-based platform to help creatives in their personal development, growth, and creative freedom, shares a framework to help you create a more intriguing answer.

The questions to be answered are:

  1. What do you do?—Describe the functional action. Instead of labeling yourself focus on the value, you provide.
  2. Who do you do it for?—Be specific in the type of person you offer the most value to. This will make it easier for someone else to connect to your dream client.
  3. What do they need?—Describe the problem you help them solve.
  4. What happens as a result?—What's the change or impact they experience as a result of having their problem solved?

An example:

  1. What do you do: I design logos.
  2. Who do you do it for?: I help community-focused brands.
  3. What do they need?: An identity that reflects their values.
  4. What happens as a result?: Clarity and coherence cross platforms and media.

The formula after you have answered these questions is that questions 2 and 4 are put together, followed by questions 1 and 3. Here is an example when put together:

I help community-focused brands have clarity and coherence across platforms and media by designing logos and identities that reflect their values.

Do you feel the difference?

Questions 2 and 4 answer who you do it for and what happens as a result, whereas questions 1 and 3 answer the functional action you take followed by your client's need.

Articulating what you do to others requires practice like any other thing.

If you have a hard time answering one of the most dreaded to be asked, give this little framework a try, and see what happens.

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