I really can’t believe it but we’re less than two short days away from Thanksgiving! I personally am very much looking forward to a short break and I think most of you probably feel the same.
A few days off from work or school to eat, drink, and catch up… what could be bad, right? While Thanksgiving is generally awesome, it’s also that time of year when you’re probably going to see a bunch of people who want to catch up.
And catching up sometimes means people are going to be peppering you with questions about work, life, who you’re dating, and lots more. This, understandably, is something that gives some people anxiety — especially if you hate your job or are going through a super frustrating job search.
I find that those people go in one of two directions when they’re asked, “How’s work?” or “Did you find a job yet?”
- They shy away from the question, giving the shortest answer possible and immediately change the subject
- They launch into a full-on venting session about how much work (or the job search) totally sucks
But doing either of these things this is a huge missed opportunity. Anytime someone asks you “how’s work?” or “how’s your job search going?” you can be using it to your advantage.
Scenario 1: You’re job searching full time – it’s been long and frustrating!
Script: “The job search is going pretty well. I’m being really thoughtful about my next step and I’m excited to find a job where I can leverage my [background/education] in [area of expertise]. I’m mainly focusing on [type of job] jobs in the [industry] field because [your reason why]. I’m excited to talk to as many people as possible who work in the industry or would be able to help me out, so if you think of anyone please let me know.”
Why it works: It shows that you’re serious about the job search and dedicated to finding the right role. It also gives people a super clear opportunity to help you out and lets them know that you’re open to their support.
Scenario 2: You’re working, but hate your job, don’t really feel like chatting about it, and are simultaneously job searching
Script: “Work is going well. As you probably remember I’ve been working as a [your job title] at [company] for the last [time period]. I’ve learned a lot there and especially enjoy working on [any areas you actually like]. That being said, I’m looking for new opportunities in the near future and I’m focused on finding a [type of job] job in the [industry] field because [your reason why]. If you happen to know of anyone I should connect with in that area, I’d love an introduction!”
Why it works: It keeps things positive and shows that you value the experience you’re having now, but also makes it clear that you’re open to new things. Like the last script it lets people know you’re open to their help.
Scenario 3: You have a job and it’s going pretty well, but you’re open to meeting new people and hearing about new opportunities
Script: “Work is going really well. As you probably remember I’ve been working as a [your job title] at [company] for the last [time period]. Lately, I’ve worked on a few really interesting things/projects including [share details]. As I continue working at [company] I’m also looking to meet other professionals who work in [describe who you’d like to meet] and learn more about what they do and how different companies approach [the area of work you’re in]. If you know of anyone I should meet, feel free to make an introduction.”
Why it works: People are usually excited to hear when things are going well and you’re passionate about what you do. Meeting other people who are passionate about the same things you are can lead to really amazing things down the line. You never know when the right opportunity will come up and the more people you know (and impress), the more your name will come to mind when it does.
A few final points
Of course, the level of formality in these scripts will differ depending on who you’re talking to, but using some version of them will open doors for you… and it’s a lot more fun than changing the subject or complaining!
So when people ask you about work and job searching (over Thanksgiving or in general) make sure you turn each conversation into a potential opportunity!