They say love is a battlefield but I beg to differ though because there are many more people that lost limbs, life and dignity on the field of social protocol. The nuances are many, the chances of gravely embracing yourself even more but you are unemployed and you need to put yourself out there to network. Of course, after the initial introductions, the dreaded question will arise: “So what do you do Blah Blah?”. Yes, your name is Blah Blah for the duration of this article, deal with it.
Well, this is how to introduce yourself when you are unemployed.
1. We Are What We Do
Being a productive member of society and your personal identity are so intertwined in our modern era, that you are nothing if you do nothing. Stop crying, although you are defined by your profession and people will readily label you as a vagrant, bum and leech on the ass of society by the lack of one, that doesn’t mean you have to take it. Just by saying in a defeated tone: “Unemployed” or “Leisure Engineer” or “Couch Quality and Comfort Technician” (this cushioning holds the shape of my posterior nicely while not chaffing when adjusting to dig out the Cheeto that fell behind the cushion) and then standing in awkward silence, isn’t helping your job prospects.
2. Be Honest Blah Blah
Honesty is the best policy- stop calling me Jiminy Cricket, it’s true. You could hide your unemployment in fear of embarrassment, or you could whip it out and flaunt it. Who knows, you might even manage to impress someone with your forthrightness. Yes, introduce yourself proudly- chest out, pelvic heaved forward and say “I am Blah Blah and I am currently between jobs, looking for my latest grand adventure!!!” Okay, you might want to tone it down a bit Blah Blah, it’s a cocktail party not the intro to a super hero movie.
So, if you are currently and actively searching for work and you find yourself in a casual social environment with people that are in your same industry then just come out with it and ask if they have any jobs in mind. Okay this might seem a bit audacious, but remember this is primarily for casual networking environments not very uber professional networking events where black ties and silver business card holders are expected. After all, it would be a bit uncouth to ask someone you barely know if they had a job for you.
4. The Jacques Cousteau
If you are bashful about asking or being honest you can also feign something a bit more grandiose. When asked what you do, explain your previous position and that at the moment you are currently exploring your options and trying to expand both your personal and professional horizons. If you find yourself conversing with an insufferably insistent sod, then let them know that you are trying to find a position that not only engages you intellectually but also financially and professionally. If they still insist to clarify that aforementioned vagueness, just walk away…it’s just isn’t worth it.
See Also: The 6 Stages of Unemployment
Do you know of any other ways to avoid the awkwardness of admitting unemployment? Let us know in the comments section below.