How do you explain what you do to others?

Filed as Features on April 28, 2008 9:44 pm

Over at Web Worker Daily, they’re asking how to explain web working to the uninitiated. Or, in other words, how do you explain to others what it is that you do when you sit and blog (or write) away…

The post goes on to highlight some examples and suggestions on what to say:

Have a ready answer to the most common questions. After you’ve established the basics, some people are keen to know more – especially after you mention the fact that you work from home. Freelancers are commonly asked, “Where do you find work?” and “How do you get paid?” As for teleworking employees, they usually get “How can your boss monitor you?” Answer these questions well, and people will be a step closer to understanding your work.


I prefer a more direct approach – when folks ask me what I do I tell them that “I’m one of the principals of a small boutique consulting firm”.

From there I can go on and explain in more detail the things that I do.. I talk about blogging, about helping companies with their internal knowledge management, about managing programs and projects in the IT world, and the other things that we do.

Although some are quite impressed when I talk about working from home – or a client’s site – almost 100% of the time – there are still some that are quite convinced that I’m living off of their taxes by claiming unemployment – and surely I must be up to no good in that basement home office of mine all of the time..

How do you explain what you do?


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  1. By Thord Daniel Hedengren posted on April 29, 2008 at 1:17 am
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    I either go with “journalist” or “designer”, but then again I am both these things, as well as or in conjunction with being a blogger.


  2. By Parth posted on April 29, 2008 at 6:29 am
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    Depends on the person. If they’re from school or student I tell them I have my own website and I train people. If they’re Indian/Conservative background 35+, I tell them I’m an Operations Manager for a small business based in NJ dealing educational technology.

    I only tell people that I’m a writer once a conversation has progressed and feel they can understand it. You’ll be surprised how many people think that writer’s are just “hungry dreamers”. Well, I guess that’s partially true.


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