5 Tips For Telling Others What You Do

In the movie “Office Space,” when “The Bobs” ask Tom Smykowski, “What would you say…you do here?” Tom struggles to describe his roll at Intiech, which ultimately leads to a meltdown of epic proportions.

If you feel like you are in a scene from that comedy classic every time someone asks you the same question, you are not alone. I want to provide you with 5 quick tips for the next time you encounter The Bobs.

Keep it simple – Industry jargon, run-on sentences, and unorganized thoughts are all signs that you are as unclear about what you do as the person who is asking you the question.

Provide a simple parallel to your work – You know how it’s impossible to find someone to help you do XYZ.

Clearly communicate the problem you are solving – Once there is a clear understanding of a parallel skill, relate it back to your core service.

Show your passion – You are excited to get up and go to work every day and that excitement needs to come through in this conversation.

Practice – Like most things in life, the more reps you put in the easier it becomes to deliver this message with enthusiasm.


My elevator pitch:

You know how it seems daunting to find a good home builder nowadays, one with the relationships and knowledge of electricians, plumbers, roofers, masons, and carpenters? I source and manage the construction and operation of computerized TV networks at some of your favorite sports and entertainment venues.  Over the last two years, my team has deployed a nationwide network at the largest concert tour in the world, as well as over 30 professional baseball stadiums.


An elevator pitch should be something you enjoy delivering and not an experience that causes you to scream at the top of your lungs, “I have people skills! I am good at dealing with people!”