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"So...what do you do?"​

Updated: Aug 11



This article was originally published on LinkedIn on September 27, 2019.



Being new to the self-employment game, I’ve found myself struggling with how to answer the question of "what I do." It's no easy task to succinctly and authentically express the following things about yourself in just a few sentences…


  • My professional brand & identity

  • My expertise & offerings

  • My passion & purpose


And I feel like I already have one strike against me because—as opposed to being a lawyer or nurse or other another familiar profession—most people do not know what an “organizational psychologist” is in the first place.




(Learn more about the field of industrial-organizational psychology here and here.)



Plus, there are so many things I can do and want to do—people analytics, organizational research, workplace learning, leadership development, diversity/equity/inclusion. How can I succinctly explain my “wheelhouse” without getting into a whole jargon-laden monologue that will inevitably make people’s eyes gloss over?



But just like most things that come with starting your own business, you gotta learn by trial by error. So I've taken to social media, networking events, and personal conversations to work on my “pitch.” And I feel like I’m finally landing on something that works well…for the moment.


I use organizational science to help people learn and grow at work.

I have no doubt that my “What do you do?” answer will continue to morph and evolve over time. But the response, “wow that’s really cool” is all the proof I need that I’m on the right track for where I need to be right now.



How do YOU answer the question, “What do you do?”



What recommendations do you have for others who struggle to answer this themselves? 




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