Wednesday, February 19, 2014

"What's keeping you busy these days?"

The other day I was remarking to my friend about how sometimes it can feel really awkward to ask a person what they do for a living. I'm only five years out of college, which means a lot (most?) of my peers are still rattling their way through a first job that maybe doesn't fit, or are trying to break into the areas in which they "really" want to be. Many are in grad school or trying to find job/school situations that work for them. Not everyone is making money, and everyone comparing themselves to everyone else.

Needless to say, when I get introduced to someone, it can feel awkward to ask what they do - the question is too often fraught with insecurity.

So my friend told me something amazing her dad does. Every time he meets someone, rather than ask what they do, he asks them, "What's keeping you busy these days?" 

...How perfect is that? I love that the question works for everyone ("A lot of nothing!" qualifies as an answer just as much as "Starting my own multi-national tech company."), and it's so much more about getting to know someone.

Do you have any go-to questions when making an acquaintance?

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