While your friends and family may have the best of intentions and care about your well-being, transitioning careers is an emotional time.
We live in a society where the second question after meeting someone is often, “What do you do?” which can come across as, “What is your worth?” The questions of, “Have you found a job yet” and “Any updates?” can make you second guess your self-worth, especially during the holidays.
So, how do you handle such a sensitive conversation?
Remember, it’s up to you how much you want to disclose. You can choose to share as much or as little as you want.
Listen and try to understand where the person is coming from. Most of the time, people want to know that you are happy and okay. A simple answer of, “Although I’m looking for a new job, I’m happy and doing alright. I appreciate you asking” will do.
People love being helpful problem solvers. Perhaps Thanksgiving can be a time of networking and brainstorming. Ask for advice such as, “Do you know of anyone in the field I can talk to” or “Do you have any suggestions or where I can network?”
If you’d rather skip the conversation entirely and enjoy your turkey dinner, just redirect the conversation with an open-ended question like, “I’m still in the interview process. How are things going with your work?” or “I’m still exploring my next steps. How is your family?”
Try to sit back, relax and enjoy the holiday. Remember, you set the tone by how you react to questions asked during a conversation. With a little preparation, holidays can be an opportunity to network and brainstorm or simply have a positive conversation. Happy Thanksgiving!