“So…what do you do?” or 20 things you can talk about when meeting someone new

November 13 2012

A challenge:

The next time you’re at a party or social gathering, abolish “What do you do?” from your vernacular.

You will most likely find out sooner or later what someone does. There are a gazillion things you can talk about without having to ask how an individual pays bills, and the probability that the “9-5” isn’t really what gets that person going is high. Isn’t it more interesting to talk about passion?

Topics you can discuss when meeting someone for the first time:

  1. current events
  2. recent book reads
  3. projects that excite you
  4. favorite places to travel
  5. hobbies
  6. pets
  7. an embarrassing story you can laugh at now
  8. why you’re there
  9. who you are looking to meet
  10. where you’re stuck
  11. sports (whether you play, watch, or remember a hero from childhood)
  12. notable charities
  13. beverage of choice
  14. plans for the holidays / next scheduled vacation
  15. an object in space (a nearby piece of artwork or architecture of the building)
  16. something you’re looking forward to
  17. sincere compliments
  18. the weather (if you must)
  19. recent successes
  20. first memory taking risks

note: On occasion, you will meet an individual who has successfully managed to blend passion and work. Hang around this person, ask them lots of questions, and ask them to introduce you to others.