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Why nobody cares what you DO

Why nobody cares what you DO

by Moyra Mackie on April 26, 2013

I have a friend who is a career coach, though he would hate to be pigeonholed like that.  He says when you’re asked the “What do you do?” question, you should never answer with a job title.

I know why he says that. When you allow your job title to define you, the enquirer will decide what you do, the value you add and sometimes even the values you have.

And that interpretation of what you do may well be based on their experience of  – or even assumptions about – someone who shares your job title, but very little else.

I’ve seen this myself. I’ve lost count of the number of times people have said:  “I know you’re a coach but what do you do?”

People have all sorts of ideas about what consultants and coaches do, ranging from borrowing your watch to tell you the time to waving crystals or burning incense.

Move from what you DO to how you HELP

My thoughtful friend – who describes himself as someone who helps people find their direction when they are at a crossroads in their career – says it’s far better to explain HOW you help.

Part of the reason I started this blog was to help people see beyond my job title. To get to know me and to find out what I do, how I can help, and the values I bring.

Some people might call it branding. I’d say it’s letting people see the real me, so they can decide if we could work together.

Show don’t tell

At Mackie Consulting, we came to the realisation that nobody cared what we did.  It didn’t matter if we found interesting and snappy ways to describe the way we coach and the way we consult.

Clients don’t care.  They just want to know how we can help them.

So we decided to stop explaining what we do and start showing them we understand their pressures and challenges.  The result is this video.

Please take a look. It’ll take just two minutes and I’d like to know what you think. I’d really appreciate your feedback.

And if you happen to know anyone like Joe, or Joe’s boss or Joe’s team, then you also know someone who can help.


Moyra Mackie

Moyra Mackie

Moyra Mackie helps leaders and teams to work with courage, compassion and creativity. She is an executive coach and consultant and the founder of Mackie Consulting.

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