As someone who believes that my job is one of the least interesting things about me, I always cringe when the first question someone asks upon meeting me is, “What do you do for a living?”
My work does not define me, and there are so many other things I’d rather share about myself. To help create more engaging and memorable conversations, here are three of my favorite questions to ask instead:
1.) What are you most excited about in your world right now? Everyone loves to talk about things they’re excited about, whether it’s a new hobby, an upcoming vacation, or even a great book they’re reading. This question invites enthusiasm and lets the other person share something they’re genuinely passionate about.
2.) What accomplishment are you the proudest of? Give the other person a chance to put their best foot forward and share their favorite accomplishments, regardless of whether or not those achievements relate to their career. This question helps to highlight the unique qualities, talents, and experiences that make each person unique.
3.) Do you have any pets? Pet parents usually light up with joy when given the opportunity to chat about their pets. They’ll almost always immediately pull out their phone to share a picture. This is a great opportunity to give the other person a chance to talk about something they absolutely love, regardless of whether or not they love their career.
Next time you meet someone new, try using these questions to spark a more meaningful conversation. You’ll find that people are much more than their job titles, and you’ll make a deeper and more memorable connection in the process.