Can You Redirect Your Career With An Elevator Pitch?

What is an elevator pitch? Just what it sounds like!

Picture this: You get into an elevator. Someone else gets into the elevator. The other person asks what you do.

Even if you’re in an extremely tall building, you’ve got about 10 seconds to answer before politely asking the other person what they do.

So what do you say?

Simple: You state your occupation in one short sentence that will be easy to understand and satisfy the curiosity of the random person who you happen to be sharing an elevator ride with. Easy, right?

Yet when it comes to job hunting or making a career change, the exact same question can be a tough one. What do you do? What do you want to do? In strict point of fact, this straightforward question has no simple answer.

We’re talking life’s work summed up in 20 words, max.

That’s where the elevator pitch can come to the rescue. Because it is, by necessity, simple. You don’t have time to overthink it.

Pretend you’re talking to that random person in the elevator. You’ll probably never see this individual again. They’re just making small talk. So, the pressure’s off! You can think clearly and answer without pondering your response or what it means for the rest of your life outside this 30-second increment in time.

So? What do you do?

Can you narrow it down to just 10 or 20 words?

Yes, you can! You wouldn’t just stand there in the elevator and say nothing, would you? Wait for the doors to open so you can make your escape? No! You’d say something. The question is, what?

Here’s the harder part. As you walk away from the elevator, are you happy with what you said? In other words, are you really doing what you want to be doing?

If the answer is no, then you might have to tweak your elevator pitch. And that might involve reassessing the direction of your career.

Yeah. Real simple, right?

But just try it. Tinker with your elevator pitch until it’s just right.

In an ideal world, what would you like to say to that person in the elevator?

When you’ve got it down pat, you might be surprised at the wonders your elevator pitch can do. Narrowing your focus can bring great clarity to your career, overall.

Let your elevator pitch be your mantra. Keep it in your back pocket and pull it out the next time an employer, an interviewer, or anyone else asks what you do.

Sometimes, all it takes is a 30-second conversation to open the door to your next career move. The opportunity could be as unexpected as an elevator ride. Who knows? Even that impartial person in the elevator could turn out to be your future colleague!

Start with an elevator pitch, and the conversation might take you well beyond the elevator.

Want help getting started? Here are two great resources:

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