So What Do You Do Exactly?

So What Do You Do Exactly?

I have one of those jobs that is not easy to explain. I am not a cardiologist. I am not an ER nurse. I am not a teacher. I am not a Zumba instructor. I am not a real estate agent. I am not a delivery driver for UPS. I wish I could explain my job that easily. Not that those are easy jobs by any means, but they are a bit easier to define and explain.

Here is my typical chit chat about work.

“So, what do you do?”

“I work for a healthcare consulting company where I dedicate my time to a client in New Jersey and lead a team who is charged with any and all population health management and provider engagement efforts.” – Me

“What is population health management? What is provider engagement?” “Why New Jersey?”

I get their questions. If I was not in it everyday, I too would have no clue what I was talking about.

I have also tried just giving the title. I am the Director of Provider Engagement for a consulting company. But then it leads into more questions, and it always ends with “No clue what that means, but sounds cool.”

It is cool. I just wish I could explain it easier.

I have been given advice to create an elevator pitch. That is reflected in the above “what do I do?” question. I have found that the elevator pitch works perfectly with those who are in my field or similar fields. It does not seem to work on anyone outside of that.

For those of you who may not be familiar with an elevator pitch, it is basically a brief (less than 30 seconds) way of introducing yourself, what you do for a living, and making a key point or two in order to make a connection with others. It is called an elevator pitch because it takes rough the amount of time you would spend with someone in an elevator.

Click here to read “How to Create an Elevator Pitch (with examples).” 

I find myself in a constant pickle when someone wants to discuss what I do. While I am proud and ecstatic of what I do and my accomplishments, I know it is not going to be an easy conversation nor will I do a great job explaining it.

If you read most of my articles, you will see that I like to research. Cue Forbes Magazine. They had some great information and feedback on how to navigate the “what do you do for a living?” conversation.

Once someone asks me what I do for a living, I will ask them where they are with their understanding of where healthcare stands. “How familiar are you with healthcare?” “How familiar are you with the costs related to healthcare?” etc. By setting the stage with their knowledge and their grasp of the field, it is putting me in charge of the conversation rather than being looked at like I have 15 heads.

Next, I plan to work very very very hard to avoid corporate jargon, use more relatable analogies, and give an example of what I do each day. A day in the life of a Director of Provider Engagement spiel if you will.

I will tell you all what I tell my team when they are trying to explain something very complicated, in a simplistic way: the 4 S’s – Keep it Short, Sweet, Simple and Stupid. 

If you have a job that is hard to explain, comment below with your job title, your elevator spiel, etc. I know it will help me feel better knowing that I am not alone.

Erika Lockhart
My name is Erika Lockhart and I am married to my husband, Chris. We have two children - Zane (7) and Finnley (2). We also have one 4 – legged child - Nelson a mixed breed rescue and a tarantula named Twitch. I was born and raised in Harvey, LA but now live in Metairie. I am a full time employee for a healthcare consulting company where I lead the Primary Care Provider engagement efforts from my home office here in NOLA. My husband is the owner and director of Clockwork Performance - A strength and performance gym in Kenner, LA. Odd facts about me - I love watching Judge Judy, I want to be on jury duty as much as possible, I have an obsession with mayonnaise and my dream job is to be a private investigator!


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