Yes, networking is a waste of time…
…if you can’t answer the question, “So, what do you do?”
This is a common networking question that everyone should be able to answer. Interestingly, however, few actually answer it. Like a good politician or crisis management firm, most people answer the question they wish they had been asked, the easier one to answer. Instead of answering the question “So, what do you do?”, they’ll tend to answer a different question. “So, what do you do?” becomes “What is your title?” or “What can you do?”. Answer those two questions instead and you are just wasting your time by networking.
Instead, “So, what do you do?” is best accepted as a marketing question, as if someone rang up your office and said, ‘let me speak to a salesperson’. Treat the question this way and you’ll immediately focus on the value you provide – not a laundry list of capabilities or a corporate title earned that may or may not suggest anything about what value you or your company can offer others.
And if you aren’t certain of the value you offer others, how do you expect anyone else be expected to figure it out?