So when I read in Steve Ward and JoAnn Ward’s book “Crash Course in Love” tips on how to talk about your job, I immediately relived that scene. Steve Ward, who seems to be the dominant writer in this book, says: “Discussing your careers is the easiest way to start a conversation, but if the whole night becomes just about your job, then it has turned into a networking event instead of a date.”
So how do you avoid the networking versus romantic date encounter? Take it easy on the topic.
Tip One: It’s okay to bring up what you do for a living by stating the title. But wait until your date asks what that job entails. If she (or he) doesn’t ask, move on to another topic. The longer you two are together and the more dates you go on, the topic will come up again.
Tip Two: When describing what you do for a living, keep it upbeat. Do not immediately start complaining about how much you hate your job or your co-workers. Nobody wants a complainer as a date so don’t bring that negative energy with you. If your date asks if you like your job and you don’t, be honest about not liking the job without being overly negative. Saying something like, “I don’t care for the people, but I do love the actual job” is fine.
Tip Three: Make sure to ask your date what he (or she) does for a living too. If you’re sitting there blabbing about how great or terrible your job is without sounding like you’re remotely interested in what your date does, you’ll come off like you’re talking to a groupie. Have you ever wondered why so many famous people say they can’t date groupies? It’s because the person is more attracted to the job and lifestyle than he (or she) is attracted to you. Don’t force your date into that category.
Tip Four: Avoid telling your date exactly where you work for the first couple dates. There are too many crazies in the world, and if this date doesn’t work out, you don’t want your date showing up at your job “by accident” or because she (or he) “was in the neighborhood.” Say you work at a south side Chicago location or a north side neighborhood, and feel free to give the company name so it doesn’t sound like you’re lying about actually having a job. But if your date insists on knowing the exact location, take the polite way out of the conversation and say, “You know what? We’re not at work so let’s talk about something else. How are you enjoying your food?”
Tip Five: Do not give your date your work phone number. There’s really no reason why your date needs to blow up your office phone or annoy the secretary paging you on the intercom for something really irrelevant. Plus, if you’re at work, should you really be taking long, personal calls? Give your date your cell phone number or house number but not your work number, and do not give out business cards. The date isn’t about business, so why give out formal information?