An elevator pitch hack – for when your next move feels a bit squishy

The art of talking about yourself: 4 qualities to a superior interview
September 8, 2021

If you have been struggling with an intentional career move that is leaving you feeling a bit tongue-tied about how to describe it, remember that most people genuinely want to be helpful. Especially when those folks are people who have worked with and/or known you for a while and can attest to how good you are at what you do professionally!

Your right next career move:

  • Is likely NOT going to come knocking on your door; you will need to go out and find it
  • May come in a way you do not expect – so don’t write off an opportunity too early
  • Will come through connections and conversations with those who know and can vouch for you to others (think your neighbor or a former boss)
  • Requires you to train your network on what to help you look for 
  • Will appear once you are quite specific in describing it, to yourself and others

Now, I’m making some assumptions about you. I’m assuming that you have reflected on what you truly want for your next move and are interested in finding – or creating – that opportunity for yourself. If you haven’t, you need to; consider starting here

I’m also assuming that it is feeling a bit different than the roles you have held in the past. Or, you are finding yourself attracted to a couple of different directions you could head towards in your next role. If this is where you find yourself, you are not alone. Now more than ever, I’m finding the executives I coach are considering multiple paths: one that feels like a logical next step in their career ladder, and one that feels comparatively risky, almost a dreamy type of opportunity that feels super meaningful and impactful, but also scary. A moonshot-type role. 

If you find yourself on the intentional path – with either or both types of destinations outlined above – and are resisting networking with others to find your next role, or, find that you are confusing your audience, you need an easy-to-understand elevator pitch others can quickly grasp. Consider noodling the following formula to draft an effective pitch to help you.

My next role = 

1 or 2 target companies  +  1 or 2 target role titles  +  2 or 3 target job duties / areas of impact 

Here’s an example:

“My next role will be working for a company like LinkedIn or Guild Education. My title may be Director of Growth Strategy or Sr. Operations Director.

Regardless of the title, my role will include: 

  • building, leading, and inspiring a team to drive the company’s strategy and accelerate growth nationwide
  • managing the pipeline of potential opportunities, vetting ideas, and managing them from concept to pilot to national rollout
  • creating and monitoring mechanisms to measure winning sales strategies in one market, and scale them from pilot to best practices in markets nationwide”

Although talking about yourself in networking situations can be tricky – especially when you’re considering making a career or job transition – new roles are now most often acquired through connections and networking (rather than just submitting to job postings). So, you need to get your pitch down so you can make your move effectively.

Try this hack and see where it takes you! It’s a great way to get unstuck and keep moving towards that opportunity that represents your right job.