3. “When are you getting a real job/promoted?”
Anyone who has ever pursued a less-than-stable career (actors, musicians, tightrope-walkers) much to the chagrin of their family has been hit with the “get a real job” jab—and if they’re not saying it out loud, they’re probably thinking it. Even though the question is incredibly poorly worded, it usually comes from a place of concern.
How to handle it: If you’re being badgered about a promotion that hasn’t come yet or a lackluster job, focus on the positives. “A lot of people are unemployed now,” says Kubiak. “I’d say, ‘As you know, this is a very challenging job situation, and I’m just very thankful that I do have a job. It’s not an ideal one, but it’s always easier to look for a job when you’re in one. I’m trying to do the best job I can and am keeping my eyes open.’”
Pursuing a career you love that’s less than lucrative? Share your game plan. “Provide them with a concrete plan, such as ‘I’m going to try this for two years and if I can’t show that I have some leads in that time, such as landing a commercial, then I’ll start doing other things,’” suggests Sbarra.
Or try turning the conversation around so it’s about the pleasure you get from your job. Kubiak recommends saying: “‘It would be wonderful if every job that people were passionate about was well paid. What’s most important to me is having something I’m really passionate about, that makes me excited to wake up for the in morning. I know so many people who go to the same job and are miserable. I really enjoy what I’m doing and feel good about it.”
Take that, Uncle Joe!