When you network, you will be asked “so what do you want to do?” Here’s a simple formula for answering it in a sentence or two.

Write an “intention statement”that captures the core value proposition you offer employers, the skills you want to use and the impact you want to make, as well as giving some examples of companies and industries you’d like, and positions you could see yourself holding.

Here’s a recent example:

I’d like to use my ability to intuit customer needs and interests plus my skills as a creative project director and writer to help a company get sales in a crowded marketplace. I’m looking at advertising, publishing or other marketing enterprises where an understanding of brand fundamentals is important. Positions I’m interested in include Creative Director, writer, and in-house Communications Director.

Write yours down and then practice saying it – editing and practicing until it comes really naturally to you. Ask a professional friend can give you feedback on this “intention statement.” Do they know what you want to do? Do they understand the kind of value you can provide? Do they have any ideas of where you could look, who you could talk to, the kinds of jobs you could seek? If not, refine it even more.

This format is used very effectively by MANY clients, because it starts with you, travels to the employer and then focuses on some specific types of roles that will spark people’s brains to think of positions they may have heard of.