Top Tips to Answer Awkward Relative Questions During Chinese New Year

Hi merry goers, 

Happy Chinese New Year! It's the time of the year where you meet all your relatives and well.. maybe be bombarded by some difficult questions as always. Well, this year let me share some top tips with you on how you can answer awkward relative questions instead of having that awkward silence. I came across these tips on LinkedIn and thought it would be helpful for you :)

The mandatory question from relatives you see once a year: “How’s work / Are you working? / What do you do exactly?”  

This could be an unspoken rule - the relatives you see once a year must ask this question. And despite the fact that nothing has changed since you answered it last year, they are likely to have forgotten what you said last year, or even what you do, and want to hear your response.

Tip 1: Think about your LinkedIn profile headline, and make it memorable – For example, if you are a software developer for an online brokerage, try saying “I build programs and systems to help investors like you trade online”.

“How much money are you making?”

Count yourself lucky if you last the CNY season without being asked this question.

Tip 2: Use this as a conversation starter for a topic you are really interested in. “I earn enough to be able to continue my favourite hobby, do you know much about it?” Don’t forget, success comes in many shapes and forms, and a high salary isn’t the only way to be successful.

“Can you make much money in your industry?”

They might not give up. There are some industries that are perceived as less prestigious than others. Our parents’ generation may only be familiar with professions like bankers, lawyers and doctors. It’s hard to explain your career to someone who doesn’t share the passion for your work, or don’t understand it.

Tip 3: Start by sharing with them why you chose your profession and industry, and why you love what you do. This may inspire them, and at the same time, you can also share how you find it fulfilling, as well as share some of your most successful achievements and future goals.

“Have you been promoted this year?”

Tip 4: This is the perfect opportunity to share your highlights from last year – the new venture you have started or a great boss you gave you the chance to grow your team. Going into the new year, you can share your aspirations, shifting the conversation from promotions and pay-rises to developing new skills and achieving other more meaningful successes.

“Why aren’t you doing as well as your cousin?”  

Parents and sometimes, relatives just love to compare you with your peers and sometimes, your long-lost cousins.

Tip 5: Celebrate the successes of others but you can also reinforce your aspirations and even ambitions.

Well I sure hope you will not get all these awkward questions thrown at you but just in case, now you have some tips on answering them thanks to LinkedIn.

Have a merry Chinese New Year!

Til next time,