Answers to the annoying questions that relatives might ask over CNY

We notice that salary report has always been one of the most-read stories for our readers. And as Chinese New Year rolls around the corner, your professional life and how much you earn can be shoved into the limelight (which can at times seem like an interrogation).

This year LinkedIn shares some tips on how you can choose to respond to these questions in an alternative way, and hopefully have more meaningful conversations as a result.

The mandatory question from relatives you see once a year: “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, and want to hear your response.

Tip 1: Think about your LinkedIn profile headline, and make it memorable – For example, if you are a digital marketer, try saying “enhance brand awareness within the digital space”, or make reference to the following memes.

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“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 favorite 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 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.

Read more: Hong Kong marketing salary snapshot for 2018

“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.

The Chinese New Year celebrations only lasts for a week – it is a great time with your family and loved ones, and renew relationships with relatives. By making these tips your own, this might be the year that your family and relatives start to understand your passions, your job and your idea of success better!