I have a seasonal job for 7.5 months. I'm not looking for a second job during the off season because I'm financially healthy and I need time to relax.

Most of my coworkers and supervisors work all year. They ask what my plans are, if I'll apply for other jobs, and if I'll collect Employment Insurance.

I hesitate when I answer because I don't want others to think I'm lazy.

How can I respond to their questions?

  • 3
    Do you know why they're asking? If they're seasonal also, they may be looking for advice or ideas. Your supervisor might be trying to determine if you would be open to working during that period. Understanding their motivation helps when trying to decide how to respond. What's wrong with saying "I'm going to take a well deserved break and relax a little."? – ColleenV parted ways Dec 9 '15 at 22:58
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    "If all goes well, implementing my plan for total World domination, otherwise I'll be seeing you guys next season." – Kilisi Dec 10 '15 at 0:51

We get a lot of questions about what to say when people ask questions you don't want to answer. Women are asked about childcare, for example. It's easy to see these questions as intrusive and nosy, but they may not be. As ColleenV commented, they may want to start a conversation in which they talk about what they're going to do, or to ask you for advice.

Two concrete sentences you can work out in advance and practice saying will serve you well. The first is some way to indicate you are not going to be providing details in response to any of their questions. This might include a capsule summary or it might not. So something like:

  • Oh, I have it all planned out, no worries!
  • All taken care of, thanks!
  • Sorted, dealt with, plan in place and action taken.
  • Cardigan by the fire for me!

The second is a question to ask about them. This is important even if they didn't want to start a conversation, because it mitigates any suggestion that you are snubbing them or shutting them out. There are lots of ways you can ask:

  • And you?
  • How about you?
  • You too? Or are you still a bit up in the air?

If they mentioned something to you earlier, such as a job they were applying to, it's always nice to remember and ask about it.

  • And you? Did you apply for that other job you mentioned north of here?
  • How about you? Are you going to do the extended training course?

If they push and demand very precise answers, you smile broadly (because you are so happy and content with your plan) and assure them you have it all sorted out, thanks. I find repeating the exact same words delivers the message you won't be getting more detailed, but if that fails, try something that explains why you're reluctant to discuss it:

  • I'd rather not discuss the details here; I know for many here it's a bit of a scramble to get enough income to cover the time away from this position and I don't want to make anyone uncomfortable. I'm happy with my plan. And you?

The professional response to a question you feel is personal is:

"I have personal plans and projects which keep me very busy." You can add: "I'm sure I won't have time to look for another job."

It is important to think of "relaxing" as a personal goal and project. You may have specific activities in mind, or you may enjoy not having anything in particular planned.

For questions about finances (like employment insurance), you can respond with, "I don't like to talk about that, it's stressful for me. Can we please talk about something else?" It's not money that stresses you, but the conversation. For a professional response, that should be just fine.

For social grace, you may ask them if they are needing advice. It might be helpful to have people in mind that you can suggest that they talk to for seasonal work advice.

If you don't mind discussing personal details and you have personal projects in mind, those should be just fine as answers as well. Or relaying stories about what you did last year if you don't have plans this year. Many people can see the benefits, value and time required to accomplish personal goals.

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