Chevy Chase prepares to carve the turkey at a National Lampoons Christmas dinner. The annual feast can be a minefield of awkward questions.

Chevy Chase prepares to carve the turkey at a National Lampoon’s Christmas dinner. The annual feast can be a minefield of awkward questions.

Think Christmas is simply the time for gifts and giving, celebrations and parties? Think again. Households up and down the country are set to be full of well-intentioned relatives who always manage to ask the most inappropriate of questions, usually revolving around love…marriage or….work.

If you’re dreading the post-turkey interrogation already, then you’ll be relieved to grab an eyeful of these top tips to get you out of those awkward job-related questions this Christmas.

  • What to say to Uncle Gerard when he asks ‘How’s Work Going?’ (and it’s not going well!) – It might be tough, but you need to take a deep breath, grin, and bear it. If things aren’t going well at work, you don’t want to dwell on it, and put a dampener on the festivities. A quick “All’s good, how are things with you?” should suffice!
  • What to do when your cousin got a £10k Christmas bonus and you got a chocolate Santa – There’s not much to say here other than – ouch. You could talk about how you’re rewarded for your performance all year round so you’re not bothered about a bonus. Alternatively, you could laugh it off, tell your cousin that you’re expecting a really great present from them, and then sneak off for a cry in the corner.
  • How to respond when Aunt Marge asks why you haven’t been promoted yet – This can come as a bit of a blow, especially if you’ve been asking yourself the same question. Take a breath and tell Aunt Marge that it’s on your agenda for the year ahead; that should pacify the question, and let you get back to celebrating.
  • When your Gran’s friend’s son has a high-flying career that just makes everyone so proud – While it might seem like a dig, it probably isn’t; your Gran could just be trying to connect with you. Instead of taking offense, why not share some of your recent work accomplishments – you’ll be the one she’ll be bragging about.
  • What to say when Uncle Chris wants to know if you’ve got a ‘real’ job yet – There are two ways to deal with this. You could go with “I do have a real job” and prepare for a long debate, or if you aren’t comfortable being so direct, you could try “Well, I’m doing what I love, and you know what they say – do what you love and the money will soon follow.” Either one should put the question to bed, leaving you free to enjoy your Christmas
  • How to answer when Grandad wants to know all the details of your (entirely unsuccessful) job search – Grandparents are often experts at putting their foot in it, so if you find yourself in this situation, don’t take it personally. Simply explaining that you’re waiting to find the right job and won’t settle for second best is an easy way to diffuse the situation.

Still dreading the family get-together? If all else fails, remember that if your mouth is full of turkey or Christmas cake, no one can expect you to answer. The trick is not to talk and instead just eat and eat and eat……..





Robert joined the HRreview editorial team in October 2015. After graduating from the University of Salford in 2009 with a BA in Politics, Robert has spent several years working in print and online journalism in Manchester and London. In the past he has been part of editorial teams at Flux Magazine, Mondo*Arc Magazine and The Marine Professional.