Do you ever feel judged or even embarrassed to tell someone what you do for a living?
Maybe you are in a job that is perceived to be boring to the mainstream.
Maybe you are bored with what you do and so no longer feel enthused by telling others what it is you do.
Maybe you’ve made your escape but are not quite sure how to describe what you do.
For some reason our society has got caught up in defining us all by the work that we do.
The type of work we do, the company we work for and the job title we have all become a cloak that we wear. Often others accept or reject us based on the label we have and the job we do. It defines us. We can be cool, or admired or stuffy or a geek and this can be prescribed before anyone has really got to know us. Indeed it can be determined in the first few minutes of a conversation. It doesn’t say anything about who we really are, just a perception based on another person’s point of view.
When we first meet someone say at a party or an event, we are often asked “What do you do for a living?” A great opener to start a conversation especially if you are a bit shy but the judgement often starts as soon as we respond. Those first few words can decide whether they want to delve any further into the conversation and continue talking to us. They could decide you do something really interesting and want to find out more, or they could label you a bore and move onto someone else.
All that judgement just by saying what you do for a living!
What if it were different?
A far more interesting question would be “WHY do you do what you do?”
This starts to get to explore the person rather than the job. For instance, someone may have gone into IT because they love the techie stuff, or because they see it as the modern way of communicating in an organisation or because they love to solve problems. All would be valid reasons to be attracted to the job and they could all do the same job despite the reason why.
And some may have gone into their current job because they love what they do, because they drifted into it or because it was expected of them. It shows something about their path.
Finding out the reason why they went into this may give a different perspective and start to show the real person under the cloak. Maybe you could try this out next time you meet someone.
And then of course, the question is why do YOU do what you currently do?