I travel a good bit for work. Even though I’m not a huge fan of talking for the duration of long plane rides, I find it useful to at least know a little bit about the person next to you. For whatever reason, it makes the trip a bit more bearable for me. The typical conversation goes like this:
Me: “Traveling home or away?”
Them: (insert answer here) …”What about you?”
Me: (insert answer here) …”What are/were you doing there?”
Them: “Business. You?”
Me: “Same here.”
Them: “So, what do you do?”
And so begins my speech about how I get to do some cool things but that explaining what I actually do takes a while to actually explain and most people won’t understand even after we’ve done that. It’s not ever that I’m ever envious of their answer or even that I wish I was telling them about a different profession. It’s more that I don’t think that someone’s profession should ever define “what they do.”
Maybe your job is cool enough that you want to tell everyone about it! That’s awesome! But think about yourself for a minute. Consider the things you enjoy doing on a daily basis. Think about your hobbies, what you’re good at, and the people you love. When you think about your life, your job or profession is or should be only a small part. It should not define you.
After issuing this as a personal challenge, my next answer to that dreaded question will look something like this:
“I am a newly converted runner who loves coffee, learning, and expressing my thoughts through writing and public communication. I love Jesus and I have the best wife ever. We’re currently in the process of adopting our first child.”
Is it perfect? Nope, and it’s definitely subject to change. It’s just to make the point that you need to be more than your job. It’s a personal struggle for me, regularly. I’d say that thinking about myself and “what I do” outside of my job is a great step in the right direction.
All that being said…
What do you do?