Sunday / November 27 / 2011
What do you do for a living?
“So, what do you do for a living?”
Invariably, that’s the first question right after you meet someone, or see them after an extended period of time.
But why does anyone really give a rip what your business card says? …or if you even have one?
In my experience, I’ve discovered only a handful of reasons for the ask.
- To determine one’s own self-worth based on how he ranks your profession in comparison to his (…most popular at class reunions).
- Perhaps a girl wants to learn the value of you as a potential future mate, arrogantly consumed with finding someone with a “good job”, who she considers stable, who she can “change, if necessary” once she’s wearing your ring. (For the record… I advise sprinting from this particular breed).
- If at a networking function, the question is habitually asked to see if you’ll prove of any future professional benefit.
I’d be remiss if I didn’t point out the other side of the networking coin – which is when you’re fortunate enough to meet one of the ‘extraordinaries’. An ‘extraordinary’ deliberately asks the question to see if he will prove of any future professional benefit to and for you (perfect example is my “WonderTwin” and co-worker, John Marcantonio, Networking Guru of the Northeast).
But chances are, the solid majority of underlying intent for the ask is at worst, self-serving – and at best, bored and disinterested.
I admit I’ve fallen into the motions. Typically when someone asks me what I do for a living, I respond with, “Marketing and public relations, primarily in the realm of not-for-profits.”
Why do we assume the question translates, “What does your business card say?” Chances are that card is going to change in the average two-to-three years anyway.
Don’ judge others by their answer of employer or job title. You can not create a hierarchy of value or worth by comparing job responsibilities.
Starting this week, I’m planning to respond to the question with what I really do for a living… what makes me live… what makes my life worth living. I’m going to respond, “I live life for a living,” answering more along the lines of how I define “me” in my Twitter profile:
- Unabashedly me
- Euphoric wife of @PiksEnodlams
- Founder of The You Evolution™
- In love with writing
- ChapStick addict
- General lover of life
Yes, I battle with depression. Yes, I have extended family dysfunction just like you. No, I can’t sleep in till 11:00am every day (one can dream). Yes, I collect a paycheck as a marketing professional.
But mostly, the first and last descriptors in my Twitter profile serve as the bread of the sandwich that is me.
And I wouldn’t be evolving into me, the real me, without my soulmate, lover, and best friend Skip walking hand-in-hand beside me.
Join me in living life for a living, my friends. Let’s let the world in on it.