You are out there at a social gathering or a get-together and your having a really nice time interacting with the new people you’ve just met, indulging in some great conversations and after a while they ask, “So, what do you do?”
Your answer to this simple question reveals an incredible amount about your personal sense of identity.
When faced with the question, “What do you do?” most people automatically respond by talking about their 9 to 5 occupation. The problem with this response is that it immediately defines you in terms of your job and places you in a pigeon hole that is often filled with stereo types associated with your profession. Is that who you really are?
Let me give you an example, Jessica is a marketing executive who is working at an MNC. However, her real passion in life is painting. When she is not working, she spends most of her time painting. For a long time, whenever someone asked “So Jessica, what do you do?”, Jessica’s response was, “Oh, I’m a marketing executive.” The person she was speaking to then asked about what it was like working as a marketing executive. And before she realized, she was talking about her boring mundane job.
One day Jessica decided to change the way she responded to that question.
She decided that she was no longer going to define herself as a ‘marketing executive’ who enjoyed painting in her spare time. Instead, she was going to define herself as a ‘painter’ who was currently working as a marketing executive in order to pay her bills.
This simple decision had a big impact on Jessica’s sense of personal identity. She realized that it was important to tell people who she really was rather than talking about her job title.
A few weeks later, Jessica was at a friend’s house party and as she was interacting with a guy named Bryan, who asked her, “So Jessica, what do you do?” Jessica responded by saying, “At the moment I’m working as a marketing executive but what I’m really passionate about is painting.”
As soon as she said these words, Jessica realized that this was exactly what she was looking for. It was a completely honest statement but did not place her into the ‘marketing executive’ pigeon hole. Instead, it revealed who she really was and opened up multiple options for conversation.
To Jessica’s delight, Bryan asked her about her painting and they had a really interesting conversation. Bryan was a web designer and he told Jessica that a lot of artists were now selling their work directly to customers over the Internet rather than dealing with galleries.
Later that night, she realized that her new sense of identity was already having an impact on her life. Instead of talking about being a marketing executive, she was now discussing her painting with others and discovering new opportunities to grow.
Think about it, today if someone asks you, “What do you do?” Make the decision to talk about your passions rather than you occupation title. Develop a response that is honest, reveals who you really are and see the multiple avenues for conversations opening up.
You will be amazed by the wonders this simple technique can do for you.
Have a Great Day!