When someone at a party asks you what you do, what do you say? And how do you feel when you say it?
The “So, what do you do?” question makes a lot of us look for the exit sign. I’ve worked with CEOs and MBAs who just dread it. Stay-at-home parents with law degrees particularly loathe this question. Like Charlie: “When asked this question, I usually stumble around and say that I’m a lawyer, but not practicing. And that I’ve been writing. I haven’t felt comfortable saying that I am a writer because until relatively recently, I hadn’t sold a book. I usually toss in there that I am taking care of my two young kids. When I say these things, I feel clumsy and insecure. I know that I mention the law thing first because it is the most quintessentially important thing I have done. When I answer this question, I feel a bit scattered, pulled in different directions, which is something I feel very often.” Just takes one benign question asked innocently by a stranger to unravel all your issues, doesn’t it? (Danielle LaPorte, The Fire Starter Sessions)
How’s that for a conversation or two this month? A writing prompt? a reading suggestion?
You see, “What do I do?” becomes integrated more with “Who am I?” as life awakens us to our deeper and multi-dimensional facets. And there are more choices to be made in our response: socially mainstream, surface level? or playful? or one that elicits curiosity? our profession? or roles? or passions and soul? or redirect?
Look around for inspiration, and play with your own version, one that feels good and flows easy…and might be a little quirky, just like you. When someone asks, I’ve started telling them I’m a professional muse. It’s a starting place, and it’s fun watching reactions.
Play with your own response, and share them. Let’s make this E.A.S.Y. (energizes and satisfies you). Enjoy.