I’ve finally come to the age where people ask me “what do you do for a living?”
I always associated these conversations to late night cocktail parties I was forced to go to as a kid while my parents socialised. I would stand by my mum or dads legs, staring up at all the grownups discussing grownup things with a glass of champagne in their hand.
I remember thinking how foreign and uninteresting these conversations seemed. It felt like an aspect of life, or growing up, I’d never imagined reaching. I guess I thought it’d always be the transparent child-like world I was used to where we met other people, clicked, and then played hide and seek together.
Now I’ve reached that ‘cocktail party’ stage and the way we socialise is different. I’m the one with a drink in my hand having those conversations with others I meet who have impressive job titles they’d like to flaunt. Or genuinely want to get to know me but lack creativity in forming a better, more informative question. The most common questions I get while traveling are “where are you from? What do you do?”
While I agree that these are great questions to build a foundation, it could not paint a less accurate picture of who I am. I am ‘from’ Canada and worked at the Australian health commission. I am also neither of those things.
Maybe after asking those types of questions, ask:
- Where do you call home?
- What would be your dream job?
- What inspires you?
That, I’m sure, will paint a more accurate picture and dive into a more interesting conversation. If, of course, that is what you’re after.