What do you do for a living?

What do you do for a living? | Kimberly Hetherington | Art Therapy with Kimberly

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.


    1. My dream job would be to write, and travel, and help others. Not exactly sure what exactly that job is but those are the three things that lit my soul on fire! And home.. well North Vancouver. It’s been my “base” since growing up around the world.
      What about you icubud?? 🙂

  1. Thanks for sharing Elizabeth. I’d like to have had a career where my imagination, creativity and passion could have been used daily, especially in areas like developing/betterment of individuals and/or society. Location – north! Northern Canada, Nova Scotia, Alaska, Iceland, Norway etc. Thanks for asking.

  2. Being a [failed] researcher, I have been asked same question since 2011 (when I left software house). I also have big dreams and thankfully I am Blessed enough to go unheralded and saving my dreams from this material world and taking them all the way (till goal insha’Allah). I liked your goals and my dreams are pretty much same (won’t share details as its your blog)

    P.S: Cool blog.

    1. Ah right! Yes I am Pakistani. You look more of a Canadian than Aussie (I have found both of them to be among nicest and good conservationist, especially their good grammar is so cool). How old were you when you lived in Pakistan. Did you visit Lahore as well or just lived within Islamabad during his tenure?

  3. When will your Sept inspiration article that came via email be published on your blog? I have tried to “like it” but get the error message that the page is missing.

    1. I accidentally published it before the date!! I have to edit a bit more and will publish it at the end of the month. This makes me so happy that you tried to like it though! haha thank you

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