What Do You Do?

I dread social gatherings where the question of the moment always happens to be “so, what do you do?”

If the event is publicized as a way to network with other business professionals I certainly see the value of learning that Jonathan works as an Editor at the New York Times or that Samantha has just been promoted to Executive Vice President at a major financial institution. Maybe they know someone who knows someone who will be able to recommend a job for my sister-in-law’s brother’s daughter. (Confusing isn’t it?)

What do you know about the people you meet? Do you really know Samantha or do you just collect business cards for your files?

It doesn’t matter what type of social environment we are in, the question always surfaces, “What do you do?” In these situations I often hear someone apologetically answer, “I’m JUST a stay at home mom.” (Note the emphasis on “just”). The women make this statement sound like they are embarrassed that they have nothing else to offer.

These women mistakenly wonder how being a mother could ever compare with the role of being an Executive Vice President for chi-chi company number 1. The conversation quickly shifts back to companies and job titles.

Some arrogant people don’t even wait for the question. They begin the event by introducing themselves with their job titles and the names of the companies they work for as if they are some type of bonus package. “I’m a Vice President at such and such company.” They assume that this type of introduction will immediately make them stand out and seem more impressive. They definitely stand out, but I cannot say that it is in a good way.

Why do we place so much value on where we work? If the company starts to downsize and you lose your job, does that mean that you are no longer valuable as a person?

Personally, I am much more than the fancy title that is engraved on a business card.

Here is a challenge. See if you can answer this question: Who are you without your job title or company? How would you describe yourself if you were not allowed to include information about your current job or title? Seriously, what do you do?

Write down your ideas and save them for tomorrow. They will be useful in our next experiment.

Make time for the people who are important in your life, not because of a fancy job title, but because of who they are on the inside. Realize that you are valuable and you are so much more than your job.

Relax, listen to your inner self and make time for chocolate.