Whenever you walk into a room or social event to introduce yourself, what is the first question you ask? Chances are hte question will be along the lines of “what do you do?”. The answer will no doubt set the scene for how you respond.
I was browsing through the online Amazon book library, as you do, and came across one titled “You Are What You Do”. It is a book aimed at people who want to change their careers and indicates that people are defined by jobs they choose.
When people find out what the other does upon meeting them, it opens up many assumptions about your background, culture, beliefs,etc. It sets the scene for sterotyping and putting people into groups based on their own belief systems.
It is not until you get to know someone that you realise they are not who you assumed.
A person who started out as a banker, for example, may later realise they are unhappy and want to try something different. Except all their colleagues, friends, family etc have always seen them as a banker. They do not understand why the person would want to change from a good job to something seen as inferior.
However, to the banker a new career in a completely different field, such as photography, can seem exciting. They will be happy to transition into a career which makes them happy. Over time, their former colleagues may drop off. Friends and family will think they are having a nervous breakdown.
But those close to the former banker will stick by and support this new career (and life) choice.
What you do may initially define you early on in life, but it should not be the be all and end all for you. People evolve, develop new interests and find what is really imporatnt to them as they grow.
Next time you are introduced to someone at an event or gathering, your first question should be something other than “what do you do?” It should help you get to know them as a person not by their job.
Feature picture courtesy of Google Clip Art Gallery