When you meet someone new, inevitably the conversation will turn to what you do and what your interests are.
When this happens, what do you say? How do you tell them who you are? Do you feel that your job is what defines you? I often wonder why so many people feel this way – that our job title is who we are.
For the longest time I was one of the people who felt my job title was what defined me. I always told people my job title and a little bit about what I did or where I worked, but even though I didn’t hate my jobs they didn’t light me up either and weren’t the most exciting thing in my life. But sometimes I’d feel a little reluctant to dive right on in to talking about the things that I loved.
Why? I’m not sure – fear of oversharing perhaps, of it not really being what the other person wanted to hear, basically making an assumption about what I thought the person asking the question would want to hear rather than talking about the things I was genuinely interested in.
Now, don’t get me wrong, if you love your job and it’s what you always wanted to do, that’s fantastic and I’m so happy for you – I truly wish I had gone through my life doing work that I absolutely loved.
These days I tell people that I work my day job in an office in Saudi Arabia (which in itself is a little bit of a conversation starter, depending on where I am when the question is asked) but that I’m also a coach and blogger (two of many things I’m passionate about).
Think about the last time you someone asked you what you do. What did you say, how did you talk about yourself and what you do/who you are? Did you leave the conversation feeling energized because you were genuinely happy talking about what you do, or did you feel a bit drained that you spent time talking about a job that you don’t love all that much, and no time at all letting the person really get to know you by sharing some of your passions?
How does it feel when you are the one asking questions to someone you just met and the person you are talking to is really unhappy about what they do/negative about their life in general?
What lights you up? What things do you love doing? What’s your passion? If you don’t love your job can you say that you work as …. to pay the bills but what you really love is…?
If you find there is a lot of things you love to do but they’ve slipped out of your life what can you do to build these activities back into your life?
Next time you meet someone new, talk about what you really love (and if this is what you already do, fantastic!) and let me know how you get on.