“What do you do for a living?”
Whenever you meet new people, some variant of this question is bound to come up, and probably pretty early on in the conversation too.
And here’s something I’ve noticed: When you ask people what they do, most people will give you their job title. As in
“I’m an engineer” or “I’m a project manager” or “I’m a writer”. Or consultant, speaker, software developer, manager, contractor, freelancer, secretary, or…
But that’s not what you do – that’s just your title. It really says nothing about you or your job, so I always find myself asking follow-up questions. “So what kind of projects do you manage.”
Some titles DO say what you do. If you’re a pilot you fly planes. Teachers teach. Builders build. Coaches coach. But most titles are more ambiguous.
So think about it for a moment. How much does your job title really say about what you do? And what would be a better way of telling people what it is you do in just a few words.
Whenever people ask me, I always tell them that “I make people happy at work.” That is what I do.
This may look like just semantics, but it matters. See, your job title is never going to make you happy at work, but knowing what you do, may. Knowing your contribution, how you add value, how you make a difference – THAT can make you happy at work.
So now it’s your turn. Think of what it is you do in your job and put it a comment here.