We Are Not What We Do
At 29, meeting people is a full time job. There are people who might offer you a better job. Others who might be more than just a swipe right. People who invite you to game nights and trivia at the local pizza place. These people all have one thing in common. They want to know what you do before they ever ask who you are.
What if we got to know each other before we ever exchanged business cards?
I find it hard to describe my job. It's complicated, theatrical, and involves a title with too many words to fit on my non existent business card. More importantly, my job doesn't define my person, it's just this thing I do for fifty-ish hours a week.
I struggled with my identity for a long time. I followed the rules. Go to school. Start a career. Excel in chosen field. Let it define you. Until I realized I didn't know where Amy the hairdressers, wig mistress, costumer ended and Amy the person began.
We are quickly written off and categorized by our profession and professional goals. I am the pot calling the rest of the millennial kettle black because I judge people on their profession or aspirations every day with thoughts like, "you work at Facebook, there's no way we have anything in common," and "you're a barista, why don't you have any career goals?" Society programed our career obsession, and it needs to stop.
Society programed our career obsession, and it needs to stop.
What if my business card read "Amy, collector of National Parks passport stamps, sometimes poet, all the time lover of multicolored carrots?" I think that says a hell of a lot more about who I am as a person than the titles "costumer" or "hair and makeup supervisor."
But the truth is, our professions only define us if we let them, and if we let others define us through them. And if a profession is a defining characteristic, what does that really say about us?
So, I pose this challenge. Next time you're hit with a "nice to meet you," follow it up with a "where are you from?" or "what do you like to do?" And just see where the conversation takes you.
Do you struggle with your identity outside of your work? Do you feel uncomfortable with new people introductions? Tell me about it in the comments!