What People Define You By And What To Do About It

People will define you by a lot of things in life. But there is something that we all silently define each other by, you need to know what that is and what to do about it. Hint, it'll be a good thing to do!

What People Define You By And What To Do About It

When you are unemployed any amount of time you start to notice things that you never noticed before. Like how often you get asked, "What you do?". As in, "What is your job and how do you make money?"

The thing is, "What do you do?" doesn't really mean what is your job? "What do you do?" can mean a number of different things! I'm always tempted to ask, "Do you mean, what do I do to make money? Or what do I love to do? How do I spend my days? Or what do I do for fun?"

But alas I know what they mean, they mean where do you work? Usually in lieu of explaining this blogging extravaganza I tell them I'm taking time off from work. (Which really isn't true and in fact I'm working more now than ever before, I just don't get paid for it. But I'd rather leave it at that then have them ask more questions. ;) ha!)

Truthfully I'm guilty of asking this question when making conversation with people as well. But being on the other side of that question I've started to realize what it means, and why we all go to ask that when we are first getting to know someone.

What we do in life as a career defines us, sometimes whether we want it to or not.

You see the thing is, even when I was working, and could answer that question with the job I had at the moment, they didn't really learn anything about me with that answer. The jobs I've had in the past don't really reflect who I am, not at all.

I've worked in a kitchen but I don't enjoy cooking, I've worked as a receptionist but making phone calls to companies still makes me feel uncomfortable, and I've worked (very briefly) as an orthodontic assistant and yet the thought of being in someone's mouth with braces and food stuck in them makes my skin crawl. So really, learning that information of "what I do" during my time at any of those jobs would not have told those people asking anything about myself.

They wouldn't know that I love to sing and dream of writing music one day. They wouldn't know that I have a creative writing degree and yet I'm passionate about finances and teaching others. They wouldn't know that in my spare time I read and am in a book club, nor would they have any idea what my beliefs or faith look like.

Yet, still the question we get asked is simply, "What do you do?".

So, what do you do? (No pun intended.) What do you do to change how people categorize you?

Short answer, you can't. Long answer, you make them right.

Instead of working the job that just pays the bills, and waiting for the weekend to come to live the life you actually love and be yourself, find a job that lets you do that.

I wrote earlier about reasons to quit your current job and one of them was feeling like you weren't yourself there. If you feel like you act different and can't be who you are, then most likely that is not the fit for you. Find somewhere where you feel like you fit in and can contribute 100% as yourself.

Find your sweet spot.

Find the job that pays the bills and actually does say something about who you are.

It might take a while. If it's a big dream, go after it. Sure you will probably have to work your butt off but it's worth it.

This question of "What do you do?" and the realization of how important it is to do what you want to do has lit an even bigger fire within me. It's shown me how badly I can't just work a job that pays the bills. I don't want to be remembered for that. I don't want to teach my kids that!

Not only will working in that type of job most likely kill your spirit, you also will probably not thrive there. The things that you are passionate about and love are in you for a reason. God put them there on purpose and once you find a way to bring them into the world while making some money, then you'll thrive! You will come alive!

If you love kids, go work for a preschool or day care, if you love to cook or bake go find a job at your local bakery or go to work at a restaurant, if you love to write start working your butt off to make it as a writer, or find a job where you at least get to use that writing ability for the company. You never know what is out there, so don't settle.

Then, the next function you're at where people are asking you or introducing you by your profession, they'll actually have an idea of who you are.

I want my career and home life to be all apart of what make me who I am.

And I think you should want that too.


Let's chat! Are you inspired by this post? Or scared? Do you agree or disagree that people tend to put us in these categories? What's stopping you from changing your path?