We love to ask other people what they do. It’s social protocol, it’s a polite way of asking someone to share something about themselves, it’s an appropriate way to brag just a little, and it’s a conversation starter.
I ask people all the time. Yeah, I regret that we base our conversations off this – I think we build too much of our identity on the answer – but I do ask.
And after they answer, I always follow up with “do you like it?”
And the stark reality is that very rarely do I get any form of “yes.”
(In the last three months, there have only been two who said “yes”. One trains executive-level sales people. The other is a tennis instructor.)
Maybe we all answer in the way of “oh, it pays the bills” because we’re expected to be humble. Or maybe we play down our sheer delight with our jobs because we fear our conversation companion will resent us for it.
I don’t think so.
I think people are being honest.
Next time you’re asking what someone does – especially if you feel impressed by it – follow up by asking if they like it. And really listen to the way they answer.
I want to be one of the few people who beams as they talk about their job.
Who, if asked whether or not they like it, will smile and exclaim, “I love it.”
We should all strive to be on that side of the fence. We should all take the time to identify and pursue careers that will satisfy our deepest needs as individuals. We would all benefit from spending our lives doing things that truly do delight us on every level.