I’ve met a ton of recent grads since moving to Rochester in 2010. More often than not, the conversations I’ve had with these new acquaintances start of with a question that’s dreaded by many post grads: “so….. what do you do?”
I don’t dread this question or judge the people who ask it. I completely understand that sometimes there are only so many things you can talk about with an acquaintance before things take a turn for the awkward. Being new to our jobs is a common bond between most post grads, so it’s only natural that talk about them in social gatherings.
While I understand the time and place for filler questions like these, I just hate the way this one is phrased. What do you do? Well… I listen to a lot of music, teach piano for fun, enjoy trying out new restaurants, and love running outside when the temperatures warm enough.
But that’s not the answer that society has prepped us for. “What do you do?” means, “what’s your job?” While my job is definitely one thing I do over the course of the week, it’s not all that I do, and doesn’t define everything I am.
I’ve really tried to avoid asking this question lately, even in the most awkward of conservation lulls. Instead, I’ll try ask a new acquaintance what brought them to Rochester. If they like their job, this gives them an in to talk about it. If they don’t, they can direct the conservation towards other parts of their lives.
How do you feel about the “what do you do”question?