One of the most over used questions in the English language ‘So what do you do then?’
I always take a deep breath when I am faced with this question as I find it tough to get across what I do in one, simple, easy to digest sound bite. So I chunk up and talk about my passion, big picture vision and hope this will open the door for a deeper connection along the way.
But ‘What do you do’ it is so not the question I really want to ask people when I first meet them. I am less interested in what you do and more interested in who you are – I want to know what makes your heart sing, what juices you, what makes you laugh, what are your dreams, what will your legacy be. But try using any of these at your next networking event, watch the look of utter confusion and panic appear on people’s faces. Anyone would think you had just asked them what they look like naked! Maybe you have…..
I like so many of you have multiple identities. I am a leader, writer, speaker, visionary, youth advocate, campaigner, feminist, creator, game changer, cool Aunt, lover, foodie, home maker, great friend, blogger, soul mate, entrepreneur, coach, Founder, etc etc. I DO all of this every week and several of them make up my professional status so here’s the thing….
We should be proud of what we do even if it is complicated and multi-faceted. We should own it and say it out loud. ‘I am an accountant and a master baker of complex Wedding cakes. ‘I am an engineer, passionate about writing short stories’. ‘ I run a cleaning franchise, teach a weekly yoga class and breed Yorkshire terriers.’
If you are fortunate enough to be in flow, in your passion, the what do you do enquiry is a much easier conversation as all your identities tend to align with your purpose, but for many of us this is not the case so we develop several career paths simultaneously and this is OK too.
We need to own our stories. I know so many people who do not have the confidence to say they are a writer because they subscribe to a limiting belief that states unless you are a published author with several books on the shelves of Waterstones you cannot call yourself a writer? This is baloney! I write every day, I blog, I write articles for on and offline publications and I write programmes – you may not see my name on Amazon (yet) but I am a still a writer.
Be proud of who you are, get used to owning multiple careers as your journey towards your passion progresses and enjoy living with the slash! I am a serial entrepreneur/coach/inspirational speaker/youth advocate/writer.