The next time someone asks “so what do you do?” respond by telling them your passions, interests, and hobbies. It immediately communicates that your life has more dimensions then JUST your career/job/school.

I have found this to be so helpful in social situations! To add-I absolutely love my job and am proud of my identity associated with it. I just prefer to let it be known that my other priorities in life are equally (if not more) important.

by ScottJ2288

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  1. Hello and welcome to r/LifeProTips!

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  2. If someone gave me an answer like that I would assume they are unemployed and are trying to avoid saying it.

    “What do you do?” absolutely means “What do you do *for a living*?” when almost any normal person is asking the question. So just answer the question they are actually asking, and then segue to your interests if you don’t want to talk about work.

  3. It depends on the context… If someone answers with this it makes me think you’re unemployed or don’t have an interesting job. People are more than their job and we’re all beautiful snowflakes with passions and hobbies but finding out what someone does gives more information quickly than anything. It gives hints about education, likely political views, socioeconomic status, etc… You spend the majority of your time at work generally so that’s a big component of someone’s life. This is Reddit so I’m sure this’ll get downvoted to oblivion but it’s a faster way to get to know someone than them rattling off their hobbies.

  4. I’ve had one person ask like this in over 20 years of adulthood. They weren’t interested in the answer.

    And I have one of those professions that ends up in the same conversation:

    “I work in IT”

    “Oh, we’ve been having problems with the computer actually.”

    “I don’t deal very much with that kind of IT – it’s a higher level than that.”

    “What do you do then?”

    “I work for schools.”

    “Oh, so you teach?”

    “(sigh) No.”

    I’ve always found this kind of small talk exhausting, so I was so glad when one highly-educated, academic-profession, social extrovert asked about “What do you like doing?” instead of “What job do you do?”.

    I told them. They had no interest. They all moved on.

  5. And then they’ll ask you again because that’s what they mean, because it’s fair to ask someone what they do for 40 hours a week

    This sub is filled with weird stuff that benefits nobody, just makes them repeat themselves because they wanted to be the very smart dude that has that one way of interacting to save three seconds or situations they find awkward for no reason

    Sorry for the bad english

  6. Instead of asking “what do you do?”, Ask “how do you spend most of your time?”. It gives them the opportunity to discuss whatever they find most interesting in their life at the moment rather than their job 🙂

  7. That’s usually followed by “for a living/job”. Why not just say “Oh, my role is [x] and I really enjoy it but it’s not my first priority. I like to keep a good work-life balance and in my free time…”

    Evading job questions entirely is not a sign that you have other priorities, it’s sketchy as heck

  8. Also: don’t ask people “what do you do.” Ask them “what do you do for fun?” It gives them a chance to share what really makes them happy.

  9. I ask this question a lot. Not because I want to judge what someone does but because I am genuinely interested in a lot of stuff. You tell me you pour concrete I am going to ask if you have ever heard of aircrete or icecrete. You tell me you are a bee keeper I am going to ask about poisonous honey. You tell me you run a day care and I ask what sort of regulations you have to deal with.

    I always love it when I find someone who does a profession different than everyone I have ever met.

  10. Instead of asking “what do you do?” Ask “how do you spend your time?”

    You’ll get the hobbies / interests answer.

  11. I purposely try to not ask what do you do when meeting people in social situations. I feel its a very american thing to ask. One time, I got yelled at by a girl I was talking to in a bar who was pissed off that I hadn’t asked her about her job or where she went to school. I was asking about everything else. To be fair, she was pretty drunk and went off searching for drunk Jesus so she could blow him (there was a hipster guy at the bar with a beard and long hair). I thought it so odd she was offended but whatever.

  12. This is why I’ve always appreciated and thus asked new people “What do you do with your time?”

    You’ll know immediately so much more about the person and how they self-identify depending on their answer.

  13. Someone asks Kramer this during an episode of Seinfeld and he responds “I do alright” I use that from time to time.

  14. Say I’m gonna be some kinda doctor in some version of the post pandemic world but I don’t want people to know or pry, is saying “I’m just a hospital grunt” gonna get them off my back? I mean technically I would be working in a hospital and since I ain’t no admin, I’m just a grunt.

  15. it makes a huge difference in the trajectory of a conversation when i open with what do you do for fun or what was the most amazing thing youve seen/done this month.
    what do you do for work just opens up the social dynamic and sets the tone for a power structure.

  16. I don’t have career/job/school anymore, so….. I talk about my hobbies or weather, as people are not really interested in hobbies anymore, this is quite difficult.

  17. yeah, I hate it when people ask you what you do for a living. In this day and age, a lot of us are jacks-of-all-trades, much like our older relatives who lived through the Great Depression. No shame in it.

  18. Good tip, if you do anything other than play VR and PC games all day, I feel really uncomfortable talking to people about that

  19. There’s another benefit in recognizing what your interests are especially for the males. Having retired recently, ok 7 years ago, it took a while to remember who I was. I was a programmer for xyz company. I have met so many other people who don’t have a clue who they are or want. It’s worse with men but it impacts both sexes..

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