The Dreaded Question... So, what do you do?
There is a question, which when asked, I have difficulty giving a simple answer that people would understand.
It’s a question I was never really been able to answer as an employee. I am still unable to answer this question even now I am a business owner.
The only difference, is that as an employee there were defined words that I could use, whereas as a business owner there were no clear words that could be used to make people easily understand.
The question I get asked is:
‘What do you do for a living?’
This is a very confusing question for me to answer, as I quit my job and all the certainty that comes with, to go into business for myself.
I am not the first person in my family to do this. In fact, most of my siblings have gone down a similar path.
Before I stopped being an employee, I remember one of my siblings advising me on a way not to get distracted or tempted to not work on my business, when working from home.
It was suggested I structure my day in a way that works for me. My sibling also discouraged me from working from bed and to set up a dedicated work area.
Before resigning as an employee, I decided the answer I would give people who asked what I would do with my time would be:
‘I am going to rank websites.’
This was true as that is what my primary focus was going to be for the sites I had already set up. I also gave the same answer to friends and family who asked.
After I stopped working as an employee and focused all my time on my business, that answer was no longer sufficient, so I changed it to:
‘I work for myself.’
Whenever I said this, it did not sit comfortably with me, and I started experimenting with different answers to the question.
I no longer did the job I used to do so I had to think of a job title to tell people. Having a job title seems to make it easier for people to grasp or at least satisfy their curiosity.
I could call myself whatever I wanted. I could be a:
- Chief Executive Officer
- Chief Information Officer
- Vice President
- Business Development Manager
I could be anything I wanted to be.
After weeks of trying to decide what to tell people, I settled on the following:
‘I changed jobs and now work for a startup. My role within the startup is to rank website and get it onto page one of google.’
For those who ask a few more questions, I inform them:
‘The site is currently a blog, with plans in place to monitise.’
After saying this, if they ask who owns the startup, I tell them I do.
I find informing people you have a defined role even within a company you own makes it easier for them to digest rather than saying you do everything.
If you want to have a bit of fun, you could change your position within your startup to whatever the main area you are focusing on at that point in time.
That would really confuse people!
How do you respond to people who ask:
‘So, what do you do?’