"What do you do?"

"What do you do?"

"What do you do?" is perhaps the most common question asked when two people meet for the first time.

99/100, our response is to tell the person about what we do for work.

For ten years I've answered "agency owner, co-owner at x, or some other work thing I've been doing.

A couple of years ago Kayleigh and I were in Granada when a friend of a friend asked "what do you do?". I ran off my script of telling her about the social enterprise I'm working on at the moment. After listening politely, she replied "it's funny how whenever I ask that question people always tell me what they do for work, but that's not what I'm interested in".

She was right. What most of us do for work is fucking boring. And says little about who we are. But what we do outside of work defines who we are much more.

I don't really care what other people do for work. And I certainly don't want to hear the details. But I do care about their hobbies, what they read, what sports they're into, if there's something unique about what they do.

So the next time someone asks me the "what do you do" question - knowing that they're expecting the work response - I shall tell them that I enjoy to read philosophy, trail run in the Peak District and practice the Wim Hof Method.

Hopefully that will switch them away from the monotony of work conversation and let me learn something that actually matters.

Try it and let me know how you get on.

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