What do you do for a living? This is one of the commonest questions you have to answer when you’ve been alive for more than quarter a century.
In a generation of dreamers, regular jobs are seen as what people do while they wait or if they fail to get their moment in the sun. Very few people get their moment in the sun.
So when someone asks: “what do you do for a living?” and you are not proud of your job, you will tell them about the company with which you work instead. “I work with Coca-Cola.” And then you will hold your breath and silently pray that they don’t probe further.
But they do probe further because they are members of society and society is obsessed with labels. “What do you do?” And now you are forced to try to make your role sound sophisticated. “I am in charge of registering and coordinating people who visit the company premises.”…long pause…“So you’re a receptionist.” And then you die a little on the inside.
It’s okay if you’re not proud of what you do. Maybe you feel that it is an indication that you’re on the lower end of success or what you’re doing now is far removed from your dream career. Maybe it’s not financially satisfactory. Maybe society has convinced you that the job is beneath your intellect or social class.
Regardless, you have grateful for your job because in the first place, you’re not the only person who is qualified for it. Realistically, there are always people who are smarter, who work harder, and who would perform the role better. But you got the job. That in itself is luck.
You should be grateful for having a place to go andsomething to do. When people ask you what you do for living, they want to know how you are giving back to society, how you are paying for the space you’re occupying and the resources you’re using up.
One of the most excruciating experiences as an adult is not knowing how to answer that question. You’re not a student. You’re not an employee. And if you’re a man, “I am a father” is not a satisfactory answer.
So you have to be grateful. You have to be grateful for the ability to afford things. Because when you become an adult, you are your own person. You can’t simply ask for anything you haven’t worked for. Your beggary will be met with contempt.People are more willing to help if they know you are doing somethingto make ends meet.
Be grateful for your job because it’s hard to say how long you’ll do it. It might take a few months or it might take many years before you get something you like. You might even be stuck in that particular job for the rest of your adult life. So it will serve you best not to agonize about waking up and going to work every morning.