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  • Jul 7th, 2012 9:17 am
Deal Guru
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Dec 7, 2009
13833 posts
gdog799 wrote: i agree with the author. we put too much emphasis on jobs. Work should not be what everything in your life revolves around. We need to work to live, not live to work.

I agree with the author as well. I never ask people, "what do you do?" because a.) It's really not important to me and b.) The last half of that inquiry is "... to make money" which when you think about it, isn't really a good ice-breaker question at all. What if that person was recently laid off, or on disability, or back in school? Now it just sets the stage for a whole barrage of awkward follow-up questions like, "Oh, and what do you plan to do after that?" which is complicated and somewhat personal.
In a perfect system, corporations would fear the government and the government would fear the people. - David Wong

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Penalty Box
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Dec 20, 2004
5280 posts
Definitely agree with this article. I feel that people who are nothing but their job - ie it's all they are able to talk about, are about as one-dimensional and boring as it gets.

There's a big world out there and people who are completely dedicated to their careers are missing it, and I pity them.
Deal Addict
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Sep 22, 2009
2744 posts
I find it odd that so many people choose to start conversations with "what do you do for a living", when "what do you do for fun" generally leads to a much more interesting conversation and reveals far more about the person's personality. It's also much more inclusive since virtually everyone has something they enjoy doing when they have spare time, and for the most part it's something they've actively chosen to do because they like it. This makes it more likely that the person will enjoy talking about that hobby/activity; unlike when you ask about someone's job--the person may or may not have a job , and even if they do have one, there's a good chance they dislike it and/or dislike talking about it outside working hours since they talk about it for 40, 60 or 80+ hours per week depending on their line of work.

Only about 75% of adults are in the labour force, and of those only about 80-90% are likely to have a job depending on the demographics of your social gathering.

Starting with "what do you enjoy doing" is also more inclusive of students, retirees, homemakers, etc who are part of the 25% of the adult population who do not substantially participate in the labour force.
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Jun 26, 2010
475 posts
Most of the time I just keep to myself and try not to pry. I find socializing extremely tedious because people in general can be extremely sensitive. Also living in the GTA makes it worse because we've got every culture on the face of the earth represented here, and this can sometimes make socializing feel like you are tiptoeing in a minefield.

I say just stick to the hellos and cliche smalltalk lines (weather, weekend).
Nov 19, 2011
4 posts
The thing is that we spend a third of our lives at work. So at time, it's obviously a way to introduce yourself. But I agree with the author, we should emphasize on more personal traits. Our job is definitely shadowing characters into a one kind personality. "you're banker so you're like..." "you're a teacher so you're like ...".