Our job = our life?

Two weeks ago I went to my high school’s 10 year reunion. It has been 10 years since we graduated and since there’s not many in our class, during the reunion we managed to have a sharing session to update each other of what’s going on in our lives for the past 10 years.

We sat in rounds and began to spoke about our life. It can be about anything, there were no rules from the emcee. The question was simple : “What’s up?”. Funny enough, almost everyone started with what they do for a living today. Here’s some example :

Hello, I’m {insert name here}, I’m working in {insert company here} as a {insert job title here} for the past {insert period of time}. After high school, I studied in {insert university here}, got married to {insert spouse’s name here}.

Hi, how are you guys? I’m currently selling {insert product here}, hahaha. I am a {insert job title here} in {insert company here}.

To think of it again, our job has become a major part of our life. Explaining our job when being asked “what’s up in your life” seems very reasonable. Without me realising it, I followed the bandwagon and explained about my job when it was my turn to speak. I could’ve talked about how I’ve spent the last 10 years traveling whenever I can.. or my family – to be simpler, but no.. I chose to talk about my job. It is very reasonable somehow, because we do spend 1/3 of our days doing our job, sometimes even more to some people. For most of us, life means waking up early in the morning – commute to go to work –Β  work – commute to go home – sleep, and repeat every weekdays. Some might have other things to do, but some might only have their jobs.

This thought crossed over my mind when I was driving home from the reunion. How our job have somehow shaped who we are. To most people, I am Christa – the girl who does Marketing at this beverage company. Can’t I be Christa – the girl who blogs? or Christa – the girl who loves music?

The thought somehow scares me because I don’t know if I want to be forever known as the girl who does Marketing at {insert a company here}. Does this means I’m not happy with my job? Hmmm.. I don’t think so. I like what I do. It’s not the ideal career but I believe I’m heading towards the right direction. I think that explains why I love to do other things besides my job… like volunteering with Indonesia Mengglobal, for example. I don’t want to be known only for my job, I want to be known also for the things I am passionate in life.. family and friends, music, travel, education and helping others.

What about you, dear readers, what do you want to be known as? What sums up your life?


28 thoughts on “Our job = our life?”

  1. I never really think about it though Christa. If I were in a new crowd and had to introduce myself, I would never say about what I do for a living for my introduction. Maybe I am not too fond of my job? hehehe..could be! Or maybe because have changed jobs so many times. Because I am an immigrant here, so I always say..”My name+I originally from Indonesia+I love cats and I have two at home+and am happily married+etc”. But I know what you mean though. My opinion, a job doesn’t define you, but what you contribute to the society does πŸ™‚ A very nice post!

    1. keknya the way you introduce urself is a normal thing in Europe deh Pie, mengenai kerja apa dan dimana kerjanya kebanyakkan terjadi di Amrik, mereka selalu nanya jg kan what are u doing for living walaupun ke orang yg baru beberapa menit ketemu..

      1. gw emang lbh berasa kl di yurep privacy itu tinggi bgt essence nya, di US lebih outgoing orang2nya jadi pertanyaan ‘what are u doing for living” keknya jadi biasa aja…imo ya:)

        dan ga ada hubungannya sama faktor imigran i guess, krn jumlah imigran di US pastinya lebih banyak secara ya orang asli nya emang nyaris gak ada kan? :))

      2. Ouu iya kebayangg hehe. Ehhh ini maksudnya imigran tuh kalo di Eropa kan banyak orang Jerman kerja di Inggris atau orang Prancis kerja di Belanda, gitulah bayanganku.
        Kalo di Amerika iya sih imigran semua tapi kebanyakan kan mereka udah bilangnya “american” walau muka Asia atau timur tengah pun hehehe :))))

    2. Thanks Oppie! Totally agree with you, a job doesn’t define who we are but sometimes (esp in Indonesia) that’s the easiest to say when introducing ourselves.. right? πŸ™‚

  2. I normally say, Hi am Ria, am a mother of twin boys, I live in bla bla, I like bla bla, Am enjoying bla bla… I don’t say what I do for living. I want people to know me based on my personality not my job/status.

  3. While it is obvious that our job constitutes a lot to our life and who we are; but I am trying not to make it my whole life. IMO, we work to live, not live to work since there is much much more in life than just our job πŸ™‚ . But of course there are certain circumstances where it is better to introduce ourselves based on what we do, I believe πŸ˜‰ .

    1. Yes, sometimes it’s just easier to say what do we do for living than to say other aspects of our life πŸ™‚ and I also totally agree on the “we work to live, not live to work” part!

  4. Me and my best friend promised each other to NEVER in social occassion, when you meet up or have just met a new person to ask ” So what do you do?” We really hate being defined by our jobs. Before people ask us anything to go with “where have you been on holiday this year?”

    When people ask us that we always try to dodge by asking them different question. Do you like 80s songs? If you have to choose 3, 80s songs to listen all the time which ones would they be?

    Sometimes we even compete to as to who can ask the silliest questions to ask people like we just met like “Talking about jobs, what would you rather do keep a vicious panda or being kept by a vicious panda?”

    Don’t get me wrong, I don’t hate my job, but if it is prejudice we want to set, I am quite happy to be judged as silly or riddiculous.

    1. Ah, very clever! I get your point. Asking those kind of questions would be more fun to do rather than talking about jobs. It also gets you to know other people’s personality better, right? πŸ™‚

  5. 10 bulan lalu aku juga ada reuni SMA. Ini pertama kali aku bertemu teman2 SMA setelah 15 tahun lulus dan pindah2 kota. Ingat banget aku perkenalan “Hai, Aku Deny. Mungkin ada yang ingat beberapa, tapi pasti banyak yang ga tau juga. Aku hobinya travelling, dan sekarang jadi penggiat story telling. Akhir2 ini aku juga suka ikutan marathon, jadi kalau ada disini ada yang hobi lari, yuk lari bareng. Cita2 terbesarku, bisa nerbitin buku”
    … Iya, aku ga terlalu suka menerangkan pekerjaanku apa kalau ga ditanya hahaha

    1. Nah iya aku tuh jadinya agak nyesel kenapa aku ngikut2 yg lain dan ngomongin kerjaan hahaha. Harusnya cerita kayak kamu gitu, halo sejak lulus sma aku jadi suka traveling sama lari.. gitu kan seru ya daripada ngomongin kerja hehe

  6. Like Oppie & Fe said, when I introduce myself I mention my name, that I have a daughter and a husband. That’s all. The question what do you do comes later on in the conversation.

    No matter how much I love my job I tend not to talk about it when I am in a social occassion because my job is just a part of me. It doesn’t define me as a person. The question I mostly ask to people I meet is; What do you do in your spare time? The answers are far more interesting to hear imo.

  7. since back in the day when i was till working i only mention my name instead of what i do, when i meet people for the first time ya. tapi kalau udah kenal lama and lagi kongkow yaa kadang suka ngomongin kerjaan juga si . walaupun kalau bisa ngindar lebih seneng ngobrolin hal2 yang lagi happening aja si. I usually ask people who I meet with some beatles/music question hihihi. secara suka penasaran apa dia suka juga. ngomongin beatles/musik buat aku gak akan ada abisnya n lebih penting daripada kerjaan Chris ;p

    1. bener banget niiss ngomongin musik jauhh lebih seru daripada kerjaan nis hehe. kadang2 tuh kalo lagi kumpul trus mulai ngomongin kerjaan suka ada yg nyeletuk “eh udah kaliii ngomongin kerjaan, yg seru seru aja kita” heuheuehue

  8. Hm, ya, paling menyebutkan status/kondisi sekarang dan apa yang sedang dikerjakan. Setelah itu, terserah orang mau melabeli apa. Toh, melabeli memang sudah kodratnya manusia. Tidak ada imunitas terhadap hal itu, bagaimanapun “sempurna” nya hidup kita. πŸ˜€

  9. disini juga kalo kenalan topik normal bahas kerjaan lho, seperti waktu aku pertama kali kuliah S2. pasti sama temen2 dikelas topik obrolannya ga jauh2 dari kerja apa dan kerja dimana dll, jarang bahas keluarga dll
    setelah kenal lama karena setiap hari kuliah bareng sekelas baru deh ngobrol n cerita2 masalh personal πŸ™‚

  10. I think talking about one’s job is a simple conversation starter. But you’re right, there’s so much more that defines us. You could actively try to introduce yourself as “Christa – the music lover” or “Christa – the blogger” next time you have to talk about yourself. I’d like to see people’s reactions.

    1. I’d love to try that! Like I mentioned in the post I kind of regret not introducing myself with other ways but instead talking about my job, next time I’ll try to not do that.

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