I go to fewer and fewer cocktail parties where people ask me what I do for a living. It used to be the opening question of almost any dialogue. As if to size someone up, you ask them about work.
One of my pet peeves has always been this question. Many people identify others by their occupation. Occupation defines who we are.
But not anymore- as lines become blurred, people change jobs on average every 2.5 years, many people have two or three jobs and many chose their life over their job.
As an inspirational speaker at conferences, I often attend the cocktail party reception the night before my motivational speech. I don't know anyone and they don't know me. Instead of the peppering of occupation oriented questions- now people ask, do you have children? What are your hobbies and interests? Where do you live?
The conversation may eventually turn to occupation but it's more like an afterthought instead of the primary focus.
Recently I was an inspirational speaker for a franchise event, where the other inspirational speakers motivational speech was about work and home life being one and the same: it's still your life. Work and home are not two existences that can be easily kept seperate. Today people often work from home and deal with home crisis at work.
Work Life Balance is now a thing of the past.
Now that we don't define ourselves by our work, how will we define ourselves?