“So, what do you do?”
Like a woman who still celebrates her 30th birthday at age 50, I dodged, avoided and ignored this question as long as I possibly could. But just as Time finally catches up with the middle-aged, the career world has now caught up with me. If only they made business cards for the long-term traveler. . .
My family has just relocated to Santa Monica, California, USA. Here is a country that has long attached social status to your form of employment; and however much we may deny it now, ‘backpacker’ is not at the top of that list. To my chagrin, neither are the many useful (yet currently unemployable) skill sets I picked up along the way.
After all, do you know anyone who gets paid waiting for Southeast Asian buses? Or counting in ten different languages?
While I’ll never regret the last decade of travel, I do catch myself lamenting the cool career experiences I have missed out on. All the job opportunities that didn’t tempt me a few years ago, now waggle imaginary fingers to taunt me.
Like a new college graduate, I’ve got a ton of gumption, but no good way to write that into a resume.
In New Zealand and Australia, potential employers showed more interest in my adventures than my relevant jobs – but these two countries have a reputation for traveling, and hopping bravely off the career ladder when new opportunities arise.
Will the same apply back in the States? Or will I continue to draft personal business cards that list all the things I can do – but none of which earn an income?
How do YOU answer the question, “So, what do you do?” What real-life qualities grace your business cards?