And then everything changed

Dienstag, 2. Juni 2015

Ask people if they like what they're doing

On thrusday I'm off again to a different city to organize and hold a small bookfair and an evening event. The best thing about my job is that I meet a lot of people with fascinating jobs and glamorous lifestyles: professional dancers, musicians, authors, comedians. And I love talking to them and hearing about their extraordinary work lives.

But not everyone is a performing artist. Most people have less glamorous jobs. They're nursers or waiters or teachers or cashiers or cleaning personal or janitors or construction worker. Or maybe they're the people who change the posters on train stations when noone is watching (seriously, have you ever actually seen someone exchange the posters in public spaces? they just seem to change magically).

At the moment I am obsessed with jobs noone talks about, with duties that have to been done but noone really knows who does them. So whenever I meet a person with a job I don't know much about (which are really most jobs), I am excited.

When we meet someone knew, one of our first questions is probably: What do you do for a living? And when they tell us, we usually say something like: Oh that's interesting! Or, if it's not interesting, we say something lame like: Ah okay.

I have a friend who everytime someone tells her what they do for a living, she asks them, if they like it. And some people are so taken back by this question, that they need a moment to think about it. Because noone ever asks people if they like what they're doing. We either just assume they do or (and sadly this is often the case) we couldn't care less. Well, we should . By asking people if they like what they're doing, my friend challenges them to think about if they're happy where they are and about what they really want out of life. And I tell you, it totally blows people's minds.

So the next time a person tells you their job, ask them if they like it.

And also: Do you like what you're doing?

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