You are at a social gathering where you hardly know anyone. How would you start a conversation?
Most people are inclined to ask (after names): “So…what do you do?” This has worked for years, but it’s time to change things up. According to Geekwire, here are some reasons why asking “that” question doesn’t work anymore:
– It’s understood as “What do you do for a living?” and ranks paycheck activities above all others in the get-to-know-you hierarchy.
– It assumes permanence and stability when our economy and values pave choppier paths.
– It pins your identity to a job instead of pinning a job to your bigger, evolving identity.
– It loads the resume, an automatic output given time and time again.
– The person may not have a job at the moment, which is awkward to explain in this context.
– The person may not care about what they do for a living. But they have to tell you anyway.
There are other questions to ask when getting to know someone. Buffer listed 27 questions to ask instead of “What do you do?” We picked our favourites:
– What do you like to do?
– What are you working on?
– What do you do for fun?
– How do you spend your days?
– What cheers you up?
– If money were no object, what would you do with your life?
– What’s the best thing that happened to you today?
What other questions can you ask someone instead of “what do you do?”