[Marketing alert: The following article may appear to some as me boasting ’bout meself so you can stop reading if you are a judging type. But if you have an open mind and will let the bro put his case, read on.]
I adhere to the motto that people can make their own opinion about things and it is valid enough as we all are entitled to our own perceptions. But this little question has been on my wits ever since and if you have read Tim Ferris’ famous book (The Four Hour Work Week) you know his reply to such a question “I am a drug dealer”.
So why is this question complicated for me? Well, for one I could simply tell the person that I am an accountant (buchhalter, бухалтер) and the conversation would move on. The “situation” comes when I receive “the look” from people. The look that says something like “hmmm, not much of a talent there.” And this wrecks my little ego off the charts. More so because I know what I have done and what I am worth. And then I am obliged to do some unwanted marketing – I call this “unwanted” because nothing good will come out of my further efforts in this direction. Because of all the times I have done this, the person(s) has either been confused or decided to never speak to me again in such detail (for whatever reasons they deem fit).
And today again this question was asked of me and here is a transcript of the conversation:
Person: So what do you do?
Me: I have been an accountant. (Ooops, it happened again. The person is not excited and gives me the look of “you no-brain bean counter”.).
Me: And what do you do?
P: I do programming.
Me: Do you do Java?
P: No mostly C++.
Me: But Java is cool. C++ is better for hardware coding, but for human interfaces Java does a better job. I can design applets in Java.
P: (Quite, no response and confused look on their face)
Me: I have also implemented complete business systems for multi-million dollar companies. I have 2 master degrees and I am about to get accounting qualification from UK.
P: (Quite and maybe puzzled as to how can a person do this before they turn 30)
The above is just a sample of how the conversation becomes one sided when I start throwing my ammo after being dismissed for my reply to the question “What do you do for a living?”
There are some good people though who eventually ask me “What next?” Honestly, I want to become an entrepreneur now and mostly because I want to create a workplace where people are respected for their contributions. As of now I don’t know how and when I will do it, but because I have this single-minded desire of creating such a workplace, I know it will happen. And then I can simply answer the question as “I am an entrepreneur.”
Till that time, I will have to deal with this situation when people don’t get excited when I tell them “I am an accountant.” 😉