Debra Swersky
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Journal

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What do you do?

Yesterday I was asked, “What do you do?” It’s a common conversation-starter and a question that everyone asks and gets asked. Most people have a clear-cut response to it. (The format is: I do XJob for YCompany.) Somehow, for the past couple of weeks, I’ve avoided that question… no one has asked me what it is that I do. But, yesterday it was unavoidable. I got caught in a conversation-starter and had to respond. 

Though not a position, I’ve always considered myself to be a “career-oriented” person. I’ve told lots of people this tidbit of information about me when discussing my job progression and where my occupation sits on my list of priorities. But, what does that actually mean? What is a “career,” really? It’s a word that I’ve struggled to understand as I left my job last year. In looking up the word “career” I found that the word actually has two definitions and can be used as both a noun and a verb. (I was surprised.) Here are the definitions: 

Noun: An occupation undertaken for a significant period of a person’s life and with opportunities for progress.

Verb: Move swiftly and in an uncontrolled way in a specified direction.

Looking at the two definitions, I actually prefer the definition of a “career,” the way that many people use the word, as a verb as opposed to the noun. It makes more sense to me to look at my career as “moving swiftly” “in a specified direction” and getting to that point by trying out lots of different things (that’s the “uncontrolled way”). The verb definition speaks more to having a vision or a goal that you’re moving towards, as opposed to an occupation. I like it!

So, what was my answer yesterday? What is it that I do? I’m preparing for the unknown.

What does that mean? It means that I’ll be moving to Dallas in the coming months and am preparing myself for the unknown opportunities that will present themselves when I get to town. I’ll talk about some of the things that I’m doing to prepare myself in this journal. In the meanwhile, I am making sure to do what I love and love what I do more so than ever before.

Debra Swersky