How to avoid answering the question you hate being asked (without becoming a social recluse).

“So, what do you do for a living?”

The job we do defines us. Like it or not. It ranks in the top 3 questions you are always asked when meeting new people.

Attend a party, go out socially, or attend a networking event someone you don’t know will saunter over to ask:

“What’s your name?”

“Are you from around here / where are you from?”

“So…. what do you do for a living?”

Great if you love your job. But it’s a different world if you find your work unfulfilling.

You can’t just tell the person to mind their own damn business – it’s rude (even if that’s what you are thinking).

You’re not likely to spill your heart out to this stranger about how your job is really sucking out your soul and how every morning you wake up with a feeling of dread that this is it for you…. your life is being wasted being stuck in this job.

Instead, you look down at the floor and give that rehearsed line you’ve used so many times before to try to make what you do sound meaningful and hope the stranger does not spot that you cannot find any meaning anymore in what you do. You feel like an amoeba.

If this sounds like a familiar scenario, you are in the right place. Here’s some other options of what you can do to avoid answering the question you hate without becoming a social recluse.

  1. Throw your drink straight in their face. Oops, no. Hang on. That’s what you want to do. So instead, down your drink (get rid of the temptation!) and politely deflect – “Hey, I work to live – let me tell you something great I love doing in my spare time.”
  2. Lie. Make something up and tell them about a really obscure but cool job you might do that will make them feel their job is dull, and spin the question straight back at them. “I work for an intelligence service connected to submarines, I’m so sorry I cannot disclose details, but I’d love to hear about what you do for a living – I mean, what was the most exciting thing that happened in your world of work this week?”
  3. Ditch the job that’s making you feel this way and find a job you love, so that you’ll be going up to strangers ON PURPOSE because you want them to ask you all about it. You, a PSPS! A proud, sassy party socialite!!

What we do in life is part of who we are. We cannot change the fact that our actions define us. If what we do for our living does not align with our passions and values, our work will not make us happy.

Would you like to discover your true work passions and find a job you’ll love?

Connect with me and send a career changing message. It’s that simple to take your first step.



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I first worked with Will whilst I was a junior member of a teaching team. I worked closely with him for around three years and he became a true mentor to me. During this time Will helped encourage me to discover my own leadership style and he mapped out what it takes to be successful. I highly recommend Will for life and career coaching.

Will is a professional, natural leader who manages to make you feel at ease. He manages to be both emphatic and encouraging, whilst also managing to challenge you to find your own answers. Will’s approach is totally non-judgmental and the sessions are really focused on you and on what you want to achieve. Working with Will has allowed me to address challenges I was facing and he brought a wealth of resources and practical tools to help me set goals, clarify my values, and explore avenues right away. Even though I left teaching 5 years ago, I still seek out Will for his help and guidance and I appreciate his versatility as a thought partner, ally, and coach. Our sessions are always productive and efficiently run, which is perfect for someone who is juggling many priorities! Will brings great communication, professionalism and quality to his work and I highly recommend him as a life/business coach.
- Jamie T (Leadership Coaching)

Highly recommended

I am so glad I found Mapleleaf Vision! Will has been super supportive and understood exactly what I needed to help me to redirect my focus. I now have fresh enthusiasm for what lies ahead.
- Greg M (Life Coaching)


Will at Mapleleaf vision fitted me in for a last minute decision-making session that I needed to make ASAP re. a job offer / career change. He was friendly, professional, and really knew his stuff! He unpicked things that I could never have done on my own. I’m so grateful to him & will be highly recommending him to everyone! Where there is a ‘Will’, there’s a way! Thank you, Will. You truly have a gift.
- Cat K (Career Coaching)