When you’re working, one of the most common questions to ask new people you meet is what they do. Before the Global Financial Crisis in 2008, I happily said I worked in banking. A big part of my identity was where I worked for 60+ hours a week.
After leaving finance in 2012, I noticed I gradually lost interest in what people did for a living. Part of the reason was that I didn’t want anybody to ask me what I did for a living. I lost all my status.
During social settings, the last thing I wanted to do was think or talk about money. Therefore, I kept Financial Samurai and my old career mum. I knew others felt the same, so I never delved deeper into their professions, even if they volunteered.
The final reason why I stopped asking people what they did was that I often came away disinterested with their responses. Here in San Francisco, many people work in tech, finance, or law. If you’re not working in a well-paying profession, then you might be working at a startup that could make you rich.
There are some very fine people working in these professions. However, I just wanted to leave this type-A world behind, especially while I was in a social setting that had nothing to do with work. Unfortunately, my lack of interest in what people do cost me a deeper friendship.