The Meaning Behind the Most Common Introduction Question

I want to return back to “the” question we are all asked when we meet people “what do you do.”  As I continue to think about this question and struggle with my answer, I wonder what the person is asking.  What is the person wants to know, and what is their motive for the question? When asking “the” question, are they trying to uncover what you have in common that you can connect on or what you do that is interesting that I would like to learn about, or are they wanting to know your worth to them based on your income or your network? 

I want to think that they want to connect with you and not value you when you ask the question “What do you do” what answers are you seeking and why.  I would love to know your thoughts.


  1. Carly

    I love your posts on this topic! I think about this a lot as I’m a nurse and I needed to go on leave for my health at 24 years old and then full disability at 26. “What do you do?” is one of my least favorite questions. I sometimes answer with what I like to spend my time doing instead.

    1. First, I am sorry that you had to leave your job as a nurse because of your health. It is normal for you to hate the question. I love your new answer….. put out there what you want to do and watch that it will happen. Best of luck to you… Cannot wait to hear that it comes true.

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