Friday, August 7, 2009

"I Work On The Internet" Isn't A Good Job Description And Why You'll Need To Make Something Up For Parties.

I work on the Internet. I use the word "blog" all the time and I know when Twitter is down and if Yahoo is trying to hire talent away from other companies. I can work with companies to get themselves to look a little cooler online if they want or tell them if people are complaining about them on Twitter and a lot of other geeky stuff that takes forever to explain.
The problem is we didn't get a one word description over here in online land to describe what we do so I've started dreading people asking me. It kind of goes like this:
"So, what do you do Caitlin?"
"Well, I work on the Internet. I mean, I help companies to use social media to talk to their customers online."
"Oh, like Facebook. I love Facebook but we're not allowed to use it at work."
"sort of." And from there I spiral into what can only be described as a geeky mess of words only 2% of the population knows about and the person is really sorry they even asked me and definitely doesn't want to be friends with me anymore. So I ask them what they do and they can say something simple like banker or pharmaceuticals.

Here's what I've started doing instead:
"So what do you do Caitlin?"
"Well, last night I went and saw 500 Days of Summer. I like to try and see every movie I'm exited about on the first day it comes out."
"I'm really into photography and I'm a hell of an apartment fixer."

Because this is true too and will not lead to a conversation about Facebook use during work time. I've thought of saying "I work in social media", but now it's such a hot topic that it's almost meaningless. The cool thing about this whole predicament is that I realized how often we ask each other "what do you do?" and what it means. We are really asking "how do you want to relate to me?". This can be work but you can answer with a hobby or whatever you want and I've gotten into some pretty cool conversations as a result.
Homework for this weekend: Pay attention to how many people ask "what do you do?" and answer each time with something other than your profession.



Anonymous Anonymous said...

You are genius :). That is all.

August 7, 2009 at 10:30 AM  
Blogger Caitlin said...

haha - thanks Christian! I'm thinking that would work even less as a job descriptor though :)

August 7, 2009 at 10:42 AM  

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