Sterotyping by occupation

1
What do you do?

I always need to think really hard whenever somebody asks me this question. It takes some effort to explain what I do. Depending on the person's profession, education level and whether it is a casual or business setting I would phrase my answer accordingly.

Why do people ask this question? I think it is to form social/business networks and also to get a quick and general assessment of the person's abilities. E.g., a diving instructor would explain the science behind diving to a physicist quite differently compared to explaining it to a receptionist. When the question is asked prior to or during dating, I suppose it is to assess the mental and financial capabilities of the potential partner.

Is it fair to judge/stereotype people according to their jobs? E.g., accountants are meticulous and calculating, lawyers like to argue, engineers are methodological and boring, financial planners are persistent and irritating. Just knowing a person's occupation does not say much about his/her competence at the job and current or potential income. An (incompetant) lawyer is still a lawyer even if he loses all his cases. A (poor) engineer can drastically increase his income by innovation and entrepreneurship.

Do we become what our jobs require us to be or do we choose jobs that reflect our abilities? For me personally, both are true. When I was in a customer-facing role in my previous job, I learnt to be more patient and meticulous although these behaviours were not in my nature. Although my job now better utilises my natural skills and abilities, I am constantly seeking paid and unpaid opportunities that can help me realise my full potential.

So don't judge me by occupation; but decide for yourself the kind of person I am from what I write and from our interactions :)

1 comments:

Anonymous said...

Yu-Kym,

just came across this topic.

I am generalising here of course but I say an Engineer is boring and colourless. A judge or lawyer or businessman is conniving and a browbeater. A financial controller or accountant is calculating and miserly. A politician and Human Resource professional is a hypocrite. A teacher is talkative and talks down onto lesser ppl. A male chef, hairstylist or fashion designer has feminine or gay inclinations and are also fussy pots. An advertising professional is exciting and dare doer. A trader, dealer and also a businessman is a risk taker, a gambler. A marketing or sales person, a property developer is a bullshitter and throws colourful smoke. lol

curious cat