But Actually, What Other People Think Of Your Job Doesn’t Matter

When you first meet someone new, they’ll probably ask you what you do for work. It’s a normal part of getting to know someone. But because you spend a lot of time telling other people about your job, it’s easy to get self-conscious about the whole situation. Is your company cool enough? Is your title prestigious enough?

When I was in college and shortly after I graduated, I vowed that I wouldn’t go to my high school reunions unless I was doing something “really cool” with my life, whatever that means. Basically I wanted to be sure that my career path would be deemed impressive. Extra points if I was famous. While that feeling has subsided a lot, I’m still aware of how people perceive my career, which is something I think is pretty common.

3973247231_74ecf13184_zI have a friend who hates dating because she feels unaccomplished work-wise, and doesn’t want to have to tell her date about what she does. She’s “meh” about her current job, and doesn’t feel good about her career because of it. I understand where she’s coming from. Another friend hates dating because his job sounds boring and he doesn’t want girls to judge him because his work isn’t flashy.

Another example: I have a friend who hates going to work every day. Yet she sticks it out at her company because it’s a prestigious brand and other people hear the name and go, “WOW! You work there!?” To her, that’s a fun feeling. Meanwhile the day to day of her job makes her want to bang her head against the wall. Again, I get it.

Everyone wants to be the person who gets the “!!!!” reaction when they bring up what they do for a living. You want to impress a date or a high school classmate or your parents’ friends. But at the same time, you can’t dread going into work every day. If you’re happy with how you spend the hours of 9-5 (or whenever you work) and you enjoy what you’re doing, then how your career appears to other people is actually fairly irrelevant. On the other hand, if you hate talking about your job because it’s not what you want to be doing, then it’s time for a change. Just make sure you’re not switching your entire career plan to impress other people. They don’t have to go into that office every day; you do. You should like how you spend your time.


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  1. This is so true! I’ve had moments where I thought I should have a “real job” because of being able to tell people the title and place as opposed to working from home in a constantly shifting career I haven’t totally figured out how to put into words yet.

    When it comes to the boring aspect, I’m dating a guy who is a software engineer at a company that makes automated phone systems. It bores me to tears, and I don’t understand 95% of what he’s told me about his work, but I don’t care about WHAT he does. I care that he LOVES what he does. He truly enjoys the work and the company, and his enthusiasm makes me care.

    • ljmlevine says:

      We’re definitely in the same boat, Sarah! I sometimes wonder if people judge me because I work from home (ex: think I don’t actually doing anything all day, etc.) but then I realize that it doesn’t matter, because I know what my job is all about. As for your boyfriend, you’re so right. As long as he’s passionate about it, that’s what matters. I feel like so many people drift through life hating their job, so if you like what you do and he likes what he does, that’s both rare and awesome 🙂

  2. Love this post!! Im definitely part of the latter group who has a cool job but is overworked! That’s why I started blogging, to try and create a balance. It’s actually the opposite problem for me with dating, most guys are intimidated by my job. We can’t win! Haha thanks for writing this 🙂

    • Hi Jen!
      It’s so true, finding a balance feels nearly impossible sometimes. Thanks so much for reading and commenting!

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