Try to rewrite your Twitter bio without talking about your job.
It’s surprisingly hard, right?
When I read Sophie’s World for the first time (I was twelve), it sparked a lifelong interest in philosophy. One of the most fascinating questions in the book was also one of the simplest:
Who are you?
How do you define yourself? How should you define yourself? In an ideal world, how would you like to define yourself?
My Twitter bio currently reads thusly:
I quite like it, because it’s accurate. However, in the past, when I worked a job I didn’t want to admit to, I found it much harder.
It never occurred to me to just not include my job in my Twitter bio at the time, because so much of our self-definition as adults – the adults I spent time with, anyway – is wrapped up in definitions of work.
“What do you do?” we ask people when we meet them, and by that we mean “Whose office do you sit in all day? What arbitrarily defined job title were you given by your company to make you feel useful?”
We don’t mean “What do you do in the evenings, when you get home?” or “What do you do sometimes that makes you feel truly alive?” or even “What do you think about when you’re daydreaming at your desk?”
But why don’t we mean those things?
For so many people, work is something they’ve fallen into. The rise of industries like digital advertising have meant that a lot of people who did creative arts degrees are now working for “creative” agencies, spending all their time making the latest ad for Nike.
People who studied philosophy are working in marketing. People who were convinced they were going to become marine biologists are struggling through the day as HR managers.
Because you just fall into jobs, a lot of the time.
But you’re still in there, somewhere.
And while it may not be practical for you to quit your job and live your dream life immediately, it’s still a good idea from time to time to remind yourself of who you once were. Who you could be again.
Who you are when you’re not sitting under fluorescent lights in an office, staring at a screen and waiting for the end of the day.
So, go on. Rewrite your Twitter bio without mentioning your job. And let me know what you came up with in the comments!