12 Mar What's Your Job In Five Words?

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In an 2014 interview with public radio’s Marketplace, President Obama was asked to describe his job in five words or less.

“My job is to keep the American people safe and to create a platform for hardworking people to succeed,” the president told host Kai Ryssdal.

That was actually 19 words, but if there’s one thing red and blue can agree on, the president does have a more complicated job than most.

Marketplace subsequently asked its listeners to send in their own five-word job descriptions.

What surprised me was the power of boiling down what we do to five little words. The responses ran from the poignant (“To help my family survive”) to the dreary (“Write emails, talk on phone”), from the impressive (“Ensure spacecraft life support”) to the ordinary (“Deliver pizza to grateful drunks”), from the obedient (“Cog in the wheel”) to the revolutionary (“Fight the powers that be!”), and from the mildly appetite-piquing (“Make the best nut butters”) to the where-was-this-guy-on Saturday-night-when-we-had-no-water-in-the-house (“Draw pipes, make them fit”).

Seeing these responses made me wonder whether I’m a “help my family survive” kind of guy, or a “write emails, talk on phone” cubicle dweller, because both are equally factual and descriptive of any given day.

But it’s about more than the facts or the description, isn’t it? It’s all about your outlook. So by the time I finished my commute while listening to this program and evaluating my own professional existence, I decided I’m more the “Help independent business-owners grow/prosper” type because that’s how I choose to think of it.

Now, what are you? Let’s hear your job description in five words or less. We’d like to know if you’re a “Frames at rock-bottom prices!” kind of eyecare pro or one who thinks their job is “Helping people see, beautifully.”

Last modified on Thursday, 12 March 2015 10:32
Ralf Kircher

Ralf Kircher is Group Executive Editor for SmartWork Media, overseeing the production of INVISION magazine.