New people who I meet always ask what I do for work. This question is normal and polite to ask, but I don't always want to tell people what I do for the following reasons:
- My job is unusual, which prompts more questions and turns the whole conversation into more questions about my job. I would rather talk about something casual so both parties learn more about each other as people, not as professionals.
- My job conveys a high-status position, which can create awkward social dynamics. I would rather the conversation lead to common ground with someone, not to spotlight our differences.
I have tried just mentioning vague details about the field I work in, but the vagueness usually prompts more specific questions. I don't want to lie to anyone. So, how can I avoid telling people about my job?