Most people who know me don’t really know what my job is, unless I work or worked with them, so the simple answer I always give when people ask is “data entry and check processing.” (Sounds super exciting, huh?) But the more complicated answer is that I don’t really know how to explain it to people who don’t already know what I do.
1. I’m not always good at explaining things, even if I do understand them myself.
I can extrapolate information and solve problems; just don’t ask me to explain what I know or how I figured it out. (Even if I explain something innumerable times, people still don’t get it.)
2. I work with somewhat confidential information and don’t want to reveal anything I’m not supposed to.
That can make it difficult to tell people if/when I do see something interesting/funny that pertains to the work itself.
3. There are details so specific to what I do that I didn’t know about them until I was where I am.
Sure I could probably try to go into some of those specifics, but you’d really have to want to know. Otherwise, I might bore or confuse you with details (see #1). Besides, when my friend who helped get me this job explained what he did, I imagined it so much different than reality, and I don’t think he necessarily explained it poorly.
4. We’re not open to the public.
Dealing with the public may not always be great, but many places you can go into and see exactly what people do there; nobody has to tell you what is supposed to happen. I don’t work in one of those places. In fact, whatever I work with stays on site, and I almost never have any sort of direct dealings with any of our clients or their representatives (only if someone is touring the facility during my shift). If I’m not producing anything specific and no one really interacts with me from the outside world, I don’t really have anything to show as an example of what I do.
5. Sometimes I’m not really sure what I do myself.
Of course I know what I do directly and on a daily basis, but if I wanted to take a step back and look at any sort of big picture, I would have no idea what I was looking at or for. I’ve also been where I am long enough to have developed some sort of skills, but I’m not even sure how to quantify whatever skills I may have developed during my time there. (I am working on a “What have I learned?” list, but that’s for another time and is not exactly skill-based.)
So many times I hear people talk about their jobs, and I understand what they do. I may not want to do what they do or fully understand all the details of what goes on, but at least I can have somewhat of a grasp. My job is not one of those jobs, but I don’t really know how to explain what I do either, other than “data entry and check processing.”