I used to toil over the answer I would try to give to this question. My primary concern was that I didn’t want describe myself by external markers e.g. degree I was doing, where I worked. During recruitment season for internships, I heard hundreds of times over how others would answer this very same question. If I am being honest, it was a little depressing. A large majority of the answers painted the person as such a robot with little or few passions or hobbies in life. In response to that, I spent time curating my own answer to this question which includes some of the following:

  • Soul / Jazz / Electronic / Hip Hop music aficionado to the highest degree
  • Opted to go to University so that I may find people that I could start something with
  • Made an active effort to extend my horizons e.g. Oscen, QuakeTEC, ThinkPod

My goal was to share what I loved doing, the ambitions I had, any my fervour for engaging in diverse projects. I felt that to be a better formula for answering this “Tell me about yourself” prompt more than anything. The thing is, while initially this answer was one I made for formal interviews, I liked it so much that I started using it whenever I met someone new. The more I said it, the more I felt like my self-image changing. To anyone not me, there wouldn’t have been much of a transformation, but in my head, I felt more assured about myself.

The interesting thing is seeing how my response to this question has changed now. Given that I am voluntarily unemployed, and am in a different phase of life, I have had to change up my answer. The surprising (or perhaps) unsurprising thing is that the new habits that I have cultivated over the past few months have been central to it. My primary spiel now includes:

  • Living the life of a retiree: reading, writing, running, and seeing friends
  • Trying my best to learn in public
  • Soul / Jazz / Electronic / Hip Hop music aficionado to the highest degree

It’s funny now that I am without occupation, I have never been more confident or assured in what I am doing. I thought that I would be self-conscious about not working, but solidifying the identity I have for myself has helped tremendously with giving me purpose with each new day.


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