I've now learned that sometimes less really is more. When someone asks me what I do, I keep it short. I don't try to explain myself. I keep a smile on my face. I'm enthusiastic about my blog, the future and current job opportunities. And if I'm really being pressed for more info about exactly why I got fired, I just make a joke or brush it off by saying, "Well, I did work for a tabloid magazine. I'm still trying to figure it out myself!" So yeah, I've got my little spiel down and it works most of the time.
The other night I met a really friendly girl at a party who seemed genuinely interested in my story and learning more about the industry I work in. So I kept talking and talking, and I found myself feeling the need to explain myself and just what exactly it is I do all day long. I didn't even finish this sentence: Yeah, so the way freelancing works is...when she chimed in: "If I freelanced, I'd spend all my time at the gym!" Ouuuch. Ok, so I know she totally didn't intend to imply that I don't do jack shit all day, but it stung a little. I guess I'm just sensitive to the fact that most people don't realize that I really am busting my ass, even if the work I'm doing isn't always paying the bills. Sigh.
What about you guys: Have you ever felt insecure or uncomfortable when someone asked about your profession? How did you deal?