‘Ick’: 29-year-old blasts Australian work norm

“What do you do at work?”

In Australia, the question ‘What do you do at work?’ is a classic ice breaker, right up there with “How good is the weather?”.

However, one Aussie got the conversation started when he expressed his frustration with the question.

Llani Belle, a 29-year-old Queenslander, took to social media to reveal that she doesn’t think the issue is normal.

Ms. Belle said that she knows that sometimes the question is asked without malice, but she feels that it is often asked so that people can “judge” you, and she is no longer prepared to answer it.

“I just decided that my only answer to that question is to do my best,” she said.

Ms. Belle is all for “women’s empowerment” and doesn’t want to downplay her success. She is proud of all that she has achieved and the fact that she earns six figures a year, but wants to move away from the culture of hustle and being defined by a job.

“I just want my career to make me less known,” she told news.com.au.

Ms Belle said Australians “focus far too much” on what people do for a living and treat you differently based on your occupation.

A young Australian woman is fed up with being asked what she does

Sure, at first glance it seems like a question you’d ask when looking for something to talk about, but Ms. Belle believes it’s also an easy way for people to decide if someone is worth talking to.

When you ask someone what they do for a living, you can also assume what tax bracket they fall into and thus what bracket they fall into.

Ms. Belle has worked in luxury real estate as an agent and for influencer Kayla Itsines’ Sweat fitness app, and she’s always thought her career was cool in a social setting and doesn’t like how she’s been treated for it.

“I’ve always had a very impressive career, but I still don’t enjoy talking and the way I’m treated has changed when I’ve said what company I work for,” she said.

A young Australian woman said she has watched people’s “eyes light up” when they mention what she does for a living.

“That’s because there’s a lot of money involved and people’s opinions change,” she explained.

It’s not a reaction she likes.

“I’m sick of how people treat me differently because of what I do at work,” she said.

Ms. Belle sees this board game when one of her friends, who works as a full-time barista, reveals what he does for a living.

“People turn their noses up at him,” she said.

She finds that kind of response “yuck” and isn’t thrilled when people get too excited about her career because she thinks it plays into the idea that your worth should be determined by how much you make or what you do.

“I judge people by whether they are good people or not. I’ve met successful people who are terrible,” she said.

He hopes the question won’t come up as often anymore as Gen Z and millennials begin to reject career culture.

“We are moving out of this phase of hustle culture and people want to have a life and a job. When we get out of this, I would like to have the conversation more focused on our lives,” she explained.

People online were quick to weigh in on the question of Ms. Bella’s employment.

“I definitely think it’s worth judging and categorizing you by your job,” one person wrote.

“How you spend your time is a better question,” said another.

“This is to find out how much respect they will show you,” said another.

“Personal issues seem like empty talk in Australia. I can’t stand it. I will not answer your question and will change the subject. That’s how I do it,” claimed someone else.

“Personally, I don’t think there’s anything wrong with asking that. If you have it, you have a problem. Maybe it’s a job you’re ashamed of, or no job at all,” wrote one.

“Just people who contribute [nothing] society does not like to answer this question. Our work absolutely defines you because it’s what you dedicate most of your life to,” said one.

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