Broadly Focused   August 22nd, 2010

One of the most difficult questions I am often asked as part of normal social discourse is “what do you do for a living?”. For many people this would not be a difficult thing to answer – they might be an accountant, a lawyer, a computer programmer, a Starbucks barista, or a rocket scientist (I know several).

But in my case a more appropriate answer might be something along the lines of “what don’t I do for a living?”. That answer, however has really never satisfied the person asking the question.

That’s because we have been raised in a culture that needs to pigeon hole people so that they fit some sort of societal mold.

Think about it. When you fill out a form of any sort these days, whether it be some sort of application, a survey, or whatever, and there’s a question about your title or career or profession, you’ll find it’s not multiple choice. But I believe it should be, because I am not alone in having multiple, diverse jobs that are concurrent.

Let me provide an overview of my current career status, in no particular order:

  • Registered U.S. Patent Agent
  • Professional photographer and artist
  • Technical consultant and expert witness in various patent litigation matters
  • President of a 501(c)(3) non-profit charitable corporation
  • President of a licensing company of copyrighted works
  • Co-Director of an Internet web and e-mail hosting company which also provides Internet marketing services
  • Co-manager of a company which develops and sells tourism WebCam solutions as well as maintains over a dozen live cameras on the Caribbean island of Bonaire (where I happen to live)
  • Computer programmer
  • Blogger
  • Journalist and analyst in the digital media technology field
  • Inventor
  • Scuba diving instructor
  • Graduate student
  • Director of an art gallery
  • World traveler and explorer
  • Linux server systems operator
  • Operator of several on-line stores
  • Developer and operator of a patent document procurement service
  • Father of home-schooled children
  • Food scientist and researcher
  • Book author

And that list is by far not complete – it only covers the things I’m doing at present, and then only some of those. So imagine my frustration when I’m asked to narrow things down to just one title and profession. If the questionnaire is on paper I just scribble outside the designated boxes. If it’s online, I randomly pick something from my repertoire which seems appropriate at the moment. Neither is a great solution however.

I have certainly been told many times that I need to focus. My response is that I am broadly focused, and plan on continuing to be for the rest of my life. Call me a “Jake of All Trades and Master of Many”.

More on this subject and many others later.

 

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This entry was posted on Sunday, August 22nd, 2010 at 19:25 and is filed under Labels, Renaissance Guys & Gals, Society. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed.Both comments and pings are currently closed.

2 Responses

August 23rd, 2010 at 13:12
Art Scott Says:

Your blog shows you’re also a humorist!

If available, I choose other, and fill in Semasiographologist!

Peace Love and Happiness PLH
Only One Earth OOE
Art

August 23rd, 2010 at 13:51
Jake Richter Says:

Cute :-)

Does that mean anything other than “Art Scott”?

Jake