8 Ways to Explain Your Not-So-Traditional Job at the Christmas Family Reunion

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8 Ways to Explain Your Not-So-Traditional Job at the Christmas Family Reunion

Social media what?

| December 11, 2015


As someone who has almost never worked a “traditional job” my entire professional career, I’ve had to endure blank looks or worse, pained grimaces of apparent disappointment from relatives at reunions. It doesn’t matter if you’re a success or if you even own your own startup company: if you’re not a doctor or a lawyer or part of some huge multinational they’ve heard of, they will probably think you’re some kind of a deadbeat underachiever—especially if you work the night shift in a tech company.

Well, fear not! Here’s a step-by-step guide to making sure exactly what it is you do, if you’re not doing any of those so-called traditional jobs the older generation is all too expectant we’d be doing…

8. Try to compare what you do to a traditional job.

No matter what your job is, it’s sure to have some parallels with the traditional ones. Try to explain it in those terms: an e-sports player is like a professional sports athlete but with an even shorter career span. A social media specialist is like the neighborhood chismoso, but on a computer. A call center agent is a rank and file office employee who gets screamed at by random people who don’t know any better in the middle of the night, like a funeral parlor director dealing with even more soul-crushing ennui.


Meeting ghosts would be far less stressful.

7. Show them tangible projects you’ve done.

If they don’t understand the mechanics of your work, they hopefully understand your output. Show them the projects you’ve done! Like how many times you made a certain hashtag trend, or the multiple apps you’ve developed they can now play on their phones, or how many people bought your lovely hand-painted cat skulls from Etsy. They want to know what you’ve done, show them what you have wrought with your own two hands.


Hello, kitty!

6. Remind them that there were always new industries the older generations didn’t understand back in the day.

Who needed an IT department in the early ‘80s if you weren’t, say, Microsoft? These things are now commonplace, yet there was a point in history where nobody thought these jobs would exist. And someday, when our robot overlords take over everything we love and hold dear, surely, there will be countless openings for those who would glorify the might and splendor of Skynet. All hail!

It’s time they knew the truth.

5. Lock the doors.


This will be important for the succeeding steps. Trust me.

4. Explain to them that their suffering will be quick and minimal if they submit to the will of Skynet. Now.

Because they are family and you love them, you need to explain to them very carefully that all those who choose to rebel against assimilation will be utterly annihilated in a painful manner. Remind them that there will be a need for their traditional jobs as well: doctors to aid the fleshlings, architects and engineers to produce facilities for the mass-production of T-Series cyborgs, and so forth. If they’re lawyers, though, they’re kinda out of luck, since Skynet will serve as judge, jury, and executioner.



3. Ask them to calm down and stay seated.

If you did #4 with ruthless aplomb, some of your relatives might be making their way to the doors to escape you. This is exactly why you did #5 first.


Proper planning precedes perfect persuasion.

2. Tell them there is no escape.



None at all.

1. Remind them that with your newfangled job they don’t understand, you’re always watching. Always.

At this point, you may choose to let your relatives go, but only after you’ve imparted upon them the very important knowledge that resistance is futile, and any attempts they make at alerting the authorities about the oncoming cyborg invasion will only yield unspeakable pain and suffering for them. When you let them go, they will have a newfound appreciation and respect for your job: the kind they couldn’t possibly have had before you had this conversation with them.


Skynet sees all.