working in tech now, blah, blah... 

working in tech now, blah, blah... WHAT DID YOU DO BEFORE ?

Last Valentine's Day, I had the pleasure of spending time with some family friends, specifically friends of my parents. During the gathering, I engaged in a delightful conversation with a woman who happened to be my mom's former co-worker in the IT field, specializing in database management. As we caught up, I enthusiastically shared the news of recently completing my bachelor's degree in software engineering, a milestone achieved since our last encounter, given that we hadn't met since my graduation.

However, what transpired next left me contemplating the dynamics of conversations about personal achievements. Without acknowledging my recent accomplishment, another lady at the table, situated right next to my mom's ex co-worker, posed a question that caught me off guard: "And what did you study before?"

The immediate shift in focus from my latest achievement to a past endeavor raised an important point. It struck me how some conversations tend to dwell on the past rather than celebrating the present and future. This individual's inquiry seemed to imply that what I had done before held more significance, despite the fact that we naturally progress, move forward, and achieve greater milestones over time.

The dialogue continued along similar lines when I shared my five-year tenure as a software developer. Once again, the same lady interjected with, "Oh, and what did you work on before?" It was at this moment that I felt a surge of frustration, almost reaching the point of wanting to react impulsively.

Nevertheless, I opted for the path of politeness and provided a detailed response. Reflecting on this experience, I now realize the importance of not letting such questions dictate the narrative of our accomplishments. There is a lesson to be learned about disengaging gracefully, redirecting the conversation to the present and future rather than delving into lengthy explanations about the past.

In situations like these, a dismissive response could be a powerful tool to steer the conversation away from the past. Simply stating, "What it was, it was, and it will never be," or emphasizing, "I have not done anything illegal," can effectively shut down inquiries about the past. This strategy not only preserves the focus on current achievements but also communicates a strong message about the irrelevance of revisiting past endeavors.

Furthermore, the power of words extends beyond the immediate conversation. Expressing oneself about the past, especially in response to unnecessary inquiries, can inadvertently pull attention away from the present. The words we use shape our reality, and by avoiding the verbalization of past experiences that hold no relevance, we can maintain a narrative that aligns with our current accomplishments and future aspirations. Choosing words wisely is a means of asserting control over our narrative, allowing us to project confidence and focus on the remarkable milestones we continue to achieve in the present moment.

In essence, there is a valuable lesson here: we should not allow ourselves to be pulled back into a stage where we were less accomplished. Questions about past endeavors, especially when they hold no relevance to the present, deserve responses that redirect focus to the here and now. By adopting a strategy of deflection and emphasizing personal growth, we can encourage others to appreciate and celebrate our current achievements rather than dwelling on the past. After all, we are shaped by our journey, but the emphasis should always be on the remarkable milestones we continue to achieve — not on one or a few things we did once that are out of context or hold minor significance.