What do you do for a living?

I’m stumped; there’s no simple answer.

(Image: canva.com)

Technically I’m retired, and have been since 2001.

The problem is technology has always been both my profession and my passion. When I had a real job, I was doing what I loved to do and getting paid for it.

Now things are a little different.

I’ve got my fingers in so many pies. Some days it feels I’m busier in “retirement” than I was working for someone else.

Elevator speech

I’ve thought some about my “elevator speech”. The best I can come up with is stolen from Ask Leo!:

I help people use technology more effectively, giving them the confidence to do more, be more, and explore more of the world that today’s technology makes available to us all.

It feels vague, but that’s a reflection of it being so hard to answer the question in the first place.

I enjoy doing a lot of different things. What fascinates me about my industry is the limitless opportunity. I can’t limit myself to a more concrete response.

“I answer tech questions” doesn’t begin to cover everything I do and enjoy. “I’m an entrepreneur” covers almost everything, but it’s equally vague. “I’m a tech writer” is also more accurate than ever, but once again feels woefully incomplete.

I’m in it for fun, and fun doesn’t have boundaries.

Examples of fun

Here’s some of the fun I’ve been having in recent years:

I’m sure there’s more I’m missing.

Honestly, my wife’s characterization is perhaps the most accurate of all: she says I “play with computers”.

That’s pretty accurate, right down to the play part.

And sometimes I even get paid for it. How cool is that?

Originally published in 2004. Updated in 2021 because a lot changes in 15 years.