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We spend a fair amount of time and energy at work. As you surely have noticed, one of the first questions we ask a person is, “What do you do?” This ultimately refers to their chosen job or career.

Much of our identity is formed by the work we do, however, there is much more to each of us. Of course, there is nothing wrong with asking about a person’s job, however, maybe there is something else that might give us more insight into a person.

Some people have jobs they love, and others do the work they do because it is a source of revenue to care for their families. Some people inherit a family business and will someday pass it onto their children. Some people have a calling, and some people are caretakers of children or aging adults.

All of us do important work each day, whatever we do. Perhaps a better question to ask someone is, “What do you feel is most important in life?” and “What do you value in life?” The answer to these kinds of questions would tell you quite a bit about a person. Their values and feelings about life … this reveals far more about a person.

Next time you meet someone new, look beyond their work. And just maybe, if appropriate, you can ask other questions that will give you a bigger picture about who they are. You may not realize what an extraordinary person you are talking to if you see their job as their primary identity.

FYI, Dr. Jess is a dentist, but she also is a friend to many, a daughter, a mother, and a wife. An animal lover too. Helping people is extremely important to her. She is a very compassionate and empathetic person. She is kind and caring. Dr. Jess values integrity. She is much more than a dentist. Her patients will surly tell you so.