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Should occupation matter?

If you have spent any time at all on the Atlanta dating scene, you’ve heard the following countless times: “What do you do?” which is usually followed by, “Where did you go to school?” Casual conversations can go from innocent flirting to archaeological dig for information in 60 seconds!

Everyone has their own angle to asking the career or occupation question. A lot of people believe that what a person does for a living says a lot about their character, personality….and bank account.

This is one of the reasons one of my guy friends tell women that he runs a non-profit when he meets them. This is only partly true because he actually runs the family business and runs the non-profit on the side. He says it is two-fold: It weeds out overly pretentious women who are only out to land wealthy men. It appeals to women who share similar interests and outlook.

I don’t know if this has worked well for him or not, but I do think about how much occupation matters – or does not matter – to a lot of us. Do you think it should?

What can you really tell about a person’s job, career, or career aspirations? When do you ask the person you are interested in dating or pursuing what they do for a living?

By Wise Diva, Misadventures in Atlanta Dating Blog

335 comments Add your comment

Varinia

January 19th, 2012
7:01 am

I think it can reveal if the person is actually just doing a job to meet living expenses or if it’s something they really enjoy doing. Are they following their dream? Have they given up on life and are living for the weekend, while they dread the week? Are they all about money?

So, yeah, the occupation can say a lot

Lady~

January 19th, 2012
7:56 am

Morning…….Interesting topic……………

Dude

January 19th, 2012
8:40 am

Very important

LeeH1

January 19th, 2012
8:53 am

“It weeds out overly pretentious women who are only out to land wealthy men.”\\

Actually, this is one of the more important things about finding out about other people. Women can marry up, but they certainly won’t/can’t marry down to a social inferior. Class and position is one of the most important things to find out about another person. After all, there is no such thing as a homely millionaire.

disco

January 19th, 2012
8:54 am

good morning. my first thought on reading the topic was that it shouldn’t matter but often times it does (and I own it – it does matter to me). this is part of the reason why I initially avoid this type of disclosure too soon when meeting people. it allows opportunity for bias.

Exiled!

January 19th, 2012
8:54 am

Very Important,that’s where most working folks spend their time!

And by ‘working’, it don’t neccesarily mean blue or white collar….she could be working her back,soliciting on the streets and dressing well,I might add. Open your eyes,you might get pinned! :lol:

‘Working’ has to be explained and discussed.

Chilly morning!

Exiled!

January 19th, 2012
8:55 am

Not pinned but punked!

disco

January 19th, 2012
8:56 am

Lee – I beg to differ. I’m sure there are many homely millionaires. the money doesn’t make them less homely it just makes it easier to ignore the homely.

Exiled!

January 19th, 2012
8:56 am

Punked not pinned(I wish) :lol:

Audra

January 19th, 2012
9:12 am

It shouldn’t matter but it does. But for me it’s not because of money, it’s to assess whether that person and I have common interests/values/goals. I work in public service, and I’ve found that if someone has no drive except to make lots of money then we are not going to have a lot in common.

I don’t judge a man based on what he makes. However, I will say that I was married to someone who made less than me, and this was a BIG issue for him. Sometimes men think that we’re all after a rich guy, and they beat up on themselves for not making more, and then it becomes a problem. Just my experience…

And as for homely millionaires? Oh yeah, they exist!! I’m sorry, but a million dollars will not make me want to sleep with someone I find physically repulsive.

disco

January 19th, 2012
9:18 am

okay – y’all forgive my silly mood this morning. operating on minimal sleep. audra – a million dollars won’t make me WANT to sleep with a homely man but for a million dollars I’d likely be willing to do it.

Fion

January 19th, 2012
9:22 am

“A lot of people believe that what a person does for a living says a lot about their character, personality….and bank account.”

No matter if the person is the janitor or the C.E.O. , that’s only their job, not who they are.Many a person has been fooled thinking that some ones job/ career enhances their character.

CoolShadow

January 19th, 2012
9:23 am

People (usually women) often use one’s occupation as a metric for evaluating your dateability. Quite often there appears to be a correlation between occupation (read: earning potential) and level of interest, however, it’s not the end-all for everybody. And especially for those men who are perceived as aesthetically challenged, money can sometimes be a great equalizer in attracting women.

It apparently matters to lot of people what one does for a living and it’s a personal judgment issue. For some, that’s the primary metric; for others, it may matter but isn’t a top priority. Women like the security of a man with an occupation with a good earning potential (however that’s defined) to upgrade or enhance a certain standard of living.

Just like Wise’s friend who downplays what he does for a living to weed out what he calls “pretentious women” (golddiggers and financial parasites), you sometimes also have to look out for people who enhance their job/positions to appear to be more socially marketable (e.g., door greeter at WalMart = public relations director), at least until they’re busted.

Dude

January 19th, 2012
9:24 am

If a woman likes what she does, money regardless, then she is gonna be the type that most likely worked to get where she is at.

On money- If she is unemployed and happy to mooch off people that is a big no no.
If she doesn’t particularly like what she is doing but makes great money, that means that she has some type of plan for her own future. That is great in my book.

Kym

January 19th, 2012
9:28 am

Good morning All,

I have to say that yes occupation matters..because we(I) tend to judge people based on what they do and their education background. I know we all like to say ohh not me. But how many guys are really going to seriously(keyword here ) date..a known porn star or the highlight stripper at the local club. Not many..but hey it’s just a job right? I try my best in my dating life to be open minded but everyone has a limits.

SlimNu

January 19th, 2012
9:31 am

Good morning,

Um, people do put a lot of stock into what the next persons occupation is. However, is that really effective in today’s economy when lots of folks are having to do things/jobs they wouldn’t normally do due to lay-offs, company restructurings etc?? I’m not working at a dream job but i’m still stiving for something better. Does that make me less of a candidate or incapable of having a thriving relationship with a guy?

Dude

January 19th, 2012
9:32 am

BTW, in my book, anyone who says that it doesn’t matter is just trying to look like they are deeper than they actually are, it matters. If someone says that their occupation is “street distribution of pharmaceuticals” then it makes a huge difference. A lot of jobs show you the type of character of the people that you talk to, also the length they have had that job matters a lot to me. If a person has never managed to hold on to a job for more than a few months, then there is something wrong and you need to run.

Leggs

January 19th, 2012
9:33 am

Good Morning.

A person’s occupation doesn’t necessarily indicate who they are as a person, nor does it speak of their character. What it does say is they’re willing to work and because so many are working jobs they don’t want to do, it speaks of their character in that way. I can understand one downplaying their occupation more than I can see someone upgrading their position. I can’t present an embellished version of my true self…that’s deceitful and more than likely will blow up in my face. Why bother?

Kym

January 19th, 2012
9:36 am

@Slim I get what you are saying..I do..because in my work-life I come into contact with alot of “degree-ed up” folks doing less than what they are qualified for…because they have to make ends meet..but if Dude is on fries and his only ambition is to move up to nuggets..or get on over at Chik-fil-la..nawww…

czBrat

January 19th, 2012
9:37 am

HiYas.

what a man does for a living matters to me only to the extent that if he is in a position of high power and visibilty, there’s a very good chance he’s too much of a workaholic for me. i like the balance of working to afford the imortant things in life (time with loved ones), as opposed to working to accumulate “stuff” and status.

If she doesn’t particularly like what she is doing but makes great money, that means that she has some type of plan for her own future.
careful, though. could also mean she values money over happiness. just a thought.

chilly, indeed! brrrrr!

disco

January 19th, 2012
9:38 am

cool shadow – financial parasites? I like it.

kym – I thought working fries was the “upgrade”. and not get on at chik-fil-a. you are cutting up.

abc

January 19th, 2012
9:38 am

My first impression of the topic is that people would ask about vocation, avocations and hobbies just to come up with something about which to start a conversation. But, I’m sure that people, judgemental as they tend to be, would accept or disregard someone based on the response. Diva’s friend is a little bit disingenuous in his response, though, I’d expect that kind of subterfuge from a chick.

If someone asks me what I do for a living, I just tell them. Who cares what they think about it?

Tired Out

January 19th, 2012
9:39 am

I’ve known women in my life who say they absolutely would not even date someone unless that person made more than $150k a year. That’s kind of limiting the dating pool a bit. Of course, I’ve seen these same women stay with someone who was slowly killing them psychologically, just because the guy had money. Guess that speaks more to the women than the men they’re dating, eh?

Kym

January 19th, 2012
9:41 am

@disco..I know..I am trying to change my mood..got a bit of foolishness going on this week..so I am trying get it light…

czBrat

January 19th, 2012
9:43 am

leggs, luv your 9:33

kym, you are just stoooopid! :lol:

SlimNu

January 19th, 2012
9:44 am

Leggs – Good post…basically what I was trying to say but worded much better ;-)

Yall are giving extreme examples of jobs that most folks would have an issue with i.e stripper, drug dealer, moocher, con artist etc…But how does one judge a woman or man who has a regular ass job. Not a doctor, not a high profile attorney, but what about a UPS driver? Bank teller? Hair stylist? Customer service rep?

Blackfoote: Thrown Back Under The Stairwell

January 19th, 2012
9:44 am

If it’s not illegal, I don’t care what occupation she has. The only thing I can tell about a person’s character from employment is if they call off frequently. In this economy, any legal job is a good job.

Good Morning:

Purple

January 19th, 2012
9:45 am

It matters to me if a woman has a “career” or just a “job”.

czBrat

January 19th, 2012
9:46 am

@abc, i couldn’t agree more. the motive behind the question speaks to that person’s character. how you respond speaks to yours.

Purple

January 19th, 2012
9:46 am

Blackfoote, would you date a stripper? I mean it’s legal work. Or what about a prostitute at the bunny rancy in nevada? That’s legal too

SlimNu

January 19th, 2012
9:47 am

Kym – well, what if ole boy was ‘trying to get on at chick-fil-a’ because he wants to be a manager over there and Chickfila is a great company in the food service world to work for? The guy is showing ambition, drive to do what it takes to move up, and obviously has a goal in mind…right? (just playing devils advocate)

czBrat

January 19th, 2012
9:50 am

and to piggy back on slim’s post, dude might aspire to own a couple of stores one day. not bad for starting out as a fry-guy.

disco

January 19th, 2012
9:51 am

slim – trust me when I say it is quite easy to judge even the regular jobs. heck, I know chicks who have certain occupations on their “do not date list”. one in particular won’t date barbers. another won’t date bus or cab drivers. folks don’t always want to admit to their snobbishness but it’s there. heck, I’ve watched folks who work in the same office act funny toward the receptionist or mailroom guy so I’m sure those same feelings are rampant in the dating world.

Dude

January 19th, 2012
9:51 am

Purple- 9:45
Couldn’t have said it better myself

Audra

January 19th, 2012
9:52 am

disco at 9:18 – really? Not me. Think Danny DeVito… :)

And as for creative names for bad (illegal) jobs, I like “Outside Sales Rep for a Colombian pharmaceutical company.” Ha ha ha

Leggs

January 19th, 2012
9:53 am

BF has been foreclosed upon and has moved back under the stairwell. Please, I’m not laughing at “foreclosure” just at how quickly he fell back.

Thanks czB/SlimNu.

kimmie

January 19th, 2012
9:55 am

Morning All!

It does matter, though to what degree, it depends on the individuals involved. Be it sanitation work, managing a business, teaching, healing the sick, preaching, whatever, there is nothing wrong with finding out what an adult does for a living. All adults have to do something for a living unless they are a housewife/husband, being supported by someone else or inherited money.

Yes, the question has many elements to it. Are you able to support yourself? Can you contribute financially to building a life with me should we get together? Is what you do just to make ends meet or is it a career? Are you changing lives, saving lives, is this your life passion? Are you doing something I would find facinating? Are we in similiar fields, do we have that in common?

I’ve never been a member of the golddigger club. I was not raised that way, I’ve always been able to do for myself. If I got into a bind, I turned to my family, not a dude. So I’m not asking to get money from a guy.

If I’m not physically attracted to you, a billion dollars won’t help. Seriously, I’ve been in that situation before. He was very wealthy but I was repulsed.

The circles I grew up in and run in, where you went to school is a fair question. 9 times out of 10 everyone went somewhere, so it boils down to where. I want to know so I can know if you are a rival!

Blackfoote: Thrown Back Under The Stairwell

January 19th, 2012
9:56 am

Hey Purple:

If I knew right away I don’t believe I could, but something in the distant is forgivable.

Blackfoote: Thrown Back Under The Stairwell

January 19th, 2012
9:57 am

distant “past”

disco

January 19th, 2012
9:59 am

I’m all for full disclosure. I’m just not all for immediate disclosure. I think that’s where I perturb a lot of people. I don’t readily volunteer information and some information may be a long time in coming. I put things out there on a need to know basis. if someone relatively new asks where I work I generally respond with “downtown”. if someone asks where I’m from I’ll give the state but not the city. it’s just in my nature to hold a little something back.

Kym

January 19th, 2012
9:59 am

First off hair stylist make good money…if they have a steady client base and don’t let them do those lace front wigs..I mean they are stealing packs of hair worth 150.00 a pack..to slap that on a head gonna cost someone atleast 300 bucks..UPS driver, bank teller, teachers…CSR all decent work if you can get it..and most “regular” folks do this kind of work anyway..

Blackfoote: Thrown Back Under The Stairwell

January 19th, 2012
10:01 am

Leggs…….LOL

The economy wouldn’t allow me to stay in the Penthouse. I enjoyed it while it lasted.

Purple

January 19th, 2012
10:02 am

BF that is mighty noble of you willing to date a woman with a lot of miles on her “cooch”

kimmie

January 19th, 2012
10:04 am

disco – There are some dudes on this very blog that won’t date women in certain professions and I’m not talking strippers & the like. I’m talking women attorneys, teachers, etc. But nobody tells them they are limiting their dating pool.

I’ve known a few pretentious folks of both genders that won’t date “blue collar” or below a certain pay scale. That’s their right, and as long as it works for them, it works. I’ve also known a lot of those same folk have had to get real.

What some don’t know is that many blue collar jobs, especially the skilled jobs, pay well, are very stable and in demand, and likely will never be outsourced overseas.

Leggs

January 19th, 2012
10:05 am

So, Purple, you’re saying ALL strippers have a lot of miles on their cooch??

Exiled!

January 19th, 2012
10:05 am

Everybody will snug in where they fit in

@Slim’s 9:44!

Your example of a degrees person laid off and not working is an extreme because they got laid off!

Folks look and value what’s imprtant to them.

We are All judgmental whether u like it or not.

disco

January 19th, 2012
10:06 am

purple – cooch mileage made me think of rolled back odometers.

M. (pronouced M dot)

January 19th, 2012
10:06 am

Good Day

“What can you really tell about a person’s job, career, or career aspirations? When do you ask the person you are interested in dating or pursuing what they do for a living?”

I always say it really does not matter what the woman does, but as long as she has some ambition to do something better if she is not happy. I usually ask casually. The key is to ask interesting questions about their field without probing. Especially if its a field you are not familiar with.

Me and my friend had the conversation of who would you go for A or B?

A: Woman who did not attend college but is making it with her own business of sort but has a great attitude and you two get along well and very attractive.

B. Woman who has every degree in the book, great career etc but she has no personality, negative/snooty attitude and you two don’t get along well but very attractive.

kimmie

January 19th, 2012
10:07 am

A lot of times people have reasons why they don’t want to date people in certain professions that have nothing to do with money. I never wanted to date cops. And I swore off career military dudes, due to some bad experiences.

Blackfoote: Thrown Back Under The Stairwell

January 19th, 2012
10:08 am

LOL……@Purple

I wouldn’t be bothered unless there were health conditions or issues.