Can you describe your job in five words?

In behavior, business, culture, journalism, life, work on July 6, 2014 at 12:12 am

By Caitlin Kelly

This is what we do!

This is what we do!

One of my favorite radio shows is Marketplace, a 30-minute program on American Public Media, focused on business, in the broadest sense. (Sidenote: I’ve been interviewed several times on the show, an experience both terrifying and thrilling! Both of my non-fiction books were about business, in some measure: my last one was about working a low-wage retail job and my first about women and gun use in the U.S.)

The show’s host, the dishy Kai Ryssdal, recently interviewed President Barack Obama — known to the in-crowd as POTUS (President of the United States) — and asked him to describe his job in five words.

He took nineteen:

“My job is to keep the American people safe and to create a platform for hardworking people to succeed.”

I decided to play along and, maybe not surprising, was easily able to do it in five words without hesitation:

Finding and telling powerful stories




I keep trying to leave journalism behind — an industry writhing in “disruption”, with appalling pay rates and rapacious behavior — but I am, it appears, addicted to my vocation.

I was very fortunate and deeply grateful, in March this year, to be hired by WaterAid, a global aid group, to travel to rural Nicaragua to report on their work there and produce three stories for them. It felt wonderful to have the chance to tell their stories, not just the usual journalistic fodder, transferring my skills into another realm for a welcome change.

How about you?

Can you describe your job or work in five words?


  1. clean poop, pee and vomit (I’m a nurse lol)

  2. Open closed minds to possibilities (of course I should have put something in there about getting them to not only read Shakespeare, but to actually understand him and grow to appreciate him as well)

  3. Hi Caitlin,
    I can do it in two words – care taker.

  4. As a writer: “To scare you with words.”
    As a student employee: “To help anyway I can.”
    How’s that?

  5. Ass worker offer tax payer

  6. Making the world better, easier. I work with retailers in Australia on how to reduce their impact on the environment.

  7. Haha, sure can! “I deliver overpriced, shitty pizza”🙂

  8. I got it down to 6: Making History and Words come alive.

  9. guide young minds to explore.

  10. “Trying to promote reason.”

    Ha! Got it down to four words…🙂 Kind of broad, actually, but it describes stuff I do besides writing, too.

  11. Help people feel better inside (as a yoga teacher)

  12. A blessing and an honor.

  13. Easily, it’s the tag line of my business: We make simple WordPress websites.

  14. I can describe my job in one word: O V E R

  15. […] Blog’s Caitlin Kelly asks readers if they can describe their job in five […]

  16. “To deliver well researched data” I am into research and data entry.

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