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What do you do?

Life — May 2010

One of the questions I get asked by people I meet is, of course, "what do you do?". I started off telling people I was unemployed, but that then got me into explaining whether I was looking for a job or not. (Maybe, starting in October, if I can find an interesting part-time or casual position.) And it's not really a good description of my state. Telling people I'm retired is equally inaccurate.

I've experimented with telling people that I'm the "Unmarried Partner of a Tier 2 Skilled Migrant Worker". That's true, and the basis for my ongoing presence in the UK, but doesn't really help anyone work out what I do.

So now I just tell people I'm a book reviewer. That gives a pretty good idea how I spend most of my time, even if the income from it has sadly declined over the last few years.


  1. Housewife?

    Comment by Simon Rumble — May 2010
  2. I don't know about housewife, but househusband is another possibility. However the UK doesn't recognise unmarried partners at all, so legally I'm treated pretty much exactly as if I were single.

    Comment by danny — May 2010
  3. You can't be unemployed and not actively look for work according to the ILO labour market statistical definitions.

    According the ABS scheme you would be Marginally Attached to the Labour Force. Which means you are not in the Labour Force but you have worked in the last few years, are capable of working, and would like to work but are not currently working. It is divided into two sub-categories those who are not actively looking at the moment and those who are looking but not available to work in the next few weeks (due to illness, lack of childcare, holidays, studying).

    There were 2 million such people in Australia after the 1991 recession outside the Labour Force statistics, the number then fell to 1 and a bit million but has risen again after 2008. About 10% are discouraged unemployed who have given up looking for a work.

    Comment by David Watford — May 2010
  4. I'm not resident in Australia, so I don't think I count in any of those categories. And being a tax-paying sole trader might have disqualified me from being "marginally attached to the labour force" anyway.

    Comment by danny — May 2010
  5. How does colourful racing identity or off-shore banker sound?

    Comment by DL — May 2010
  6. Then it seems like you have answered your question and you are a book reviewer/investor.

    Comment by David Watford — May 2010
  7. I should probably throw in "travel writer" as well, as that's currently making me more than the book reviewing.

    Comment by danny — May 2010
  8. given your excellent other blog, what about "polymath"?

    Comment by Fred — May 2010

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