In my former life as a Software Development Manager (i.e. the dreaded “day job”), I interviewed a lot. Most of the work was contract so that meant short gigs of 6-12 months and LOTS of interviewing in between. It never ceased to amaze me that would-be employers would ask questions about “what you did in your spare time”. I always found that hilarious – as if you’d actually HAVE any spare time after you accepted their soul-crushing job.
I never knew how to answer that question. If I answered honestly and said my kitchen table was 6 deep in quilts I still hadn’t finished and that I was actually thinking about fabric right now, I probably wasn’t going to get the job. Employers claim they want well-rounded “individual contributors” who have lots of diverse interests that supposedly make for a better hive of worker-bees, but if you confess to actually having outside interests, you are tacitly admitting you might not answer the phone at the drop of a hat when they inevitably call outside of business hours. Maybe I’m in the middle of a really tricky stitch-in- the-ditch and I just can’t pick up right now!
In the end, I always erred on the side of spinelessness and said I spent my copious spare time reading books and combing websites about computer programming. It felt so wrong, but I needed the money. To buy more fabric, of course!
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