So I realize that it’s often hard to explain my job to my friends, unless they work in similar industries, but that it’s impossible to explain it to my parents. My parents are first generation Chinese immigrants and totally old school, but they've also adapted to many American values. However, for many reasons, they have no idea what I do for a living and I can’t explain it to them. There are several reasons for this.
To begin with, I don’t have an advanced enough Cantonese vocabulary for words like “digital media”, “youth development”, and “global citizenship.” Second of all, even if I did have that vocabulary, they have limited exposure to jobs that are outside of professions they’re familiar with (i.e. doctor, lawyer, businessperson, pharmacist, teacher, architect). And even within these familiar job titles, they only have one concept of what each can look like. For example, it took my parents a long time to understand that while my brother studied architecture, he’s actually more of a designer who uses his architecture background for other types of work (they’re still confused).