Jobs and career related topics


* Gender – Are there male jobs & female jobs? – A useful debate which can get heated. The statutory guidance states that you must promote equality of opportunity so care must be taken when guiding this debate.
* Jobs of the future – What jobs will exist in 5, 10, 20 years that don’t exist now?
* What effects are robotic workers having on the job market? Will robots be able to do jobs like journalism & legal work (yes they will, computerised copy writing and contract checking are already a reality) or will automation only affect ‘physical’ jobs?
* Transferable skills – what are they and why do we need them? – Useful question to elicit knowledge of transferable skills – you may find this definition useful in order to help your students decide which skills are transferable “Transferable skills are general skills you can use in many jobs. You gain these skills from previous jobs, projects, voluntary work, sport, your home life, hobbies, and interests. They enable you to be adaptable and flexible in case you need to change your job”
* What skills & qualities do employers want when they employ a person straight out of school/college/university?
* Employers are frequently reported as saying school leavers are not workplace ready. A discussion around what skills are needed and what they are can be structured using the following frequently cited skills:-Understanding of business world; Teamwork; Communication; Negotiation skills; Problem Solving; Leadership; Organisation; Perseverance/motivation; Ability to work under pressure; Confidence
* Why do some people try and dissuade people from taking certain jobs? – An ideal opportunity to explore the motivation behind advice from various sources. E.g. university & school leaver recruitment staff. Teachers who have been instructed to recruit for the school 6th  Parents who would like to see their children achieve their parent’s dream etc.
* Can you turn a hobby into a career? – Students may wish to pursue a hobby such as photography or sport as a careers. What considerations might they need to have when doing this? E.g. need to be self-employed; the effect of training 7 days a week on enjoyment of the sport etc.
* Can work be fun? What makes work fun? Can it always be fun? What is fun?
* How many types of job can I expect to do over my lifetime? – A discussion about career paths. Not just changing jobs but changing types of job and progression.  The role of lifelong learning, retraining, transferable skills.  Using a story about somebody’s career journey is a good prompt for this discussion.
* What’s the difference between a job and a career?
* Is a job just to pay the bills and a career something you’re interested in?



God rebukes Job’s three friends and orders them to make a sacrifice. Job prays for God’s forgiveness of them and God accepts his prayer. At the end of the book, God gives Job twice as much wealth as he had before, along with seven sons and three daughters. After that, Job lived 140 more years.
An Introduction to the Book of Job | Speaking the Truth in Love
A job, employment, work or occupation, is a person’s role in society. More specifically, a job is an activity, often regular and often performed in exchange for payment (“for a living”). Many people have multiple jobs (e.g., parent, homemaker, and employee). A person can begin a job by becoming an employee, volunteering, starting a business, or becoming a parent. The duration of a job may range from temporary (e.g., hourly odd jobs) to a lifetime (e.g., judges).
An activity that requires a person’s mental or physical effort is work (as in “a day’s work”). If a person is trained for a certain type of job, they may have a profession. Typically, a job would be a subset of someone’s career. The two may differ in that one usually retires from their career, versus resignation or termination from a job.

Jobs for people:-

Most people spend up to forty or more hours each week in paid employment. Some exceptions are children, retirees, and people with disabilities; however, within these groups, many will work part-time, volunteer, or work as a homemaker. From the age of 5 or so, many children’s primary role in society (and therefore their “job”) is to learn and study as a student.

Types of jobs:-

Jobs can be categorized by intensity (hours per week), by payment status, or by the level of experience required. The types of job stemming from intensity are categorized as full-time or part-time. They can also be classified into temporary, odd jobs, seasonal, self-employment, consulting, or contract employment. Regarding payment status, jobs are categorized as paid or unpaid. Examples of unpaid jobs include volunteer, homemaker, mentor, student, and sometimes intern. Finally, according to the level of experience required, jobs are usually grouped as entry level, intern, and co-op.
Some jobs require specific training or an academic degree.
Those without paid full-time employment may be categorized as unemployed or underemployed if they are seeking a full-time paid job.
A side job, also called a side hustle, side gig or moonlighting, is an additional job or jobs to supplement one’s income. A person with a side job may have little time left for sleep or leisure activities.
The Office for National Statistics in the United Kingdom lists 27,966 different job titles, within a website published 2015.

Day job:-

The expression day job is often used for a job one works in order to make ends meet rather than working in their preferred vocation. Archetypal examples of this are the actor who works as a waiter (the day job) while looking for roles, and the professional athlete who works as a laborer in the offseason because the athlete’s professional or semi-professional team does not pay a full living. The term is also applied to those who maintain a steady occupation while working as a day trader.
While many people do hold a full-time occupation, “day job” specifically refers to those who hold the position solely to pay living expenses so they can pursue the job they really want (which may also be during the day). The phrase strongly implies that the day job would be quit, if only the real vocation paid a living wage.
The phrase “don’t quit your day job” is a humorous response to a poor or mediocre performance not up to professional caliber. The phrase implies that the performer is not talented enough in that activity to be able to make a career out of it.

Getting a job:-

Further information: Job hunting and Employment
Getting a first job is an important rite of passage in many cultures. The youth may start by doing household work, odd jobs, or working for a family business. In many countries, school children get summer jobs during the longer summer vacation. Students enrolled in higher education can apply for internships or coops to further enhance the probability of securing an entry level job upon graduation.
Résumés summarize a person’s education and job experience for potential employers. Employers read job candidate résumés to decide whom to interview for an open position.

Use of the word:-

Workers often talk of “getting a job”, or “having a job”. This conceptual metaphor of a “job” as a possession has led to its use in slogans such as “money for jobs, not bombs”. Similar conceptions are that of “land” as a possession (real estate) or intellectual rights as a possession (intellectual property).

Occupation and life expectancy:-

Historically, manual work has seemed to contribute to shortening one’s lifespan.High rank(a higher position at the pecking order) has a positive effect. Professions that cause anxiety have a direct negative impact on health and lifespan.Some data is more complex to interpret due to the various reasons of long life expectancy; thus skilled professionals, employees with secure jobs and low anxiety occupants may live a long life for variant reasons.The more positive characteristics one’s job is, the more likely he or she will have a longer lifespan.Gender, country, and statistically confirmed danger are also notable parameters.

See also:-

  • Career and Life Planning Education
  • International Standard Classification of Occupations
  • Job analysis
  • Job guarantee
  • Job interview
  • Job performance
  • Job satisfaction
  • Job stress
  • Labour economics
  • Refusal of work
  • Unemployment
  • Wage labor



  1. “FOI Request: List of all the occupations noted in the UK”. Office for National Statistics. The Crown. 2015. Retrieved December 6, 2015.
  2. Newberry, Jon (October 2000). “Night Moves: Be a day trader after hours and keep your day job, too”. ABA Journal86 (10): 86. Retrieved 19 September 2020.
  3. Womack, Sarah (24 October 2007). “Why accountants live longer than builders”. The Telegraph. Archived from the original on 29 August 2018. Retrieved 4 April 2018.
  4. “Living Longer, Working Longer: The Changing Landscape of the Aging Workforce – A MetLife Study” (PDF). MetLife Mature Market Institute. April 2006. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2015-10-02.
  5. “The Most Stressful Jobs of 2014”. Archived from the original on 2016-02-20. Retrieved 2016-02-12.
  6. Lyte, Brittany (18 March 2015). “5 Jobs Proven to Make You Live Longer”. Wise Bread. Archived from the original on 16 February 2016. Retrieved 12 February 2016.
  7. Lees, John (11 November 2014). “Personality test: what job would make you happiest?”. the Guardian. Archived from the original on 9 December 2016. Retrieved 11 December 2016.
  8. “Whistling While You Work: The 10 Most Satisfying Careers”. Archived from the original on 2016-02-04. Retrieved 2016-02-12.
  9. “Find out how your gender and job may affect your life expectancy”. the Guardian. 21 October 2015. Archived from the original on 2 February 2017. Retrieved 11 December 2016.


  • Davis, Steven; Haltiwanger, John; Schuh, Scott (1998), Job Creation and Destruction, MIT Press, ISBN 978-0-262-54093-3
  • Graeber, David (2018). Bullshit Jobs: A Theory. Simon & Schuster. ISBN 978-1501143311.
  • Granovetter, Mark (1995), Getting a Job: A Study of Contacts and Careers, University of Chicago Press, ISBN 978-0-226-30581-3
  • Joshel, Sandra (1992), Work, Identity, and Legal Status at Rome: A Study of the Occupational Inscriptions, University of Oklahoma Press, ISBN 978-0-8061-2444-5
  • Kranzberg, Melvin; Gies, Joseph (1986), By the Sweat of Thy Brow: Work in the Western World, Greenwood Press, ISBN 978-0-313-25323-2
  • Miller, Ann Ratner; Treiman, Donald; Cain, Pamela; Roos, Pamela (1980), Work, Jobs, and Occupations: a critical review of the Dictionary of Occupational Titles, National Academy Press
  • Orr, Julian Edgerton (1996), Talking about Machines: An Ethnography of a Modern Job, Cornell University Press, ISBN 978-0-8014-8390-5
  • Robinson, Tony; Willcock, David (2005), The Worst Jobs in History: Two Thousand Years of Miserable Employment, Pan Macmillan, ISBN 978-0-330-43857-5
  • Roebuck, Carl (1969), The Muses at Work: arts, crafts, and professions in ancient Greece and Rome, MIT Press
  • Morse, Nancy; Weiss, Robert (1955). “The Function and Meaning of Work and the Job”. American Sociological Review20 (2): 191–198. doi:10.2307/2088325. JSTOR 2088325.



Career development is now a lifelong process, rather than a lifelong job, and involves moving laterally or upwards within an organisation or between organisations. It is the combination of your life experience, learning, and all work experience.
Career Management Introduction | Human Resource Management

What is a career?

The past, the present and the future

The past:-

A typical career path in the past involved almost guaranteed job security. You obtained a “job for life” and you could expect steady progression up an organisation’s structure.

The present:-

Factors such as technological growth and consumer demand have changed the world of work. Career development is now a lifelong process, rather than a lifelong job, and involves moving laterally or upwards within an organisation or between organisations. It is the combination of your life experience, learning, and all work experience. These days, you are responsible for your own career and you have to continuously reflect on where you are, where you want to be and how you will prepare for further career opportunities.

The future:-

Change is everywhere. The world of work is constantly changing and we must rely on ourselves much more for stability and direction. In order to do this, we need to be aware of the changes that are occurring in the current world of work.

What is the world of work like?

Have I got the right information?

It’s important to make sure that your career decisions are informed by a realistic assessment of the information available rather than relying on assumptions that you or others may have.
Some of these assumptions may have gained credibility over time, especially if they have been reinforced by the media and people whose opinion you value.
The exercise below will give you the opportunity to test your own career assumptions.

Myths and realities quiz

This mini quiz gives you the opportunity to become aware of any career myths you may have accepted as realities and to possibly challenge these assumptions. Being aware of career myths that have influenced your career planning so far may open up new possibilities for exploration that you may not have considered.

Unmistakeable trends

Change is everywhere. There are no longer short periods of change followed by long periods of stability. We have to learn to live and prosper in a world of constantly changing demands and possibilities. Some of these changes include technological change, globally competitive markets, new patterns of work and higher educational requirements.
Whatever the reason, there has been a series of unmistakable trends, particularly in the world of work. These trends include:
  • changing social contracts between employers and labourers;
  • increasing contract work;
  • globalisation;
  • an increased competition for employment;
  • technology and its impact on all industries;
  • the creation of new industries;
  • an ageing population.
In South Africa, we are still grappling with high youth unemployment, unequal access to further education opportunities, and a widening income gap.
The results of these changes and trends are now having a major impact on our lives and we must rely on ourselves much more for stability and direction. We are constantly being reminded that we need to operate as a “company of one” and be flexible enough to respond quickly in this ever-changing environment.

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