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A job is an activity, often regular, and often performed in exchange for payment. A person usually begins a job by becoming an employee, volunteering, or starting a business. The duration of a job may range from an hour (in the case of odd jobs) to a lifetime (in the case of some judges). The 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. The series of jobs a person holds in their life is their career.
Jobs for people
Types of jobs
Moonlighting is the practice of holding an additional job or jobs, often at night, in addition to one's main job, usually to earn extra income. A person who moonlights may have little time left for sleep or leisure activities.
The expression day job is often used for a job one works in to make ends meet while performing low-paying (or non-paying) work in their preferred vocation. Archetypal examples of this are the woman who works as a waitress (her day job) while she tries to become an actress, and the professional athlete who works as a laborer in the off season because he is currently only able to make the roster of a semi-professional team.
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, through low paying entry work, 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
Getting a first job is an important rite of passage in many cultures. 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.
Use of the word
Labourers 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).
In economics, a vacancy or job opening refers to a job offered by a firm that wishes to hire a worker. Ideally, the right person is hired at the right time in the right place to work for the organization. The planning, or lead time, necessary to fill the job opening is worked out in advance to allow sufficient time for recruitment, offer, acceptance, notice period and start date.
- Job analysis
- Job interview
- Job performance
- Job satisfaction
- Labor economics
- Wage labor
- Davis, Steven; Haltiwanger, John; Schuh, Scott (1998), Job Creation and Destruction, MIT Press, ISBN 9780262540933
- Granovetter, Mark (1995), Getting a Job: A Study of Contacts and Careers, University of Chicago Press, ISBN 9780226305813
- Joshel, Sandra (1992), Work, Identity, and Legal Status at Rome: A Study of the Occupational Inscriptions, University of Oklahoma Press, ISBN 9780806124445
- Kranzberg, Melvin; Gies, Joseph (1986), By the Sweat of Thy Brow: Work in the Western World, Greenwood Press, ISBN 9780313253232
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- Orr, Julian Edgerton (1996), Talking about Machines: An Ethnography of a Modern Job, Cornell University Press, ISBN 9780801483905
- Robinson, Tony; Willcock, David (2005), The Worst Jobs in History: Two Thousand Years of Miserable Employment, Pan Macmillan, ISBN 9780330438575
- Roebuck, Carl (1969), The Muses at Work: arts, crafts, and professions in ancient Greece and Rome, MIT Press