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This article is about occupations. For the biblical figure, see Job (biblical figure). For other uses, see Job (disambiguation).
"Boy^ Did we do a day's work^ They give the job all they've got" - NARA - 513983.jpg

A person's job is their role in society. A job is an activity, often regular and often performed in exchange for payment. Many people have multiple jobs, such as those of 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 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[edit]

Most people spend up to forty or more hours each week in paid employment. Some exceptions are children, those who are retired, and people with certain types of disability, but within these groups many will work part-time or occasionally, will work in one or more volunteer positions, or will 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[edit]

Jobs can be categorized by the hours per week into full time or part time. They can be categorized as temporary, odd jobs, seasonal, self-employment, consulting, or contract employment.

Jobs can be categorized as paid or unpaid. Examples of unpaid jobs include volunteer, homemaker, mentor, student, and sometimes intern.

Jobs can be categorized by the level of experience required: 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.

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 Office for National Statistics in the United Kingdom lists 27,966 different job titles, within a website published 2015.[1]

Day job[edit]

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[edit]

Further information: Job hunting and Employment

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.

Résumés summarize a person's education and job experience for potential employers. Employers read job candidate résumés to decide who to interview for an open position.

During the last years so called Career-oriented Social Networking Sites such as LinkedIn have become more and more popular in order to get a job via social media.[2]

Use of the word[edit]

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).

Job opening[edit]

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.

Occupation and life expectancy[edit]

Manual work seems to shorten the lifespan.[3] High rank[4] (a higher position at the pecking order) has a positive effect. Professions that cause anxiety have a direct negative impact on heath and lifespan.[5] Some data are 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.[6] The more positive characteristics a job has, the more it attributes on a longer lifespan.[7][8] Gender, country[9] and actual (what statistics reveal, not what people believe) danger are also notable parameters.[10][11]

See also[edit]




  • Davis, Steven; Haltiwanger, John; Schuh, Scott (1998), Job Creation and Destruction, MIT Press, ISBN 978-0-262-54093-3 
  • 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 Review 20 (2): 191–198. doi:10.2307/2088325. JSTOR 2088325.