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Wednesday, February 18, 2009

ESL Student Blog: Job, Occupation, Profession - What’s the Difference?

People need jobs to have an income, or simply to get money. A job is a set of duties we do for which we're getting paid. We all want to have a job that pays well and provides satisfaction. We look for a job when we move to a new place (city or country). We get upset or frustrated if we get fired or laid off from a job. We get excited when we get hired for the job of our choice! It’s not easy to keep a job even after we get it.

We talk about full-time, part-time or seasonal jobs (such as ski-resort instructor). There are permanent and temporal jobs (or positions).

An occupation is a job. Occupation is a more formal word and is mainly used in official forms that people are asked to fill out. “What is your occupation?” literally means what is that what you do to occupy (fill) your time on a daily basis. If you are a flight attendant, this is both your job and occupation. Yet, retired and unemployed are occupations, but not jobs. So are a student or housewife.

Occupation can also refer to a broad category under which jobs from the same field may be listed. Someone’s occupation can be an educator, but the actual job the person does can be a classroom teacher, teacher assistant or educational consultant.

Profession requires advanced or specialized training. Some young people have a hard time after high school choosing a right profession. Professionals have degrees or are licenced by a regulatory body that supervises or sets standards for that profession (examinations, rules, conditions). Lawyers, architects and massage therapists are professions. These are also occupations. However, someone can be a teacher by profession, yet do a secretarial job.

We can talk about prestigious professions (with high social status, e.g.: doctor), lucrative (profitable, e.g.: dentist) or highly sought-after professions (in high demand by government or businesses, e.g.: court interpretor).
POSTED BY Olga Galperin AT 11:19 PM
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