by Liz Walter
My last post looked at collocations for starting and leaving jobs. This one will look at collocations that describe the experience of having a job.
If you have a full-time job or work full-time, you work the normal number of hours every week (usually around 40), but if you have a part-time job or work part-time, you work for fewer hours:
I’m looking for a full-time job in a language school.
He works part-time at the museum.
A permanent job/post has no end date, whereas a temporary job lasts for a limited period of time. In the UK, if you are on a zero-hours contract, you work when the employer needs you and do not have a guaranteed amount of work:
We have several permanent posts available from next month.
I’m looking for a temporary job before I start university.
All their workers are on zero-hours contracts.
Casual workers do short, temporary jobs when they are needed. We often talk about casual employment. In contrast, secure or steady jobs last a long time and the people who have them do not feel likely to be made unemployed:
They employ casual workers to pick the fruit.
Eventually, he settled down and got a steady job.
A fulfilling job or career makes you feel that you are doing something worthwhile. If you have a high-powered job or career, you have an important and interesting job, whereas a dead-end job is one with no prospect of being promoted:
I have found teaching a very fulfilling job.
She’s got a high-powered job in advertising.
Bob took a series of dead-end jobs.
Skilled jobs are ones that need qualifications or experience, while unskilled jobs do not. We also talk about skilled or unskilled workers. In the UK, white-collar workers usually work in offices and blue-collar workers do physical jobs:
Most graduates go on to get skilled jobs.
They recruit a lot of unskilled workers from neighbouring countries.
Many white-collar workers are now working from home.
When people have a lot of work to do, they have a heavy workload and may work long hours. People in well-paid jobs/employment have high salaries/pay and people in badly-paid jobs/employment have low salaries/pay:
We were working long hours in a meat factory.
The car plant brought many well-paid jobs to the area.
I can’t survive on such a low salary.
I hope you find these collocations useful, and that learning English will help you get your dream job!
15 thoughts on “Permanent, temporary, fulfilling and dead-end jobs: collocations for work (2)”
Wao this post is so helpfull for me….am always read your blog and they always helping on me…thank you for your helping hand.
again, very helpful.
Thanks a lot.
Thanks! I wonder why it is “zero-hours contract” and not “zero-hour contract”, as opposed the usual formation of this type of adjectives such as in “five-year term”, “three-storey building”, etc.
Good question – I have no idea!
It’s well-explained.Thank you so much!
Wonderfull and matchless dictionary it is
This and others posts on collocation are very useful, and are an effective way of teaching English, especially to non-native speakers.
Keep up the good work!
Thank you so much for this article! I have been enjoying this series so far. I am surprised “Freelance” wasn’t mentionned in this one but anyhow I found the article very helpful and concise. This is beside the point but I’d like to suggest Cambridge to create a entirely separate column for the blog. This way, It’d be easier to access and navigate.
Thank you – freelance is a very good addition to the list!
Thanks a lot
Over the past number of years I have been worried that most people where I am use “role” when they mean “job”. They will say “I have a new role”, or they will ask which role I had before the one I currently have. Others will tell me of a new “role” they have seen advertised in the media.
Is this an American thing?
That’s a very interesting question! I’ve just had a look around several dictionaries, including American ones, and I can’t find it attested anywhere with the precise meaning of ‘job’, though the examples you give sound familiar to me too. If it was American to begin with, I think it’s fairly mainstream in the UK now, and I share your unease – there’s something rather depersonalizing about emphasizing a person’s function, as though they and the job are synonymous.
Thank you for all the kind comments!