Work, jobs. Ugh. Some people seem to actually like it.
So what do they like? Their job or their work? Here is where a great deal of people get confused.
Let’s talk about the differences about the words work and job. And hopefully by the end of it you won’t get confused anymore.
Work is the useful activity that people do to earn money, or as they say, make a living.
Work can be used as a verb: Leslie works in the city. He works from 8 to 6 every day.
It can also be used as a noun. You say “have work.” So: Leslie has work. He is employed. If he doesn’t have work, it means he is sitting at home twiddling his thumbs and he is unemployed.
Work as a noun is uncountable. This means that you can’t say: a work. That is a mistake.
So it wouldn’t work in English if you heard someone say: I have a work.
In that case you need to say: I have a job.
Work is frequently used to talk about the general idea of work, labour, the activities that you do to create things and keep busy.
Like in the following examples:
Factory workers complain they have too much work.
The striking employees didn’t come in for work this morning.
I’m looking for temporary work. (= work for a short time) / I’m looking for permanent work. (= a job without a time limit).
You can also use work for the place that you work:
She doesn’t feel appreciated at work. (In this case you may also use “at the office.”)
She drives to work. / She takes the bus to work.
A job is the specific function that you do, the combination of tasks that your boss expects you to execute. If you have a job, you receive a salary for it. When you talk about a job, it’s always specific.
Following are some examples of common sentences and questions with job:
What’s your job?
Do you like your job?
Emma had to give up her job when she became a mother.
Do you do a lot of travelling in your job?
I’m looking for a better job.
I’d like to have a more responsible job.
I’m not sure I want to do this job until my retirement.
If you want to keep this job, you’d better start working harder.
If you won the lottery, would you leave your job?
Are you looking for a full-time job or a part-time job?*
* You can also say: I work full-time/part-time.
If someone doesn’t have a job right now, they are out of a job, or out of work.
If people do have a job, they are in a job or in work.
Fill in work or job. You can also use different forms of the verb “work.” In some cases you can use both work or job.
Bevan _________ for a big furniture store. He goes to __________ by car. He gets to __________ at 7.00 to avoid the terrific traffic jams on the highway. That way, he can leave _________ at 3.30 pm and be at home when his kids come out of school.
Bevan is an interior designer. He loves his ________. However he would like to leave his ________ in a few years to start his own company. Most of the tasks in his ________ are pretty routine, but he likes talking with his clients about their wishes. He tries to do his ___________ well.
Bevan __________ full-time, because his family needs the money. As long as his family is growing, he is glad to be in ________.