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This is an IELTS writing task 2 sample answer from the general training exam on the topic of choosing a job.

Jobs come up all the time in the general training exam!

For my exclusive IELTS Ebooks, learn more about my Patreon here, my online courses here, and my writing corrections here.

Dave

IELTS Essay: Choosing a Job

Some people say young people should be completely free to choose their future job but others think young people must be more realistic in their choice.

Discuss both views and give your own opinion.

Many are of the view that young people should prioritise pragmatic career choices over their passions. In my opinion, youth is an opportunity to follow pursuits with a low probability of success.

Many parents in particular are heavily invested in the idea of security. This is often the case if they had a difficult upbringing or were born into times of national upheaval. For example, many parents in Vietnam who grew up immediately after the American War, are still scarred by their experiences of deprivation. As a result, it is a common refrain in Vietnam these days for young people to complain about how much control their parents have over their choice of a major or career. Most students consequently work in safe, tedious fields like finance, banking, advertising, and law. They have job security and a basic floor on their earning potential in the event of an economic downturn.

However, failing at a particular career path early in life does not foreclose future success. Most can major in a subject they love, work for several years in that field and the likely results will either be some degree of success or modest failure. If they fail, it is possible to move on in one’s twenties to study or work towards a safer, more lucrative position. This attempt is also justified by the rare instances of tremendous achievement including famous actors, directors, singers, and other artists. Therefore, choosing a career freely can be vindicated by the combination of potential fame, less transcendent but still respectable jobs, and the ability to transition to a new career before middle age.

In conclusion, the allure of security does not outweigh the myriad advantages of freely choosing a career one. Parents and students should both heed this advice or risk regretting the missed opportunity.

Analysis

1. Many are of the view that young people should prioritise pragmatic career choices over their passions. 2. In my opinion, youth is an opportunity to follow pursuits with a low probability of success.

  1. Paraphrase the essay topic.
  2. Write a clear opinion. Read more about introductions here.

1. Many parents in particular are heavily invested in the idea of security. 2. This is often the case if they had a difficult upbringing or were born into times of national upheaval. 3. For example, many parents in Vietnam who grew up immediately after the American War, are still scarred by their experiences of deprivation. 4. As a result, it is a common refrain in Vietnam these days for young people to complain about how much control their parents have over their choice of a major or career. 5. Most students consequently work in safe, tedious fields like finance, banking, advertising, and law. 6. They have job security and a basic floor on their earning potential in the event of an economic downturn.

  1. Write a clear topic sentence with a main idea at the end.
  2. Explain your main idea.
  3. Begin a specific example.
  4. Develop it.
  5. Continue developing it by stating the results.
  6. Finish developing the example.

1. However, failing at a particular career path early in life does not foreclose future success. 2. Most can major in a subject they love, work for several years in that field and the likely results will either be some degree of success or modest failure. 3. If they fail, it is possible to move on in one’s twenties to study or work towards a safer, more lucrative position. 4. This attempt is also justified by the rare instances of tremendous achievement including famous actors, directors, singers, and other artists. 5. Therefore, choosing a career freely can be vindicated by the combination of potential fame, less transcendent but still respectable jobs, and the ability to transition to a new career before middle age.

  1. Write a new topic sentence with a new main idea at the end.
  2. Explain your new main idea.
  3. Develop a hypothetical example.
  4. Keep adding specific detail.
  5. Conclude with a strong statement.

1. In conclusion, the allure of security does not outweigh the myriad advantages of freely choosing a career one. 2. Parents and students should both heed this advice or risk regretting the missed opportunity.

  1. Summarise your ideas and repeat your opinion.
  2. Add a final thought. Read more about conclusions here.

Vocabulary

What do the words in bold below mean?

Many are of the view that young people should prioritise pragmatic career choices over their passions. In my opinion, youth is an opportunity to follow pursuits with a low probability of success.

Many parents in particular are heavily invested in the idea of security. This is often the case if they had a difficult upbringing or were born into times of national upheaval. For example, many parents in Vietnam who grew up immediately after the American War, are still scarred by their experiences of deprivation. As a result, it is a common refrain in Vietnam these days for young people to complain about how much control their parents have over their choice of a major or career. Most students consequently work in safe, tedious fields like finance, banking, advertising, and law. They have job security and a basic floor on their earning potential in the event of an economic downturn.

However, failing at a particular career path early in life does not foreclose future success. Most can major in a subject they love, work for several years in that field and the likely results will either be some degree of success or modest failure. If they fail, it is possible to move on in one’s twenties to study or work towards a safer, more lucrative position. This attempt is also justified by the rare instances of tremendous achievement including famous actors, directors, singers, and other artists. Therefore, choosing a career freely can be vindicated by the combination of potential fame, less transcendent but still respectable jobs, and the ability to transition to a new career before middle age.

In conclusion, the allure of security does not outweigh the myriad advantages of freely choosing a career one. Parents and students should both heed this advice or risk regretting the missed opportunity.

Answers

many are of the view some think

prioritise pragmatic career choices value a safe job

over above

passions what they love

opportunity chance

follow pursuits try to do

low probability not much of a chance of

in particular especially

heavily invested put a lot into

idea of security concept of safety

often the case usually

difficult upbringing bad childhood

born into were kids when

times of national upheaval bad part of a country’s history

immediately after following

scarred traumatised

experiences of deprivation times of trauma

as a result consequently

common refrain usually said

complain not happy about

control have power over

consequently as a result

safe security

tedious fields boring jobs

finance related to money

banking related to banks

advertising ads for products

law legal field

job security safe employment

basic floor minimum

earning potential how much they can make

in the event of an economic downturn if the economy crashes

failing at a particular career path early in life not succeeding early on with a job

foreclose future success prevent success later

major in study

likely results probably will happen

some degree of success to an extent going well

modest failure small failure

move on do something new

twenties 20s

work towards try to

safer more secure

lucrative position rich job

attempt try

rare instances sometimes

tremendous achievement great success

vindicated justified

combination altogether

potential fame possibly being a celebrity

less transcendent not as great

still respectable jobs good employment

transition change to/move on

middle age 40 – 55 years old

allure attraction

outweigh stronger than

myriad advantages many benefits

heed listen to

advice suggestion

risk regretting afraid they will have wished they did it

missed opportunity chance you didn’t take

Pronunciation

ˈmɛni ɑːr ɒv ðə vjuː 
praɪˈɒrɪˌtaɪz prægˈmætɪk kəˈrɪə ˈʧɔɪsɪz 
ˈəʊvə 
ˈpæʃənz
ˌɒpəˈtjuːnɪti 
ˈfɒləʊ pəˈsjuːts 
ləʊ ˌprɒbəˈbɪlɪti 
ɪn pəˈtɪkjʊlə 
ˈhɛvɪli ɪnˈvɛstɪd 
aɪˈdɪə ɒv sɪˈkjʊərɪti
ˈɒf(ə)n ðə keɪs 
ˈdɪfɪkəlt ˈʌpˌbrɪŋɪŋ 
bɔːn ˈɪntuː 
taɪmz ɒv ˈnæʃənl ʌpˈhiːvəl
ɪˈmiːdiətli ˈɑːftə
skɑːd 
ɪksˈpɪərɪənsɪz ɒv ˌdɛprɪˈveɪʃən
æz ə rɪˈzʌlt
ˈkɒmən rɪˈfreɪn 
kəmˈpleɪn 
kənˈtrəʊl 
ˈkɒnsɪkwəntli 
seɪf
ˈtiːdiəs fiːldz 
faɪˈnæns
ˈbæŋkɪŋ
ˈædvətaɪzɪŋ 
lɔː
ʤɒb sɪˈkjʊərɪti 
ˈbeɪsɪk flɔː 
ˈɜːnɪŋ pəʊˈtɛnʃəl 
ɪn ði ɪˈvɛnt ɒv ən ˌiːkəˈnɒmɪk ˈdaʊntɜːn
ˈfeɪlɪŋ æt ə pəˈtɪkjʊlə kəˈrɪə pɑːθ ˈɜːli ɪn laɪf 
fɔːˈkləʊz ˈfjuːʧə səkˈsɛs
ˈmeɪʤər ɪn 
ˈlaɪkli rɪˈzʌlts 
sʌm dɪˈgriː ɒv səkˈsɛs 
ˈmɒdɪst ˈfeɪljə
muːv ɒn 
ˈtwɛntɪz 
wɜːk təˈwɔːdz 
ˈseɪfə 
ˈluːkrətɪv pəˈzɪʃən 
əˈtɛmpt 
reər ˈɪnstənsɪz 
trɪˈmɛndəs əˈʧiːvmənt 
ˈvɪndɪkeɪtɪd 
ˌkɒmbɪˈneɪʃən 
pəʊˈtɛnʃəl feɪm
lɛs trænˈsɛndənt 
stɪl rɪsˈpɛktəbl ʤɒbz
trænˈsɪʒən 
ˈmɪdl eɪʤ
əˈljʊə 
aʊtˈweɪ 
ˈmɪrɪəd ədˈvɑːntɪʤɪz 
hiːd 
ədˈvaɪs 
rɪsk rɪˈgrɛtɪŋ 
mɪst ˌɒpəˈtjuːnɪti

Vocabulary Practice

Remember and fill in the blanks:

M______________________w that young people should p_________________________________s o_____r their p___________s. In my opinion, youth is an o_______________y to f_________________s with a l_____________________y of success.

Many parents i_________________r are h________________d in the i_________________________y. This is o________________e if they had a d_____________________g or were b_______________________________________l. For example, many parents in Vietnam who grew up i__________________r the American War, are still s___________d by their e_________________________n. As a________t, it is a c_______________n in Vietnam these days for young people to c____________n about how much c__________l their parents have over their choice of a major or career. Most students c_______________y work in s_____e, t_________________s like f___________e, b__________g, a____________g, and l__w. They have j_____________y and a b___________r on their e______________________l i___________________________________n.

However, f_____________________________________________________e does not f___________________________s. Most can m__________n a subject they love, work for several years in that field and the l_______________s will either be s________________________s or m__________________e. If they fail, it is possible to m__________n in one’s t____________s to study or w________________s a s_______r, more l____________________n. This a____________t is also justified by the r__________________s of t_________________________t including famous actors, directors, singers, and other artists. Therefore, choosing a career freely can be v______________d by the c______________n of p_______________e, l__________________________t but s________________________s, and the ability to t________________n to a new career before m_______________e.

In conclusion, the a_________e of security does not o___________h the m___________________________s of freely choosing a career one. Parents and students should both h______d this a________e or r____________________g the m____________________________y.

Listening Practice

Learn more about this topic in the video below and practice with these activities:

Reading Practice

Read more about this topic and use these ideas to practice:

https://jobs.washingtonpost.com/article/4-signs-it-s-time-to-choose-a-new-career-path/

Speaking Practice

Practice with the following speaking questions from the real IELTS speaking exam:

Work 1 (Model answer available on my Patreon)

  1. Do you work or are you a student?
  2. Do you like your current job?
  3. In the future, do you want to change jobs?

Writing Practice

Practice with the related topic below and then check with my sample answer:

When a person spends most of his or her time working a job with little job satisfaction, their life loses meaning.

To what extent do you agree or disagree?


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