One of the first things we try to find out about people is what their job is. It helps us to define their status. We can judge where they stand socially,  and estimate how much they earn.

However, it is more interesting to know how a man comes to choose his job than what he does. The trouble is that we often choose a career for the wrong reasons. Take, for instance, those people who ‘follow in father’s footsteps’, either entering the same trade or profession, or inheriting the family business. John decides to become a doctor because his father was a doctor. In fact, the word ‘decides’ is too strong; he probably never even thought about it.

Career opportunities


Funnily enough, some people make the opposite decision, namely that whatever else they might do, they will certainly not do what their father did. Our teachers are the first to persuade us to choose a specific career, probably because we are top students in that subject. We may also be persuaded by people whom we admire to select a career for which we are unsuited.

The attitude of our parents toward our choice of career is interesting. They are quite pleased when we announce our intention to study medicine, disappointed when we switch to languages and overjoyed when we finally start to study law. Clearly, they have a definite idea of the benefits different jobs will bring. Even though they appear to leave the choice entirely to their children, they know that their children will eventually respect their wishes.

Career requestings
Career tree


Apart from these pressures from parents, teachers and other people, we may choose a career due to factors such as the attractiveness of the profession or the prospect of earning a lot of money in a short time. It ought to be easy to choose a career. We only have to do those things for which we have a natural talent. It is a pity, therefore, that we have to decide about our future at a stage in our lives when we can easily be influenced by factors which have little or nothing to do with the main issue.

Career newspaper
Great Career

A. Find words in the text which mean the same as the following.
1. calculate approximately (paragraph 1):
2. a particular kind of work (paragraph 2): 3. receiving money or property from someone who has died (paragraph 2):
4. the way someone thinks or feels about something (paragraph 3):

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