In my mid-twenties I joined the staff of a language school. The pay wasn’t brilliant but I could make a living (1) and there were many aspects of the job that I enjoyed. The other members of staff were nice and I enjoyed teaching the students. A few years later, after returning from maternity leave, I decided to go part-time. Luckily I was able to do a job-share (2) with another woman who had a small child. Then the school began to go through a difficult period and had to lay off staff (3). I decided to go freelance (4). I had managed to build up a network of contacts and this gave me a good start. I soon had a substantial volume of work – private students and marking exams –and was able to earn a good living.
After graduating, I practised medicine (5) for a number of years in London. I managed to carve a niche for myself (6) as a specialist in dermatology. Then I realised I needed some fresh challenges and so I did a job swap for a year with my opposite number (7) in a clinic in Vancouver. When I returned, I went back to my old job and also took up the post (8) of editor of a leading medical journal. I held that position for a number of years. I’m now hoping to go abroad again and so am letting everyone know that I am open to offers.
After graduating in economics, I did the usual thing of putting together my CV (9) and applying for jobs. I got a very tempting offer from an investment bank and accepted it. I was put on a fast-track scheme (10) and was moving up the ladder (11) fast. However, one day I had a change of heart (12). I realised I’d stopped enjoying the excitement. I felt I needed to get my priorities right (13). I decided that other aspects of my life should take priority over (14) my work. I handed in my resignation and moved to the country.
1) earn enough to live (can also be used just to refer to one’s job and how one earns one’s money: She makes a living as a hairdresser) 2) situation where two people share equal parts of the same job 3) dismiss staff because there is no work for them to do 4) work for several different organisations rather than working full-time for one organisation 5) worked as a doctor 6) someone doing the same job in a different location 7) make a special position for myself 8) started work
9) CV = curriculum vitae, a written description of your education, qualifications, skills and career 10) system for rapid training and promotion of talented staff
11) being promoted 12) my attitude or mood changed 13) give importance to the right aspects of life 14) be more important to me than
Common mistakes 1) People usually do work, NOT make work. If we talk about people making work, it means that they create work for other people to do, e.g. A baby makes a lot of work for its parents – but it’s worth it.
2) We say someone is under a lot of / considerable pressure, NOT under high pressure.