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0428 Getting a Dream Job

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Complete Transcript
Welcome to English as a Second Language Podcast number 428: Getting a Dream Job.

This is English as a Second Language Podcast number 428. I’m your host, Dr. Jeff McQuillan, coming to you from the Center for Educational Development in beautiful Los Angeles, California.

Our website is eslpod.com. Go there to download a Learning Guide for this episode that contains all of the vocabulary, definitions, sample sentences, additional definitions, cultural notes, comprehension checks, and a complete transcript of everything we say on this episode.

This episode is called “Getting a Dream Job” – getting a great job. It’s a dialogue between Tandia and Hank who are looking for a good job, and while talking about it use a lot of vocabulary we would use to describe someone’s job. Let’s get started.

[start of dialogue]

Tandia: Do you want these want ads after I’m finished with them?

Hank: No, I’m not going to find my dream job in the classifieds. I’m going to have to get more creative with my job search.

Tandia: What are you looking for?

Hank: I want a job that’s rewarding and fast-paced, and with good growth potential, but all I see are dead-end jobs.

Tandia: I know what you mean. I’m looking for something that’s challenging, but also with flexible work hours. All of my friends have great jobs. Why can’t I land one of them?

Hank: Instead of feeling sorry for ourselves, we need a better game plan.

Tandia: What do you have in mind?

Hank: I’m not sure, but we need to get noticed.

Tandia: Why don’t you take out a billboard? That should get you noticed.

Hank: Hey, that’s really thinking out of the box.

Tandia: I was joking!

Hank: I’m not. That’s an inspired idea. Now what should we put on the billboard?

Tandia: You’re crazy!

[end of dialogue]

Tandia starts by asking Hank “Do you want these want ads after I’m finished with them?” The “want ads” are advertisements, announcements by a company that is looking for a new employee. These usually appear in the newspapers: the want ads. Hank says, “No, I’m not going to find my dream job in the classifieds.” A “dream job” would be a perfect job, an ideal job, a great job. The “classifieds” refers to a section of the newspaper where there are very many small advertisements, usually without any pictures or colors, usually at the back of the newspaper. It’s a place where if you are going buy something or sell your car, you can put a little advertisement – a little announcement. This is where the want ads are found, in the classifieds, or the classified section of the newspaper.

Hank says, “I’m going to have to get more creative with my job search.” A “job search” is the process of looking for a new job. Going through and looking at want ads, applying for the job, interviewing for the job; all of these are part of the job search.

Tandia says, “What are you looking for?” Hank replies, “I want a job that’s rewarding and fast-paced.” Something that is “rewarding” gives you a lot of pleasure, makes you feel happy or pleased. “Fast-paced” means rapid, quick, very fast. People who live in New York City have very fast-paced lives. Everyone walks quickly, moves quickly, talks quickly, eats quickly – you get the idea, very fast-paced. Hank says he wants a job that’s rewarding and fast-paced, and with good growth potential. “Growth potential” means opportunities to move into a better, more interesting job. “I’m looking for growth potential” – I’m looking for something that I can start at one job but then get a better job, usually in the same company. Hank says that all he sees in the want ads are dead-end jobs. “Dead-end” means without any opportunities for growth potential, without any opportunities to move into a more interesting, higher paying job. If someone says, “I have a dead-end job,” they mean they can’t go any higher in the company and it’s not a very good job, usually.

Tandia says, “I know what you mean (I understand what you are saying). I’m looking for something that’s challenging.” Something is “challenging” if it is difficult but it’s interesting and enjoyable. Tandia also wants a job with flexible work hours. “Flexible” means that you can change them easily. Flexible work hours would be being able to work a different schedule depending on your preferences, depending on what else you had to do that day. The schedule, that is, can change; that would be a flexible work schedule, or flexible work hours.

Tandia says, “All of my friends have great jobs. Why can’t I land one of them?” To “land” something means to get something: to get a job, to get a certain project, to make a certain deal or agreement. If you are a salesperson, you might say “I landed a big contract today” – this company is going to buy a lot from us, I got it. “Land” has several different meanings in English, however; take a look at the Learning Guide for some additional explanations.

Hank says, “Instead of feeling sorry for ourselves, we need a better game plan.” To “feel sorry for yourself” means to feel unhappy and sad about the situation you are in; we might say “to pity yourself.” You don’t want to feel sorry for yourself, spend all day saying “Oh, my poor life!” Instead, you want to get a better game plan. A “game plan” is a strategy, a plan for doing something.

Tandia says, “What do you have in mind?” – what is your idea? Hank says, “I’m not sure, but we need to get noticed.” “To get noticed” means to get other people’s attention, to become well known to other people. This actually has a couple of different meanings in English, “to get noticed,” you can, of course, find those additional explanations in the Learning Guide for this episode.

Tandia says, “Why don’t you take out a billboard? That should get you noticed.” A “billboard” is a very large sign that you usually see on the side of a road that has some advertising on it. We have billboards here in Los Angeles on almost every street – advertisements, big signs. Sunset Boulevard, which is a famous street here in Los Angeles, is known for its big billboards advertising movies and musicians and so forth.

Tandia is joking; she doesn’t really think they should buy, or take out, a billboard and put an advertisement on it. Hank says, however, “Hey, that’s really thinking out of the box.” Hank thinks that Tandia is being serious. “To think out of the box” or “to think outside of the box” means to think creatively, to think of new, interesting, perhaps unusual ideas. Tandia says, “I was joking!” – I wasn’t serious. Hank says, “I’m not (I’m not joking). That’s an inspired idea.” An “inspired idea” is one that is exciting and interesting, one that has very good qualities. Finally, Hank says, “Now what should we put on the billboard?” And Tandia says, “You’re crazy!” She doesn’t think this is a serious idea at all.

Now let’s listen to the dialogue, this time at a normal speed.

[start of dialogue]

Tandia: Do you want these want ads after I’m finished with them?

Hank: No, I’m not going to find my dream job in the classifieds. I’m going to have to get more creative with my job search.

Tandia: What are you looking for?

Hank: I want a job that’s rewarding and fast-paced, and with good growth potential, but all I see are dead-end jobs.

Tandia: I know what you mean. I’m looking for something that’s challenging, but also with flexible work hours. All of my friends have great jobs. Why can’t I land one of them?

Hank: Instead of feeling sorry for ourselves, we need a better game plan.

Tandia: What do you have in mind?

Hank: I’m not sure, but we need to get noticed.

Tandia: Why don’t you take out a billboard? That should get you noticed.

Hank: Hey, that’s really thinking out of the box.

Tandia: I was joking!

Hank: I’m not. That’s an inspired idea. Now what should we put on the billboard?

Tandia: You’re crazy!

[end of dialogue]

Our inspired script today was written by Dr. Lucy Tse.

From Los Angeles, California, I’m Jeff McQuillan. Thanks for listening. Come back and listen to us next time on ESL Podcast.

English as a Second Language Podcast is written and produced by Dr. Lucy Tse, hosted by Dr. Jeff McQuillan. This podcast is copyright 2008.

Glossary
want ad – an advertisement by a company that is looking for a new employee, usually placed in a newspaper or magazine

* She scanned the want ads looking for teaching jobs.


dream job – a job that one really wants to have; someone’s ideal job

* When I was a child, my dream job was to work in an ice cream store.


classifieds – the section of a newspaper where there are many very small advertisements, usually without pictures or colors, where people want to buy and sell things and where companies want to find new employees

* Have you put an ad in the classifieds to try to sell your car?


job search – the process of looking for a new job, finding opportunities and applying for them

* Her job search lasted for almost three months before she found a good engineering job in Detroit.


rewarding – giving one a lot of pleasure; making one feel happy, pleased, or satisfied

* People who work for non-profit organizations don’t make a lot of money, but their jobs are very rewarding because they know they are helping other people.


fast-paced – rapid; quick; with many things to do all the time; without time to be bored

* People who live in New York City have more fast-paced lives than those living in smaller cities.


growth potential – opportunities to move into a better, more interesting, and higher-paying position with more responsibility in the future

* This job offers a lot of growth potential, and many of the people who used to have this job are now vice presidents in our company.


dead-end – without any opportunities for professional growth and development; without opportunities to move into a better, more interesting, and higher-paying position

* Working at a fast-food restaurant is a dead-end job for most people.


challenging – difficult, but interesting and enjoyable

* Taking care of five children is challenging, but a lot of fun.


flexible work hours – with a schedule that can change; without the same schedule every day or week

* Melissa has a job with flexible work hours, so if she comes to the office late in the morning, she just works late in the evening.


to land (something) – to get something, especially a job, project, or deal

* Misty landed a role in a Hollywood movie when she was a teenager.


to feel sorry for (oneself) – to pity oneself; to feel unhappy and sad about the situation that one is in

* My mother said to me: “Stop feeling sorry for yourself and do something to improve your situation!”


game plan – a strategy; a plan for doing something

* His game plan this year is to buy all of his Christmas gifts by the end of summer.


to get noticed – to get other people’s attention; to become well known by other people

* Some teenagers wear strange clothes and color their hair to get noticed.


billboard – a very large sign placed on the side of a road, usually with advertising for a product or service

* The police put a message on a billboard to remind people to drive safely.


to think out of the box – to think creatively; to think of new, interesting, and unusual ideas

* Good marketers are able to think out of the box and find interesting and effective ways for their clients to advertise their products.


inspired – having very good qualities; being exciting and interesting

* The professor gave an inspired lecture on Greek philosophy and the students were fascinated.

Comprehension Questions
1. What does Tandia want to land?
a) One of her friends’ jobs.
b) A dead-end job.
c) A dream job.

2. What does Hank mean when he says, “that’s really thinking out of the box”?
a) Tandia had a silly idea.
b) Tandia had a creative idea.
c) Tandia should pack up her idea.

Answers at bottom.

What Else Does It Mean?
to land

The verb “to land (something),” in this podcast, means to get something, especially a job, project, or deal: “How did you land your new job?” The verb “to land” means for an airplane that is in the air to come back down to the ground: “Please take your seats. The plane will be landing in 15 minutes.” The phrase “to land (someone) in (something)” means to create problems or difficulties for someone: “The accident landed her in the hospital.” Or, “Your laziness is going to land you in trouble if you aren’t careful.” The phrase “to land on (one’s) feet” means to recover from a bad or difficult situation and end up being successful: “They had a few difficult years, but now they’ve landed on their feet again.”

to get noticed

In this podcast, the phrase “to get noticed” means to get other people’s attention or to become well known by other people: “Our business needs advertising if we want it to get noticed by new customers.” The phrase “can’t help but notice something” means that one sees something without trying to see it or without looking for it: “When I go to her house, I can’t help but notice how dirty it is.” The phrase “to not take much notice of (something)” means to not pay very much attention to something: “She always seemed sad, but nobody took much notice of it until she asked for help.” Finally, the phrase “without notice” means without warning, or without telling people that something will happen: “We were all very surprised when the bakery closed without notice.”

Culture Note
Millions of Americans sit in “cubicles” (small areas surrounded by low walls in office buildings) and “fantasize” (dream or imagine that something is true) about their dream jobs. Of course, every person’s dream job is different, but many dream jobs share certain characteristics.

A lot of dream jobs are based on people’s “passions” (things that a person is very interested in). For example, for many people, a dream job would be being a singer, musician, or athlete. For other people, a dream job would be an opportunity to eat or drink what they like. One person’s dream job might be to be a “food taster” (a person whose job is to decide which products taste best and should be sold), while another person’s dream job might be to be a “restaurant reviewer” (a person whose job is to eat at different restaurants and write about the experience).

Many people’s dream job involves traveling. They want to “see the world” (go to many different places) and get paid for it. “Travel writers” (people who write articles and books about traveling) and “tour guides” (people who lead other people around places on their vacation) are some common dream jobs.

Dream jobs for people who are “kids at heart” (people who never really grow up and continue to enjoy the things they liked as children) might be to design toys or “doll fashions” (clothing for dolls to wear).

Unfortunately, because so many people are looking for these kinds of dream jobs, the “salary” (the amount of money made in one year) is usually low. In general, people who make a lot of money are being paid well because they are doing jobs that nobody else wants to do.

Comprehension Answers
1 - c

2 - b