Don’t give up the day job !

Don’t give up the day job

Click below to listen to the phrase.


Choose the correct definition a, b or c.

a) Stick to what you are paid for.

Well done ! That’s the right answer.

Don’t give up the day job’ is a way of telling someone to stop doing something he or she is not good at. By this expression you also recommend someone to turn to a normal, realistic activity where you can make money, rather than trying and doing something badly, even if you are passionate about it.

French translation

À chacun son métier !

How NOT to translate : *ne renonce pas à ton travail de jour


Examples in context

Don’t give up the day job – the pop stars with ‘proper’ careers on the side

Since streaming services slashed musicians’ earnings, just how do pop stars earn enough to get by ?
While many musicians get by on bar jobs and office temping, Dutch dreampop magician Amber Arcades has a dual life as a human rights lawyer in the Netherlands’ immigration service.’

NME, 4 Dec. 2018


‘Following your passion is bad career advice

By all means, go after your dreams – just don’t give up the day job

Reach for the stars. Pursue your dreams. Follow your passions. These are the beloved mantras of many a motivational speaker and self-help guru. However, as career advice, especially for the young, it’s paralysing. (…)
Finding your passion is about what defines you, makes you who you are. It’s not what pays the bills. My advice : don’t give up the day job while pursuing your passion.’

Gulf Business, 26 Oct. 2019


Everyday usage

So have you read my writing ? Hm, well, don’t give up the day job !

I think all these aspiring artists shouldn’t give up the day job., they’ll never turn their hobby into a profession.

b) Follow your passion.

Sorry, wrong answer. Please try again.

c) Give it a shot.

Sorry, wrong answer. Please try again.

Missed last week’s phrase ? Catch up here

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