[Listening Medium] Career Search – KEY

Pre-Listening Exercise

What jobs are popular among men and women in your country? Are there social or cultural rules that influence what jobs people do?

Career Search

learn the ropes” = learn how to do a specific job
It took me a few months to learn the ropes at my new job.”

pull one’s weight” = do a person’s share of the work
If you can’t pull your own weight around here, the boss is going to fire you.”

Listening Exercise

A. Listen to the recording and answer the questions.


Ashley: Ryan. I just want you to know that I’m going to go to school to become an auto mechanic.

Ryan: Uh what? Does Dad know about this?

Ashley: Who cares? It’s my life. I really enjoy working on cars.

Ryan: Oh, I get it. You want to study auto mechanics because of your new boyfriend. What’s his name? Jimmy or something? Listen, auto mechanics is a man’s job.

Ashley: No, you got it all wrong. [What?] First of all, his name is James, and second, he doesn’t work at an auto shop anymore. He had a job there for five years, and he really liked his job because he learned how to identify problems and fix things. You, on the other hand, can’t even change the toilet paper roll in the bathroom.

Ryan: Hey, that’s not fair.

Ashley: And James is now back in college. He’s majoring in nursing.

Ryan: Nursing? Nursing? That’s a woman’s job?

Ashley: I cannot believe I’m hearing this. A man can be a nurse, and they can do the job just as well as anybody else. Nurses, whether they are men or women, care for the sick, the elderly. Things like that.

Ryan: Uh.

Ashley: And are you saying that women can’t be farmers, carpenters, or truck drivers?

Ryan: Well, most men do those jobs, so . . . Anyway, women can do them if they want. I just think that women are better suited to be secretaries, waitresses, piano teachers. You know.

Ashley: Man, you’re stuck in the 18th century. No one will marry you.

Ryan: Oh, well, just forget this. But not to change the subject, but I’m having a problem with my car, and I was wondering if Jimmy, I mean James, could take a look at it.

Ashley: Forget it. Start pushing!

Ryan: Ah!


Vocabulary and Sample Sentences

  • auto mechanic (noun): a person who repairs cars 
    – It took him two years of training to become an auto mechanic.
  • get something (idiom): understand something 
    – At first, I didn’t understand the job very well, but I kept asking questions, and I eventually got it.
  • elderly (noun): older people, seniors 
    – The elderly often receive support from family and friends.
  • carpenter (noun): a person who builds furniture and houses 
    – My brothers work as carpenters for a construction company.
  • be suited (verb): be appropriate 
    – Because of his skills, he is very suited for a teaching job overseas.