Definition of day job in US English:

day job


  • A person's regular job and main source of income, typically as contrasted with a more enjoyable occupation or hobby.

    ‘he funds his films with money earned from his day job as a manager’
    • ‘The show's about a guy who gives up his day job to find work as a movie and TV extra.’
    • ‘He sounds for all the world like every other not-very-good guitarist talking about his day job, doesn't he?’
    • ‘This league is so simple, you can monitor it offline and without quitting your day job.’
    • ‘Gavilan's day job—though he is not very successful at it—is as a real estate broker.’
    • ‘Later, as his literary aspirations stalled after the publication of a few early short stories, he acquired a day job.’
    • ‘The robust and skilful footballer retired at the age of 30 and concentrated on his day job.’
    • ‘Who knows, maybe Estrada could get another crack at his movie career if he loses his current day job.’
    • ‘All this cartooning would really be a lot easier to do if I didn't have this crazy day job.’
    • ‘His commitment to a day job as a pre-school teacher also limited his time on the road.’
    • ‘He is planning to give up his day job as a call-centre worker if his bid as an independent candidate is successful.’
    • ‘She had a day job, but devoted her off time to the large garden she was in charge of.’
    • ‘Juggling his day job running the timber yard with the demands of a young family involves making sacrifices.’
    • ‘When I finally stopped my day job and had the luxury of working on a scene for a week, it made all the difference.’
    • ‘What was the last day job you worked before you could support yourself with music and art?’
    • ‘I was in my early twenties, a single mother with a day job and a dream of becoming a writer.’
    • ‘All very well, but I'd rather save the excitement and effort for the day job.’
    • ‘The holidays are finished now though and it's back to the day job for Mooro and his mates.’
    • ‘In his day job, he's an anaesthetist, so he is able to gauge levels of consciousness with accuracy.’
    • ‘I have often considered working for myself, repairing other's computers and quitting my day job.’
    • ‘Things have moved on rapidly since she gave up her day job as a teacher to pursue the business.’
    position of employment, position, post, situation, place, appointment, posting, placement
    View synonyms


  • don't give up the (or your) day job

    • informal Used as a humorous way of advising someone not to pursue something at which they are unlikely to be successful.

      • ‘If you're a country music hopeful riding the New York subway in search of a break, 'Don't give up the day job' is the kind of advice that'll leave you sobbing into your rhinestone-studded jump suit.’
      • ‘My advice is that he should not quit his day job.’
      • ‘Don't give up your day job, darling, because you've got no future in singing, unless it's cleaning up Mariah Carey's dressing room when she stops in town.’
      • ‘Memo to would-be Erin Brockoviches: Don't give up your day job.’
      • ‘When they tell you not to give up the day job, it's time to get worried.’
      • ‘Some advice for the Bonos and Ronan Keatings of the world: don't give up the day job.’
      • ‘Many thanks to all of those who submitted captions—just do us a favour and don't give up the day jobs.’
      • ‘Here's a tip to the doorman: don't give up the day job!’
      • ‘This singer should heed the old maxim and not quit her day job.’
      • ‘Unless you were blessed with the genes of a supermodel or were reciting Shakespearean verse in the womb, there's a lot of truth in the old saying "don't give up the day job."’
      • ‘His show involved songs, poetry and acting, and was slated by some at the Edinburgh Fringe—don't give up the day job etc.’
      • ‘I said it was the first time I'd been a hairdresser and he joked, 'Don't give up the day job.'’
      • ‘When it comes to me on TV, it's a case of 'don't give up the day job.'’
      • ‘The supermodel-turned-actress is adequate as eye candy but shouldn't give up the day job just yet.’
      • ‘He absolutely murderd an Elvis number—don't give up the day job, mate.’


day job