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TOEFL Writing - Model Independent Essay: Change career or keep a job

TOEFL independent writing topic (30-minutes / 300-350 words)

The topic comes from the Magoosh link below. I suggest at the start of the video to turn off spelling and grammar assistance in your word processor. I set my timer and composed the essay live in the screencast video. It took about 25 minutes to write and edit my example essay. I made two additional spelling corrections after completing the video.

“Many workers change jobs a few times in their career. However, several workers instead do the same type of work throughout their career. Of these two career paths, which is a better option? In your essay, include supporting details.”

Original model essay:

Some people prefer to keep a single job in their career for a long time, whereas others like to change jobs or even change careers periodically. While either path can provide fulfilling work, changing jobs within one career can provide a rewarding balance between variety and success.

Keeping a single job in the same company throughout one’s career is not particularly common in the modern age. While large corporations may offer quite a lot of career growth, workers in small firms would eventually reach a plateau above which they would not be able to advance their careers. That is why seeking a higher position in another company would be required in order to advance one’s career. That does not mean the same as changing career paths.

On the other hand, changing career paths would present a number of challenges that might be highly rewarding to those who crave challenge. However, there are many reasons beyond simply seeking change that might propel someone to change career entirely. These could be work-related, but the reasons may have to do with personal health, environment or family issues. Perhaps most commonly, people change career when they need to devote more time to family. For instance, new parents may stop work for a time, and then upon returning to the workforce, they look for careers that will allow more flexibility with schedules than they had before their children were born.

A third rationale for changing jobs within one career or to a new career may be outside of one’s control entirely. Over time, industries change, businesses evolve, or entire sectors of the economy disappear. In the case of my father, who is now at retirement age, his work in the university textbook industry has changed dramatically because of the now widespread use of online textbooks. When print media was slowly phased out over the past five years, my father’s workload declined to almost zero. This example is not unique. Many other companies find themselves in difficult financial situations every time there is an economic downturn. Even once stable large corporations are now overleveraged and heavily indebted. When the 2020 Pandemic led to stay-at-home orders and shut-downs, over twenty percent of the workforce in the United States was either furloughed or laid-off. These workers will be lucky if they can return to their previous jobs. However, many have already sought career changes.

In conclusion, there are many reasons individuals may seek new opportunities at other companies or in other industries. However, staying within one industry allows a person to build skill and grow in their careers even when changing jobs. Nevertheless, changing jobs may not be a personal choice, but rather a result of market forces. Sometimes this means changing careers when a type of job is outsourced to a location in another country or when an industry collapses entirely as a result of technological innovations.

(478 words)

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