don’t give up the day job


don’t give up the day job
also, don’t quit your day job

Meaning | Synonyms

  • a usually humorous way of telling someone not to pursue something full time as he or she is not good at it
  • way of telling someone to continue doing what they are good at, rather than trying something new which they would probably fail at
  • a somewhat sarcastic but mostly good-natured comment for criticizing someone’s lack of talent at something

Example Sentences

  1. I watched your performance at the theater today. My advice is don’t give up your day job.
  2. You want to try your hand at writing a novel? I’ve read your drafts and I advise you not to give up your day job.
  3. If I were you, I wouldn’t give up the day job; you’re never going to be a dancer.
  4. You are not a very talented actor, so don’t give up the day job and pursue it as a hobby.
  5. Don’t give up your day job – you won’t go anywhere with that kind of music.
  6. “Did you like my singing?” “Well, don’t give up your day job.”
  7. If you wish to establish your own business, don’t quit your day job until you’re successful.


The origin of the phrase cannot be traced. Please share your thoughts about its origin in comment section below.

Share your opinions2 Opinions

The expression is said very often to want-to-be actors. Before TV and movies the only acting was done at night in theaters. Also in those days, most businesses were only open during the day.

‒ Tommie Williamson February 14, 2024

Probably I feel the object clause is from day job referring to active thinking, the etymology might be from office computers, the night work series. Because it’s a job it has to be in day, friends could you please help me out?

‒ Saijayalakshmi September 8, 2020

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