IELTS Cue Card Sample 412 - Describe your dream job

IELTS Speaking Part 2: IELTS Cue Card/ Candidate Task Card.

Describe your dream job.

You should say:

  • what qualification or experience you would need for this job
  • what the job would involve
  • what you think the most difficult thing about the job would be

and explain why it is your dream job.

Model Answer 1:
Today I am going to talk about my dream Job for the future. I am going to tell you what the job is, the sort of experience and qualifications I might need to do it, then what it involves including what might be the most difficult thing about the job. I think it will be pretty obvious why it is my dream job, but I’ll explain that too. My dream job would be to be a travel writer!

Travel writers are often self-employed. They travel the world to interesting places and then write magazine, newspaper and internet articles about their experiences. In terms of qualifications, I think that’s less important than having a portfolio of examples of your work that show you are a really good writer. Having said that, possibly qualifications that provide a good basic level of English language are useful, and maybe even creative writing or journalism courses might help you to build confidence and develop a writing style

To do this job you have to be willing to go to lots of new places. You also need to be able to write fluently and in different styles for different publications. Travel writers must be very flexible, as you might need to go to difficult or uncomfortable places and to travel at short notice.  

The most difficult part of the job? Well, it’s not very well paid, so often travel writers need to have another job a well, because, unfortunately, you can’t really make a living out of this type of work. Also, even if you are successful, it would be quite an unsettled way to live, it would be hard to maintain friends and pursue hobbies if you are moving around all the time … mind you, I think that would be a small price to pay to be part of such a fantastically interesting and stimulating profession!

The reason I would like to do this job so much is that I love going to new places. For example, earlier this year I got to go to Vietnam to work as a TEFL teacher, that was a new and wonderful experience for me. I would so enjoy telling other people what it was like and encouraging them to go on an adventure of their own. I also like communicating ideas in writing, it would be wonderful to make a living out of the two things I enjoy most – travel and writing!

Unfortunately, there are very few opportunities to make a living as a travel writer, so I think it might have to stay as my dream Job, rather than my actual job! Even so, I think it is important to have a dream, because otherwise how can you ever have a dream come true!

[ Written by - Lucy Marris:  Careers Adviser (UK), TEFL teacher (Vietnam) ]

Cue Card Answer 2:
My dream job? Easy. I’d like to work in wildlife conservation. I’ve thought about it quite a lot, so I can tell you all about the qualifications and experience that can help you get a ‘foot in the door’ what the job might involve and the difficult parts of it too. I’ll try and explain why it would be, for me anyway, a dream come true to be doing it.

There are lots of different ways to be involved in wildlife conservation all over the world. You might be trying to save rhinos from being poached in South Africa, or looking after injured wildlife like hedgehogs or foxes in the UK. Wherever you want to work, and whether it is with just one species (like elephants) or whole ecosystems (like keeping the arctic or desert free from the impact of man) a lot of the principles are the same. You have to demonstrate commitment through practical experience. In practice, this means volunteering. It might be helping with a local conservation charity, maintaining woodland habitats for example by removing non-native species and keeping trees healthy through appropriate pruning. It could be volunteering in a more hands-on way with animals, helping care for seabirds affected by oil pollution, or it might be through looking after other mammals, working at a riding stables or farm. This experience shows that you quite literally don’t mind getting your hands dirty and have some physical stamina too –working outdoors for wildlife conservation can take you to some quite demanding environments, and it is hard work. However, as well as this practical experience, qualifications are helpful too.

Environmental qualifications help you understand how habitats and ecosystems fit together. Science courses in biology and botany help enormously, but so too might a politics or economics course. If you take the example of rhino poaching this is not a ‘simple’ matter of protecting individual animals or even their habitats, it is also about understanding the global business of dealing in rhino horn, why it is in demand and how this demand might be stopped. Fund raising skills are needed, and IT and communication skills too to help charities and NGOs explain their causes. Wildlife conservation is a multi-disciplinary endeavour, many people are needed, from different countries too.

In terms of what the job involves, it can be very diverse. It involves all aspects of managing and protecting the local environment wherever in the world that might be. It could be educating local people about their wildlife and encouraging them to understand why it is important to preserve it. It might involve practically managing the habitat, planting trees or clearing paths.  It could involve observation and monitoring to see what wildlife is present and whether or not populations are thriving or struggling.  It could be working in a remote island or forest locations, or in more urban habitats where the interests of wildlife and people clash as their territory encroaches on one another.

The role is exciting, but I think it could be really difficult too.  Many animals are at risk of extinction and sadly not all people want to preserve them.  It would be heart-breaking to work to protect an animal, like a rhino and then to have it poached and killed just for its horn.  It must take enormous tenacity to pick yourself up and keep on going after a setback like that, and yet that is what is happening all the time to people in South Africa working to protect the precious few rhino that are left. I also think it would be very difficult when the interests of people are at odds with those of animals and the wild environment. In some parts of the world, animals are really threatened – like the gorillas in Rwanda, who are terribly endangered. However, the people who live around the forests which the gorillas inhabit are themselves suffering. They have endured war and poverty, they too need the resources of the forests in order to survive. That is a truly difficult test for conservationists. How to protect the animals but look after local people with justice and compassion too. If my family were starving I would see that as a greater immediate priority than saving a gorilla I had never seen, but the crisis for the gorillas is real all the same. Solutions that help both man and wildlife to thrive alongside one another (maybe through tourism, so people benefit from the continuation of the species) are most needed.

I think it would be a really interesting role to help preserve rare and endangered species for future generations in their natural habitats rather than just in zoos. For me, a ‘dream job’ would be one that I could be proud to say I did, and which in some small way made the world a better place for my time spent on it. However, I think it would be a troubled dream because it is a very difficult one to succeed in. I think sometimes trying to save animals from extinction is as futile as trying to hold back the tide of the seas, however, I still think it is important to try. If we give up now then extinction is the only possible outcome, if we all keep on trying to preserve habitats and the animals that live within them, perhaps we can have a brighter future for us all?

[ Written by - Lucy Marris:  Careers Adviser (UK), TEFL teacher (Vietnam) ]

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