McJob is a low-paying job that requires little to no education and has no opportunity of advancement. It may also refer to a position filled by someone who is extremely overqualified.


In 1983 McDonald’s coined the term McJob to promote a program they had designed to help affirmative action for disabled employees. However, the term was quickly redefined into its current definition. It was a buzzword of the 90’s in the United States and used by many to detail the economic shift toward jobs that required little to no education.

McJob has lost popularity as a buzzword and is completely rejected by the company that created it. However it is still common enough that a 2007 petition to the Oxford English Dictionary to change its definition was rejected.


When I put the word McJob in my 1991 novel Generation X, I wanted a word to describe what I saw as “a low-paying, low-prestige dead-end job that requires few skills and offers very little chance of intracompany advancement”. It made sense then, and it makes sense now. [FT Magazine]

Getting a summer job, even a McJob, can help a teenager’s career prospects, a new University of British Columbia study has found. [Toronto Sun]

The company has channelled its outrage over McJob’s poor linguistic characterisation into a brand new bells-and-whistles campaign to explain why its 12 million burger-flippers and other staff are some of the happiest, most privileged people in the world. [Times of India]

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