Saturday, 26 October 2013

Speakout Advanced p 26. Work. Extra Vocabulary Exercise

Study the following words or expressions and then complete the dialogues with the missing information.


to be called for an interview

to be invited to attend an interview

a dead-end job

a job with no promotional opportunities

to do a job-share

to share the weekly hours of work with another person. An arrangement in which two people share the hours of work and the pay of one job. E.g. The company encourages job-shares and part-time working.

a good team player

somebody who can work well with other people

a heavy workload

to have a lot of work to do.  

be snowed under (with something): 

to have more things, especially work, than you feel able to deal with. E.g. I'd love to come but I'm completely snowed under at the moment.

be up to your ears in something

to have a lot of something to deal with. E.g. We're up to our ears in work. 

be up to your eyebrows in something

to have a lot of something to deal with. E.g. I’m absolutely up to my eyebrows in work. Stein is up to his eyebrows in debt.

be up to your eyes in sth​ 

to be very busy doing something. E.g. I'm up to my eyes in homework this week. 

be up to your eyeballs in something

to have a lot of something to deal with. E.g. They're up to their eyeballs in work.

a high-powered job

an important or powerful job

holiday entitlement

the number of holidays allowed

job satisfaction

the feeling of enjoying a job

to be on maternity/paternity leave

time before and after the birth of a baby when a woman/man is allowed to be away from her job.

sick leave

 permission to be away from work because of illness; the period of time spent away from work. E.g.  to be on sick leave.

phone/call in sick

 to call one's place of work to say that one is ill and cannot come to work. E.g. Three people have phoned/called in sick already this morning.

to meet a deadline

to finish a job by an agreed time.  

last-minute deadline junkies:  

people who leave doing their work until the last minute before it needs to be finished.

a nine-to-five job

a normal job that consists of an eight-hour day (approximately)

a perk of the job

an extra benefit you get from a job.  

fringe benefit:  

[usually plural] extra things that an employer gives you as well as your wages. E.g. The fringe benefits include free health insurance. One of the fringe benefits of my job is that you can use a company credit card for gasoline.


the number of hours that people usually work in a complete week


working less than full-time.

to be your own boss/ to be self-employed: 

 to have/ run your own business  

to be stuck behind a desk

to be unhappy in an office job

to be / get stuck in a rut

to be in a boring job that is hard to leave. E.g. I gave up my job because I felt I was stuck in a rut.

to take early retirement: 

to retire early

temporary work

 /ˈtemprəri/ work done for a limited time only as opposed to a permanent job

voluntary work

 /ˈvɒləntri/ to work without pay

to be well/badly paid

to earn a good/bad salary

working conditions

the hours, salary and other entitlements that come with the job. E.g. Inadequate resources and heavy patient loads have resulted in poor working conditions for nurses

to work with your hands

to do manual work

manual work

work that requires physical activity

menial jobs/work

 /ˈmiːniəl/  (of work) not skilled or important, and often boring or badly paid. E.g. menial tasks like cleaning the floor.  

unskilled work

/ˌʌnˈskɪld/ not having or needing special skills or training. E.g. unskilled manual workers. 

wage slave

a person who is wholly dependent on income from employment, typically employment of an arduous or menial nature. E.g. Years ago I was working as a wage slave collecting carts for my local grocery store.  

to earn/make your/a living

to earn enough money to pay for everything you need. E.g. Everyone should have the means to earn their own living. John makes a living from painting houses. Can you really make a living by selling jewellery?

make (both) ends meet

to earn just enough money to be able to buy the things you need. E.g. Many families struggle to make ends meet.  


/ˈswetʃɒp/ a place where people work for low wages in poor conditions. E.g. the situation is similar to migrant workers in sweatshops.

to work (in) shifts / work the day / night shift

a period of work time in a hospital or other place where some people work during the day and some work at night. E.g. to be on the day/night shift at the factoryTo work an eight-hour shift. I prefer the day shift because I am a morning person. My brother on the other hand is a night person/ a night owl/ a nighthawk /naɪthɔːk/ and prefers the night shift.

receive unemployment benefit

receive money by the government while one does not have a job or one is on the dole / unemployed / out of work. E.g. Claim benefits if people have to claim benefits in order to get by, then that is what benefits are for and no one should judge. Be on benefits Young people are on benefits out of necessity, not out of choice.

to dismiss / fire / sack sb:  

to force sb to leave their job

be out on your ear

(informal) to be forced to leave (a job, etc.). E.g. You'll be out on your ear if you don't start doing some work around here.

to make sb redundant/ lay somebody off

if someone is made redundant/ laid off, they have been told they must leave their job because they are no longer needed. 

to quit a job: 

 to leave a job

 to hand in one's notice/ resignation

to tell your employer that you are leaving your job, especially in a letter

minimum wage

the smallest amount of money that an employer is legally allowed to pay a worker

take up a post / position

start to work in a job.  

opening/ vacancy 

 /ˈveɪkənsi/ : a job that is available. E.g. There are several openings/vacancies in the sales department.

Complete the dialogues with the missing information:

A: What do you do?
B: I do a (1)______________________ with a friend in a boutique … I enjoy it … I like working with customers … unfortunately it’s only (2)______________________ work but one of the (3)______________________ of the job is I get a discount on the clothes …

A: Do you have any career plans?
B: Yes … I’d like to run (4)______________________ one day … I’m interested in programming and I’d like to create apps for myself or for other companies … I know being (5)______________________ would be a challenge but the idea of doing a (6)______________________job doesn’t appeal to me at all …

A: What do you see yourself doing in 10 years time?
B: I’m not interested in having a (7)______________________ job … but I’m quite a creative person so something where I can work with (8)______________________ would be nice … as long as I’m not (9)______________________ a desk doing something boring in a (10)______________________ job, I’ll be happy …

A: What's your ideal job?
B:  I’ve always loved watching wildlife programmes on TV and often thought how much I’d enjoy working with animals … perhaps in a safari park … something like that …

A: You’d probably need a degree to have any chance of being called (11)______________________ and whether there are many full-time jobs I don’t know … I’m sure a lot of parks rely on voluntary work so it might not be easy …

B: And it probably wouldn’t be well-paid either but money isn’t everything … I’d get so much job (12)______________________ … I can’t imagine it being the kind of job where you get stuck (13)______________________ … and I think I’d be good at it as well … I’d love to work with animals, I enjoy manual work and I’m a good team player … so even though the working (14)______________________ might not be the best, I think that would be my ideal job …

A: If there are a limited number of jobs available who should be given priority, young people or older people with more experience?
B: Things are so different these days … a few years ago older employees would often take (15)______________________ or go onto part-time contracts and there were always opportunities for younger people but now jobs are so scarce … I think younger people need to be given the chance whenever possible …

A: What are some of the important things a candidate should find out before accepting a job?
B: Well  … you’d need to know about your area of responsibility … and your salary, of course, and then there are things like holiday entitlement or (16)______________________ if you’re thinking of having children … and what the situation is regarding sick (17)______________________ … that kind of thing …

A: What are the advantages of having your own business rather than working for someone else?
B: Well … unfortunately being an employee at the moment is very stressful … people have very heavy (18)______________________ … they’re always under pressure to meet (19)_____________________running your own business isn’t easy … but I do think it would be far more satisfying …

1- do a job-share

2- temporary work

3- perks of the job

4- run my own business

5- self employed / my own boss

6- nine-to-five job

7- high-powered

8- with my hands

9- stuck behind

10- dead-end

11- for an interview

12- satisfaction

13- stuck in a rut

14- working conditions

15- take early retirement

16- maternity or paternity leave

17- sick leave

18- heavy workloads

19- meet deadlines

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