English vocabulary: Jobs and work

Here are some words and phrases to talk about your job in English.

Talking about where you work

Office jobs

Many people work in an office. You can say you're an "office worker", or give the title of your job: a receptionist, an accountant, etc.

Outdoor jobs

There are also outdoor jobs. A farmer grows food, or looks after animals. A builder builds houses, and a postman delivers letters to your house.

Other places you can work

I work…

… in a factory
… in a school
… in a hospital
… in an office block (a building where there are only offices)
… on a farm
… on a building site (where you are building houses or office blocks)
… from home ("I work from home" = you have an office in your house)

Remember: when you say your job, use 'a' or 'an'.

"He's a barman."
"He's an actor."

You can also say "I work as a doctor / as an actor etc".

Talking about the type of job

If you don't know the title of your job, you can talk about your industry or type of job.

For example, "I work in … (industry / type of job)

Some typical industries:

publishing (creating books)
education (teaching)
construction (building houses)
engineering (wide range, from building bridges to electronics)
manufacturing (making things)
banking (working in a bank)
finance (money, investments)
law
retail (shops, etc)
healthcare (doctors, etc)
leisure (sports centres, etc)

For example:

Sonia works in finance.
He works in publishing.

Some typical types of job

marketing
sales
IT
logistics
HR
management
consultancy

For example:

I'd like to work in IT.
His dream is to work in management.

Talking about the relationships at work

"I work for … (a person)."
"My boss / manager is …"

The people you work with are your colleagues (or "co-workers").

"We work in the …. department."

Your employer is the person (or company) who gave you the job. The person or people who work for the employer are the employees. (The word stress is on the final syllable: em – ploy – ee.)

You can work in a team (with other people) or on your own.
"I work on my own in a small office."

Talking about how you work

full-time (for example, 5 days a week, from 9 to 5)
part-time (for example, 2 days a week, or mornings / afternoons only)
flexi-time (for example, from 10 – 6)
in shifts (for example, only the morning, afternoon, evening or night)

Talking about your responsibilities at work

I look after the paperwork / the logistics
I take care of patients / animals / the marketing
I am responsible for sales / processing payments

I have to be …(+ adjective)

… patient
… hard-working
… good with people
… flexible

I have to have … (+ noun)

… good attention to detail
… good communication skills

I have to be … (+ type of person)

… a team-worker
… a leader
… a problem-solver


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