In this intermediate vocabulary lesson, you will learn essential terms related to jobs and employment. You’ll also understand the differences between the words work and job. Additionally, you’ll explore various prepositions and words used with the verb work. Check the following pictures and look at the definitions and descriptions below.
To 1 earn means to make money through work, so we go to work to earn money.
- Sam earns $30,000 a year in his job as a chef.
If you 2 do overtime, you work more hours than are stated in your contract. When you do overtime, you usually earn extra money.
- We’re very busy at work right now, so I’m doing a lot of overtime.
When you 3 apply for a job, you show interest in a position by sending a potential employer your CV and, often, a letter expressing interest in the position. You may also be required to fill out a form stating your personal details and other information.
- When I heard about the vacancy, I applied for the job immediately.
When you 4 resign from or quit a job, you leave a job, either because you’ve found another job or for other reasons, and when you 5 retire, you stop working altogether, usually because of old age. Most people retire when they are in their sixties.
- Tom resigned from his job because he’d decided to take a year off and go travelling.
- I plan to retire as soon as I turn 65.
If you 6 are or get promoted, you are given a position with more responsibility in the place or company where you are already working. So, for example, if a supervisor is promoted, they might go from being a supervisor to a manager.
- Nick was promoted to floor manager just months after joining the company.
If you 7 are sacked or fired from a job, you are dismissed from a job, and you no longer have that job, usually because of poor performance or because you have done something wrong. When a person is sacked, they are often forced to leave immediately.
- James was sacked from his job at the supermarket after he was caught stealing money from the till.
If you are 8 in charge of or responsible for somebody or something, it means that you have authority or control over somebody or something. For example, a manager in a restaurant is in charge of the waiters and kitchen staff, and a headmaster in a school is responsible for their teachers. Also, if you are in charge of or responsible for doing something, it is your duty to do that thing.
- As manager of a busy café, Sara is in charge of 15 members of staff.
- Lia is responsible for opening and closing the shop.
Adjectives and nouns
A 9 full-time job is a job in which a person works for a set number of hours during the working week, often Monday through Friday for eight or so hours a day. A 10 part-time job is a more flexible working arrangement where a person doesn’t work every day and often works for shorter periods of time.
- As soon as he finished school, Tim got a full-time job in a bank.
- When I was a student, I had a part-time waitressing job.
If a person works 11 shifts, they work during various scheduled periods of the day or night rather than the typical nine to five. Doctors, nurses, and security guards often work shifts, as do waiters and others employed in the catering or hospitality industries.
- When I was a nurse, I worked a lot of night shifts.
A 12 temporary job is one that is not permanent. For example, if a staff member is off work because they’ve had a baby, another person may do their job for them temporarily until they return to work.
- Eve has a temporary job in a school, covering for a teacher who is on maternity leave.
If a person is 13 self-employed, they work for themselves rather than for a company or institution. They may own their own business or work on a freelance basis for other companies.
- Alice is a self-employed writer and works from home.
14 Unemployed means to be without a job, so a person who is unemployed is usually looking for work.
- Bob has been unemployed since he lost his job last year.
A 15 workplace is a place where you go to do your job. For many people, this is an office, but for example, a nurse’s workplace is usually a hospital, and a builder’s is often a construction site.
- Our office is a friendly workplace; we all get on really well.
16 Qualifications are things such as certificates, diplomas, and university degrees that mean you are qualified to do a job. People usually list their qualifications on their CV, so that a potential employer can see them when they apply for a job.
- Ian was not given the job because he didn’t have the right qualifications.
Work vs Job
A job is a profession or occupation; it’s the activity that a person does to earn money. Examples of jobs are teacher, nurse, doctor, taxi driver, office clerk, construction worker, graphic designer, police officer, etc.
You can have a temporary job, a permanent job, a part-time job or a full-time job. When you don’t have a job, you are unemployed. When you are unemployed, you may apply for a job. If the job interview goes well, you may get the job.
A job is also a particular task or something that you have to do:
- I need to do a few jobs at home. I need to cut the grass, paint the fence and fix a window.
- ‘Why didn’t you make the copies I needed?’ ‘Because that’s not my job. Making copies is Richard’s job.’
Job is a COUNTABLE noun. This means that we can say ‘jobs’ (in the plural), and we can say ‘a job‘.
- He’s had many different works.
- He’s had many different jobs.
- This is a difficult work.
- This is a difficult job.
The word work is often a verb:
- Where do you work?
- She works in a hospital.
Work can also be an UNCOUNTABLE noun. So we cannot say ‘
a work‘ or use the plural form ‘ works‘.
We use the noun work to talk about the effort or activities that we do when we are doing a/our job.
- I have a lot of work to do.
- What time do you start and finish work?
- This is very hard work.
Work may also mean the place where people do their job.
- How do you go to work?
- I have lunch at work.
Check the chart below to learn how we use the verb work with different prepositions, or to talk about the number of hours/days/etc that we work.