Are you looking for some helpful English vocabulary for the workplace? Then look no further! In this article, we will share some of the most useful English words and phrases you can use to talk about the workplace.
English Vocabulary for the Workplace, Part 1
Here are some key words and phrases to help you talk about work in English:
job: paid work you do regularly.
career: the progress of your working life, especially the progress towards a better job.
employer: a person or organization that people work for.
employee: a person who is paid to work for another person or organization.
occupation: a person’s usual or main work.
workplace: the place where someone works.
co-worker: a person who works with another person in the same workplace.
boss: a person who is in charge of a group of employees.
team: a group of people who work together to achieve a goal.
office: a place where people work, especially sitting at desks.
business: a place that makes or sells products or services.
company: a place that sells something or provides services in order to make money.
corporation: a large company.
headquarters: the main office of a company, where the top executives work.
branch: a smaller office of a company, located in a different city from the headquarters.
executive: a high-level manager in a company.
To talk about what someone does for a living, you can use the verb “work” followed by a preposition.
- I work in an office.
- I work for a company.
- I work as a teacher.
To talk about someone’s job, you can use the expression “have a job”.
- I have a job as a doctor.
- I have a job in a bank.
To describe someone’s career, you can use the expression “have a career”.
- He will have a long career in the military.
- She’s had a successful career as a lawyer.
To ask someone what they do for a living, you can use the question “What do you do?”
- What do you do? I’m a doctor.
- What do you do? I work in a bank.
To ask someone what their job is, you can use the question “What’s your job?”
- What’s your job? I’m a doctor.
- What’s your job? I work in a bank.
To ask someone about their career, you can use the question “What’s your career like?”
- What’s your career like? It’s very rewarding.
- What’s your career like? It’s a lot of work, but I enjoy it.
- What’s your career like? It’s very challenging.
- What’s your career like? Actually, I’m thinking of changing careers.
To talk about someone’s workplace, you can use the expression “workplace environment”.
- The workplace environment is very important to me.
- I prefer a relaxed workplace environment.
English Vocabulary for the Workplace, Part 2
labor: workers, especially people who do work with their hands.
Labor Day: a national holiday in the United States, celebrated on the first Monday in September. It honors the contributions of workers to the country.
a labor union: an organization of workers that bargains with employers over wages, benefits, and working conditions. (To bargain means to negotiate and try to reach an agreement.)
workers’ rights: the basic rights of workers, such as the right to a safe workplace, or the right to fair pay.
a strike: when workers stop working in order to protest something, usually related to their job or workplace.
to go on strike: when workers stop working in order to protest something, usually related to their job or workplace.
wages: the money that someone is paid for their work.
minimum wage: the lowest wage that an employer can legally pay an employee.
benefits: extra payments or services that an employer provides for their employees, in addition to wages. For example, health insurance or a retirement plan.
working conditions: the conditions in which someone works, such as the temperature, the amount of space, or the type of work.
insurance: when you make monthly payments to a company to help you in case something bad happens. For example, if you get sick and can’t work, or if your house is damaged in a fire.
sick leave: time that you’re allowed to take off from work when you are sick.
maternity leave: time that a mother is allowed to take off from work before and after the birth of her child. Payment during this time may be partially or fully covered by the government, or by the employer.
vacation: days that you’re allowed to take off from work, in addition to weekends and holidays.
to demote: to move someone to a lower position in their job.
to promote: to move someone to a higher position in their job.
to get a raise: to receive more money for one’s work, usually because of an increase in position or responsibility.
to lay off: to stop employing someone. For example, because of a decrease in business.
to fire: to stop employing someone. For example, because that person was not doing their job well, or because the company doesn’t need that person’s job anymore.
a downsizing: when a company reduces the number of employees, often because of a decrease in business.
an economic recession: a period of time when there is less business activity and more unemployment.
to be out of work / to be unemployed: to not have a job.
to retire: to stop working because one has reached a certain age, or because one can no longer work due to illness or injury.
a retirement plan: a financial plan that allows someone to save money while they are working, so that they will have money to live on when they retire.
to quit / to resign: to stop working at a job, usually because one is taking a new job, or for personal reasons.
to give notice: to tell an employer that you are going to quit your job, usually two weeks in advance.
taxes: the money that people and businesses must pay to the government, based on their income or profits. The government uses this money to provide public services.
to audit: to examine someone’s financial records, usually to make sure that they are paying the correct amount of taxes.
financial records: documents that show how much money someone has earned, spent, saved, or invested.
assets: anything that someone owns and has value. For example, a house, a car, or stocks and bonds.
stocks: a type of investment that represents ownership in a company. When a company makes money, the stockholders (people who own stocks in the company) make money.
bonds: a type of investment in which the investor loans money to a company or government, and receives interest payments over time.
(The difference between stocks and bonds is that with stocks, you are investing in a company and sharing in its profits (or losses). With bonds, you are lending money to a company or government, and receiving interest payments in return.)
shares: another word for stocks.
to invest: to use money to buy something, usually in the hope of making more money. For example, to buy a house, or to buy stocks in a company.
dividends: the money that stockholders receive from a company’s profits.
liabilities: money that someone owes to others. For example, a mortgage, a loan, or credit card debt.
net worth: the value of someone’s assets minus their liabilities. In other words, how much someone would have if they sold everything they owned and paid off all their debts.
to embezzle: to illegally take money that someone has entrusted to you, such as your employer’s money.
gross pay: the total amount of money that someone earns in a pay period, before taxes or other deductions are taken out.
net pay: the amount of money that someone receives in their paycheck, after taxes and other deductions have been taken out.
deductions: money that is taken out of someone’s paycheck for taxes, retirement savings, etc.
a salary: a fixed amount of money that someone is paid for their work, usually paid once a month.
savings: money that someone has set aside, to use for a specific purpose later. For example, to buy a house, or to pay for retirement.
a paycheck: the money that someone is paid for their work, usually paid once a week or once a month.
severance pay: money that an employer gives to an employee who is fired, as a way of helping them to find a new job.
severance package: a combination of severance pay and other benefits, such as health insurance, that an employer gives to an employee who is fired.
debt: money that someone owes to others. For example, a mortgage, a loan, or credit card debt.
pay off: to give someone the money that you owe them. For example, to pay off a debt, or to pay someone for goods or services that they have provided.
A Short Story to Practice Workplace Vocabulary
It is 9:00 a.m. on Monday. Emily arrives at her office to meet with her boss, Ms. James.
“Emily, we are very happy with your work. You are a valuable member of our team.”
“Thank you, Ms. James.” Emily is pleased with the compliment.
“I am sorry to say that we are forced to lay off two employees and unfortunately, we are going to have to let you go.”
Emily is shocked. “What? Why?”
“I’m sorry, Emily. It’s nothing personal. We are just downsizing and we need to reduce our expenses.”
Emily is heartbroken. She has been working at the company for two years and she loves her job.
“I’m so sorry, Emily. We will do everything we can to help you transition to a new job.”
Emily is grateful for the support. Ms. James gives her a severance package that includes two months’ salary and health insurance.
Emily starts to look for a new job, but it is not easy. The economy is in a recession and there are not many jobs available.
Luckily for Emily, she has some savings and some profitable stocks that pay her dividends.
Emily’s net worth is:
– $2,000 in savings
– $10,000 in severance pay
– $8,000 in net pay from her old job
– $10,000 in dividends from stocks she owns
– $12,000 in assets (her car and her furniture)
– $14,000 in liabilities (her mortgage and her credit card debt)
Emily’s net worth is $28,000.
After six months, Emily is still unemployed. She has run out of savings and she is starting to worry about how she will pay her bills.
If she sells her car and furniture, she will have $12,000 that she could use to pay off her debt or save for her future. But Emily needs her car to get to her job interviews, and she needs her furniture to live comfortably.
Emily decides to start her own business. She is not sure if it will be successful, but she is willing to take the risk. She names her business “Emily’s Cleaning Service”.
After a few months, Emily’s business is doing well. She has five regular clients and she is making a profit.
Now Emily is not sure what to do. Should she invest her money in her business or should she use it to buy some bonds? Or maybe she should hire employees? She is definitely going to be a great boss!
However, then she will pay even more taxes! Emily decides to consult with a financial advisor to get some advice.
The financial advisor tells her that she should invest her money in her business and in some bonds. She also advises Emily to start saving for retirement.
Emily is glad she consulted with the financial advisor. She is now on her way to a bright future!
Workplace Vocabulary Fill in the Blanks Exercise
You finished the lesson! Good job! ☺️
Click here to get full access to all our lessons and courses.