Home IELTS Vocabulary IELTS Speaking Vocabulary : Work

IELTS Speaking Vocabulary : Work

Work topic is ubiquitous these days, which means that you not only face it in the IELTS test but also in some daily life conversations, especially when you have to attend an interview at work, then it is suggested that preparing yourself for vocabulary about work will be a wise decision.

So check out the phrases given below and learn how to use them in proper sentence formations , I hope that these phrases and collocations could help you.

Pros and Cons of Running a Business


Work in a field that you enjoy

Example: In the future, I want to open a clothes store, then I can work in a field that I enjoy.

Your schedule can be more flexible

Example: Owning a business means your schedule will be more flexible, for example sometimes you can take a day off and spend time with your family.


Take a large financial risk

Example: Running your own business such as opening a restaurant means that you have to take a large financial risk.

Unstable income

Example: Being self-employed, you have to accept that your income will be unstable, for instance, it can be really high sometimes, but some months you just earn nothing.

Common Phrases and Idioms for IELTS Speaking: Topic Work

1. To be called for an interview: to be invited to attend an interview

Example: Although he has been called for an interview, he hasn’t got a job yet.

2. To be your own boss/run your business/be self-employed: to have your own business

Example: It has been my dream to be my own boss because I can do everything in my way if I run my own business.

3. A nine-to-five job: a normal job that consists of an 8 hour a day

Example: The idea of doing a nine-to-five job is quite arduous for a few people.

4. To be stuck behind a desk: to be unhappy in an office job

Example: Working full-time in an office can lead to being stuck behind a desk.

5. One of the perks of the job: an extra benefit you get from a job

Example: Extra meal is one of the perks of the job, which make employees more satisfied

6. Job satisfaction: the feeling of enjoying a job

Example: Job satisfaction is the most important factor when a person chooses a job.

7. Manual work: work that requires physical activities

Example: Many people have manual work that requires them to work in a dangerous environment.

8. Temporary work: work done for a limited time only

Example: Taxi driving is just my temporary work, I am applying for a better job.

9. Voluntary work: to work without pay

Example: In my free time, I join in voluntary work to help society.

10. To be well paid: to earn a good salary

Example: Working in the auditing area will be well paid.

11. Working conditions: the hours, salary and other entitlements that come with the job

Example: Employer should spend more money on improving the working conditions.

12. To meet a deadline: to finish a job on time

Example: Last week she was really stressed because she had to work too hard to meet the deadlines.

13. To take early retirement: to retire early

Example: Recently, a large number of older worker tend to take early retirement, then they will have more time to travel.

14. A heavy workload: to have a lot of work to do

Example: Many workers are complaining about the heavy workload, and they are asking for a higher salary.

15. Shift work: a system in which different groups of workers work somewhere at different times of the day and night

Example: The company I’m working in currently has different shift work. I can choose either day or night.

16. Morning/Night Shift

Example: Many industries rely heavily on shift work, and millions of people work in jobs that require shift schedules.

17. Tempting offer

Example: After graduating in economics, I got a very tempting offer from an investment bank and accepted it.

18. Land a new job: get a new (and usually a good) job

Example: After graduating, I did the usual things of putting together my CV & applying for jobs. Luckily, I landed a fantastic new job at a tourism company.

19. Living wage: enough money to live on

Example: After doing a job swap, I just got a living wage which didn’t commensurate with my experience & ability.

20. Take up the post: start work

Example: After being laid off, I went back to my old job and took up the post of editor of a leading fashion journal.

21. Carve a niche for myself: make a special position for myself

Example: After graduating, I practiced medicine for a number of years in London. I managed to carve a niche for myself as a specialist in dermatology.

22. Job swap: 

Example: I want to take up some fresh challenges so I did a job swap for a year.

23. Do a job-share: a situation where 2 people share equal parts of the same job

Example: I decided to go part-time and do a job-share with my friend after returning from maternity leave.

24. Lay off staff: dismiss staff because there is no work for them to do

Example: My start-up went through a difficult period and had to lay off staff

25. Volume of work: workload

Example: I can’t go out tonight. I’ve got a volume of work to finish.

26. Earn a good living

Example: I had a substantial volume of work – private students and marking exams – and was able to earn a good living

27. Fast-track scheme: a system for rapid training and promotion of talented staff

Example: This year 29 police took recruits from the fast track scheme.

28. Move up the ladder: being promoted

Example: I was put on a fast-track scheme and was moving up the ladder fast

29. Throw a sickie: take a day off work pretending to be sick

Example: I don’t like my job so I throw a sickie from time to time

30. Get the sack: be dismissed

Example: I want to take one week off from work but I’m afraid of getting sacked.


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