Business English – How to talk about your career

Business English – How to talk about your career

Hi, my name is Rebecca from
In today’s lesson, you will learn about 24 different words to talk about your working life.
You’ll need these words if you want to be able to talk about your career or about
someone else’s professional life. So let’s get started. I’ve divided the
vocabulary into two parts. On this side, we’ll see words which the applicant
or the employee, the future employee is going to need; things that a person who is applying
for a job or someone who works somewhere, these words apply to them. And the words on
this side refer to things that the employer does, that the company does. Okay? So
let’s start with what a person does when he’s looking… He or she is looking for a job.
So the first thing is to “look for a job”. That could mean that you look at classified
ads, you go online; you look for a job. Another way to say that is: “to seek employment”,
that’s a formal way to say it. “To seek” means to look for, and “employment”
means work or a job. Next, you would probably “apply”. After you
see a position that interests you or a job that interests you, you would apply for that
position, you would fill out perhaps an application form or send in a letter. And also “submit”
which means to formally give in or send in, to submit your resume, to submit your CV. CV
is curriculum vitae. In some places, they say: “CV”, and in other places, they say: “resume”.
It’s the same thing, but you need to apply and submit it. So these are the first
three things that someone who’s looking for a job or a job applicant is going to do.
Let’s jump on to this side now to see what the employer does, and then later, we’ll come
back to a couple of other things which the person can do. Okay? So what does the employer usually do?
After they have gone through the applications, they will invite some people
for an “interview” and they will interview that person. Next, they’ll
make a list which is… That process is called: “to shortlist”. “To shortlist”
means let’s say that they interviewed 20 people and now they’re going to choose about three
people or five people, and from those five or three, they will choose one person finally
because there’s one position available. So when they take out of the 20, they make it
three or five, that’s called… That process is called shortlisting. They shortlist the candidates.
So the first thing you can hope, after being interviewed, is that you will be shortlisted.
And then, hopefully, you will also be chosen for the position. So if
that happens, the company decides to “hire” someone or to “recruit” a new employee,
to recruit someone. Both words are used. After that, if necessary, but not always,
they may have to “train” that person to teach them how to do the job. At some later point
in their career, it may be also necessary to “retrain” that person. “Re”-anything
usually means to do something again. Next, after the person has been hired and
perhaps trained, the person will be “placed” in a particular department, in a branch, in
a division, in a particular location. They will placed there means they
will be put in that position. Next, a variety of things can occur, can happen
in the course of a person’s career. A person could be “transferred”. You see the arrow?
Transfer means your position, the level of your position doesn’t change necessarily,
but you might be just moved. “To transfer” means to move to another branch, to another
location, to another country, – right? – another department, another division. You are transferred.
Another thing that can happen if you’re doing very well is you might be “promoted”. Here we
see the arrow pointing up. So, “to promote” means to get a higher level position. Usually,
but not always, that includes a higher salary as well. Then you may be… That’s referred to
as a “raise”, but it doesn’t always happen. Sometimes you get a higher
position without the extra money. What can also happen, but very rarely, – but
it does happen sometimes -, is instead of getting promoted, a person might be demo-… “Demoted”.
So “demoted” means to get a lower position. This doesn’t usually happen. Sometimes
it can happen, for example: in the army, a person might be demoted for
something bad that they did. Next: we come to different ways in which a
person can be asked to leave work. There are three different ways so let me explain because
the difference is actually very important. A person might be “laid off”. Another way to
say that is: “to make someone redundant”. A person might be laid off or made redundant.
I’ll explain what that means. A person might be “retrenched”, or: “dismissed”, or: “terminated”.
Now, let me explain the difference. When companies lay off employees, they don’t usually lay
off one employee. They lay off a number of employees, sometimes it could be a hundred
employees, it could be a thousand employees. And why does that happen? It has nothing to
do with employee performance; it has to do with other… other reasons. The economy may
be bad or the sales may be down, and so on. And so the company is forced to lay off hundreds of workers.
Right? So when the company lays off a number of workers, then they are telling
them to go, but again, it’s only temporarily. Usually it’s temporarily. Sometimes if the…
If the economy continues to be really bad, it can become permanent, but layoffs are often temporary.
Sometimes when things improve then they may be rehired. So if someone is laid
off, it’s much easier for that person to get another job because if they’re fired, for
example, then that’s going to be more difficult for them to get another job. All right.
Now, next one is: “retrench”. When a company retrenches employees, it’s similar
to the layoff, but it’s for different reasons. Retrenchment happens when a company is trying
to restructure itself, reorganize its finances. And so, it may decide to reduce expenses in a
number of different ways. Sometimes it does it by shortening working hours, by lowering
salaries, and finally, if they have no choice and no other way to save enough money, they
may actually ask employees to go. So those employees would then be retrenched. Again,
it doesn’t usually just happen to one person at all; it happens to many people, maybe hundreds.
So layoffs and retrenchments are similar, except that retrenchment is often looked at,
technically, as more permanent, and layoffs, as I mentioned, might be temporary. The
next situation is number 11 here, is a person could be “dismissed” or “terminated.”
And what does that mean? Okay? That means something quite different from being laid
off, because when you’re laid off, as I said, it’s not your fault. But if you’re dismissed
or terminated, it may be because the company is specifically unhappy with that person’s
performance, or that person is perpetually late, or that person’s work is not up to standard, and so on.
Right? So the company dismisses that particular person. The official word for
that is to be “dismissed” or to be “terminated”. The slang for that is to be “fired” or “sacked”.
In North America, the slang is: “to be fired”. In England, the slang tends to
be: “to be sacked”. All right? So that’s what can happen from the employer’s
point of view. Let’s go back for a minute and talk about a few other
things that the employee can do. Sometimes, you may get a better job and so
you decide to leave the company where you work and go to another company, so you “resign”.
This is something you do by yourself. You decide to resign. The slang for that is to: “quit”.
“I quit”, famous words. So, if you decide to resign, you will probably submit a
letter of resignation. All right? That goes with resigning. And the last
thing that an employee usually does, – it depends on what age in different
countries -, is to “retire”. So what does it mean to retire? “To retire” means to stop
working because you’ve reached an age when, legally, you are forced to stop working. And these…
The age varies in different countries, but it can be anywhere from 60 to 65 in most places.
All right? Of course, if you work for yourself, you may never retire. And in
other countries, the retirement age might be quite different. All right? So,
this is some essential vocabulary that you need to be able to talk about your business
life, your working life, your career. All right? If you would like to do a quiz on this
subject, please go to our website: Thank you very much for watching, and
good luck with your career. Bye for now.

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About the Author: Oren Garnes


  1. thanks rebecca, I love the way you explain the lessons, and the way you talk to teach, I understand everything you say,I'm from Argentina, I've many teachers and some of them doesn't speak as clearly as you,I think they want to seem like native speakers!, I would like to study to be a translator, and I want to ask you some web where I can practice english translation, could you suggest me one?, well,thank you and take care!

  2. I have to say that you are doing an great job. The way you explain is amazing. Please keep such videos, you are one of a million. I do love how you explain everything in detail.

  3. There's our DeaR LEADER, BARACKTHE LASTDOING WHhe loved to do most:re-writing history the way he thought it ought to have been-except Cushing wasn't black as it was widely reported at the time, but the battery commander at the "grove of trees"the Confederate targetinPickett's Charge. His commander became somewhat famous for ordering:"THat's right, Cushing,Give them the double-bannister!"Emperor Barack was having some difficulty with military matters at the time, insisting that the medics who went into battle with the Marines were"corpse-men"when in fact, they are navy medical "corps men.!

  4. Canadian people are the most worst horrable people, they are illiterate, uneducated and don't accept good people at their work place. Canada the worst country, with the lowest garbage people in the world.

  5. First of all thank you for making these videos for us. There is a subject which isn't still learnt by me it's 'be to' . For example I am to judge you what does it mean? I hope you will make a video . Thanks from now

  6. I am from Azerbaijan. I work and i take English course for learning,improving, if i get any time at work I watch rebeca's videos

  7. Great, I've been a teacher for two years now. I'm going to do a 30 hour business english module next week. This is what I need to see 🙂

  8. hello Rebecca i also looking for a job but i have not apply anywhere yet because for interview i have to improve my english

  9. thank you so much for this precious informations , I've learned new words for ex: lay off retrench and dismiss

  10. Thank you, dear Rebecca teacher, you are awesome, very helpful to me.
    an employee did not work hard, he/she could be demoted, an employee works hard who could be promoted, and deserved a higher salary, right?

  11. Hi Rebecca thank you very much for your dynamic and clear lessons. I didn’t find if you speak British or American English.could you please give me this information?

  12. I can speak English very well, but I don't have any English friend to talk with me or help with me ?
    Could someone help me please

  13. Rebecca Ma'am, you are amazing teacher. Clearly explained. I always recommend my friends to learn from you. Thousand Thanks to you.

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