IELTS Work Vocabulary: Useful Phrases And Expressions in IELTS Speaking - IELTS work vocabulary - IELTS work vocabulary

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. I hope that these phrases and collocations below could help you.

Pros and cons of running a business


Work in a field that you really enjoy

Example: In the future, I want to open a clothes store, then I can work in a field that i really 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 own business/be self-employed: to have your own business

Example: It has been my dream is 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 few people.

4. To be stuck behind a desk: to be unhappy in 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 dangerous environment.

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

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

9. Voluntary work: to work without pay

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

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

Example: Working in auditing area will be well paid.

11. Working conditions: the hours, salary and other entitlements that comes 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 stress, 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 worker are complaining the heavy workload, and they asking for higher salary.

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

Morning/Night shift

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

16. Tempting offer

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

17. 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. 

18. 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. 

19. 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.

20. 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.

21. Job swap: 

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

22. Do a job-share: 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.

23. 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

24. Volume of work: workload

25. 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

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

27. Move up the ladder: being promoted

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

28. 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

29. Get the sack: be dismissed

Example: I want to take one weeks off from work but I’m afraid of getting the sack


IELTS Speaking Part 1:

What do you do?

At the moment, I am a student, but I also do some voluntary work at my university, in which I can gain a lot of precious experience.

Do you have any career plan yet?

Yes I have, I would like to be self-employed down the road because I am not fond of  a nine-to-five job. I hope that I can run  that sales clothes and accessories.

IELTS Speaking Part 2:

Describe your ideal job. You should say

  • What this job is?
  • Whether you would need any qualifications?
  • Whether it would be easy to find work?

And say why you would enjoy this job in particular?

Band 8.0 sample answer:

Everyone has their dream job, and I am no exception. Since I was a little boy, it has been my dream to work as human resources management in a multinational company. What make me really want to have the job because I am fond of interacting with other people, then working in the work place will give me the chance to deal with human relationships, not to mention that a teacher from my university compliment on my leader skills and he said that I have the ability to organize people to work together and lead them to boost the productivity, which is one of the reason driving me to the job. 

Generally, working in human resources field is likely to be well paid, besides it also challenging for me to find work in the area because the position will require high level of qualification and large amount of experience . Thus, to prepare for my career, I have gained a bachelor in business administration, and I am about to do a mater degree in the field, in which I will specialized in human resources management. Apart from my studies, at that time I did my bachelor, I also took part in several voluntary work. By doing that, I have got a great deal of valuable experience such as social skills and business knowledge as well. I hope that all of this can help me to take my ideal job easier.

IELTS Speaking Part 3:

If there are a limited number of jobs available who should be given priority, young people or older people with more experience?

I believe that it should be young worker, Although you people cannot possess a rich source of knowledge like the elderly does, they are full of energy, then can motivate other coworkers to work harder, which could have a good effect on the company. additionally, recent years older workers tend to take early retirement, then job vacancies is always available for young people.

What are the disadvantages of  working for someone else?


p style=”text-align: justify;”>The first things is people being an employee will be put under a lot of pressure. For instance, the workers will have heavy workloads and always have to work to meet the deadlines, which is really stressful. In addition, working for someone means you will have less time to relax and be with your family. 

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