Work Vocabulary IELTS

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 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.

IELTS Speaking ebook

IELTS Speaking Actual Tests with Answers (Nov 2021 – Feb 2022) | eBook

4.8 of 107 Reviews

Written by professional IELTS teachers to help candidates on the big day

Written by professional IELTS teachers to help candidates on the big day


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.

Also check :


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, where 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 something concerning sales of 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 a human resources manager in a multinational company. What makes me want to have the job is that I am fond of interacting with other people, then working in the workplace will give me the chance to deal with human relationships, not to mention that a teacher from my university complimented my leadership skills and he said that I can organize people to work together and lead them to boost the productivity, which is one of the reasons driving me to the job.

Generally, working in human resources field is likely to be well paid, besides it is also challenging for me to find work in the area because the position will require a high level of qualification and a 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 master degree in the field, in which I will specialize in human resources management. Apart from my studies, at the time I was doing my bachelor, I also took part in several voluntary work. By doing that, I have got plenty 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 a young worker, Although young people cannot possess a rich source of knowledge like the older people do, they are full of energy, they can motivate other coworkers to work harder, which could have a good effect on the company. Additionally, lately, older workers tend to take early retirement, then the job vacancies are always available for young people.

What are the disadvantages of working for someone else?

The first things is, people working for someone else will be put under a lot of pressure. For instance, the workers will have heavy workload and always have to work to meet the deadlines, which is stressful. In addition, working for someone means you will have less time to relax and be with your family.