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D. During your working life

In some countries, women are allowed maternity leave and men paternity leave if they're having a child. [time away from work to have a new baby]

What perks (informal) / (extra) benefits (formal) do you get in your job? [extra things apart from salary, e.g. a car]

How important is job satisfaction to you? [the feeling that your job is worth doing and fulfils you]

What's your holiday entitlement? [number of days you have the right to take as holiday]

Do you get regular salary increments? [formal: increases/rises]

Most people don't want to reach/hit a glass ceiling. [reach a level where you cannot get further promotion, even if you deserve it]

Most people think they are overworked and underpaid. [often said together as a humorous fixed expression]

Task 2. Complete each of these idioms with one word from Task 1.

  1. The job looks good on ..................................................., but the reality is quite different.
  2. I'd hate to work in a run-of-the-.................................................... job.
  3. Mary has been up to ................................................... eyes in work all day.
  4. When John retires, his son will................................................... into his shoes.
  5. My cousin's an up-and-................................................... musician.
  6. I must try to get out of a ................................................... at work.
  7. I've been on the .............................................. all day.
  8. Why did Kirsty's boss give her the ................................................... ?
  9. I wish you wouldn't talk ................................................... all the time!
  10. Rosie was very thrilled to be ...................................................hunted for her new job.

Task 3. Which idioms do these pictures make you think of?

Task 4.Match each idiom on the left with its definition on the right.

1 behind the scenes
  1. very busy
2 dead-end
  1. be dismissed
3 get the sack
  1. make an effort
4 off the record
  1. promising
5 on hold
  1. hidden
6 pull out all the stops
  1. unofficially
7 rushed off your feet
  1. delayed
8 up-and-coming
  1. without prospects

Task 5. Complete each of these idioms.

We had a difficult day at work today. We were all (1) ................................................... under because we are having some important visitors next week and management has decided to pull out all the (2) ................................................... to impress them. We are going to have our work (3) ................................................... out to get everything done in time. Long-term tasks have been put on (4) ................................................ so that everything is ready for our visitors. Anyone who objects has been told that they will (5) ........................................... the sack and everyone who wants to (6) ....................................... the career ladder will have their (7) ......................................... full until the week is over. The visitors would be horrified if they knew what was going on (8) ............................................ the scenes!

Task 6. Write sentences using six of the idioms from above about your own work at present and your hopes and plans for work in the future.

Task 7. Put these expressions into two groups: usually negative (-) and usually positive (+). Some of them are new expressions not in Task 1.


  1. to hit a glass ceiling
  2. to have a lot of perks
  3. to be snowed under
  4. to be demoted
  5. to be passed over for promotion
  6. to get turned down for a job
  7. to be short-listed for a job
  8. to be a high-flyer

Task 8. Some words here are not used correctly or in their usual way. Correct them.

1. I started studying French at university, but I didn't finish my career and left after one year.

2. My boss rose my salary with £2,000 a year. I was delighted.

3. I'm underpaid and overworked, like everybody! And I'm always stressed up.

4. My holiday titlement is four weeks a year.

5. He got maternity leave when his wife had a baby.

Task 9. Imagine you are a careers adviser. What advice would you give to someone who is ...

1. money motivated and who is prepared to take risks?

2. a very talented musician who is not necessarily money motivated?

3. an achiever who has a background in IT and is a very confident person?

4. suffering from a lack of job satisfaction in their present job?

Task 10. In your opinion what jobs are most honoured in the society and what jobs are most popular? Sometimes one has to start at the bottom of a career ladder to make it up to the top. Let's see how you can make a loser job sound like a winner, which can help you in compiling a résumé.

How to make your loser job sound like a winner
With a little creativity and a big thesaurus, any ordinary summer job can be dressed up to look like a top-notch position for you to put on a résumé or a college or job application. Here are some examples:
Ice-cream scooper à Frozen-foods marketing specialist
Crossing guard à Vehicular-flow technician
Newspaper deliverer à Communications-distribution engineer
Lifeguard à Director of aquatic-crisis management
YM intern à Youth-market analyst and adviser
Baby sitter à Infant-undergarment-replacement professional

Look at the chart again and say what words can help you make a loser job sound like a winner. Can you add any other words to the list?

Now try to make the following jobs sound like top-notch positions:


a waiter

a dog walker

a supermarket cashier

a street-corner flier distributor

a receptionist

a pizza deliverer

the mascot of a local restaurant/ a sports team

a ball boy


? VOCABULARY PRACTICE



CAREER AND PROMOTION | C. During the day (different work-patterns)

JOB SEARCH METHODS | MY LIFE AS AN INTERN | LOOKING FOR AND APPLYING FOR A JOB | WANT ADS | The Selection Process | Task 3. A sample CV. | Personal statement | COVERING LETTER | Task 3. Interview tips. | GETTING AND KEEPING A JOB |

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