In this lesson, you can learn how to talk about your job in English. Talking about your job is useful in conversation and professional English. Where do you work? What do you have to do in your job? What kind of company do you work for? In this class, you can learn how to answer questions like this in clear, detailed English.
QUIZ: Talking About Your Job
Test how well you know the language for talking about jobs. There are 20 questions in this quiz, which roughly follow the order of the lesson.
When you’ve finished, click ‘Finish Quiz’ to see your score. You can then have another go if you press ‘Restart Quiz’ or choose ‘View Questions’ to see the answers.
Don’t forget to share your score with other learners on the leaderboard.
Time limit: 0
0 of 20 Questions completed
You have already completed the quiz before. Hence you can not start it again.
Let’s do some examples together. We’ll start with a simple example.
I’m a nurse. I have to look after patients, give them medicine and make sure they’re comfortable. I’m responsible for about 20-30 patients. Most of my time is spent talking to patients and checking that everything is okay.
Next, let’s do a more detailed example.
I have to design websites to the client’s specifications. I’m responsible for the whole design process, so I have to take the client’s ideas and turn them into a finished product. Most of my time is spent experimenting with different designs and ideas and seeing what looks good, because attention to detail is important in this kind of work.
Can you say something like this about your job and what you do? Try to add details if you can.
4. Saying How You Feel about Your Job
Now, you can hopefully say something about your job and where you work.
But here’s another question: do you like your job? Why or why not?
Hopefully, you enjoy your job! How could you describe a job which you like?
Of course, you could use general adjectives like good or interesting, but here are some specific adjectives you could use:
Stimulating –> Something which is stimulating is exciting and gives you energy.
Satisfying –> Means that your job gives you a sense of achievement.
Creative –> You can use your imagination when you work.
Rewarding –> This means your job gives you very positive feelings. It’s often used to talk about jobs in which you help other people. For example, teachers or nurses might describe their jobs as rewarding.
Challenging –> Challenging can be positive or negative, but if you use it to talk about your job, it would have a positive meaning. It means that your job is difficult, but in an interesting way which makes you think and learn.
What if you don’t like your job? Again, you can use general words like boring or difficult, which are fine but very basic.
If you want to be more creative with your vocabulary, here are some things you could say:
Exhausting –> Describes work which makes you feel very tired, either physically or mentally.
Thankless –> If your work is thankless, no one notices or appreciates what you do.
Mind-numbing –> Extremely boring.
Dead-end –> Describes a job which has no prospects for the future. If you have a dead-end job, you will never get promoted and the job will always be the same.
Soul-destroying –> Describes a job which is extremely unpleasant and boring, and which you really, really hate.
5. How to Make a Longer Answer
At this point, you should be able to introduce your work, say where you work, give details about what you do and say how you feel about your work.
Let’s make some longer sample answers together.
I’m a pharmacist. I started my own small pharmacy, so I’m also a business owner. I have to work as a pharmacist, of course, giving advice to patients and making sure they have the right medicine. However, I’m also responsible for the pharmacy, so I have to manage my staff, do the accounts, and so on. It’s stimulating work because I have to do many different things every day, so I never get bored.
Clear? Could you make an answer like this? Let’s do one more:
I’m a writer. I work in online education. I work for a big publishing company, which produces different educational materials that are used all around the world. I have to write lesson plans and materials for teachers to use in the classroom. I spend most of my time thinking about how I can make different things fit together into a lesson. It’s very challenging work and it can be exhausting, but it’s also very creative and satisfying, because I know people all around the world are using lessons which I wrote.
Answers like these are helpful for situations such as job interviews or other types of interviews in English.
Want more practice? Watch this Oxford Online English lesson on job interviews.
Okay, now it’s your turn! Try to make a longer answer like this talking about your job. Use the vocabulary and structure from this lesson to help you.
If you want, you can post your answer in the video comments. We’ll give you some feedback on your answer.