Unit 2: Talking about jobs
Useful tips: When telling people about jobs.
Be brief and precise.
Show how your job benefits people or organisations.
Make sure that your description is relevant to the person you are talking to.
Avoid technical terms or acronyms unless talking to a fellow expert.
Accentuate the positive aspects rather than the negative.
Jenny Harris works for a charity organisation called Foodaid. She’s attending a careers fair at a university where students can talk to representatives from lots of companies to see if they would like to join them.
Student: Excuse me, are you working on the Foodaid stand?
Jenny: Yes, can I help you?
Student: Well, can you tell me what jobs at Foodaid involve?
Jenny: There are lots of jobs at Foodaid which involve doing all sorts of different things. What subject do you study at university?
Jenny: Very important for Foodaid. My colleague, Hassan Sahin, for example, is a mechanical engineer and he is responsible for helping farmers in countries such as Chad or Pakistan where we work an an NGO to drill water wells.
Student: Er… an NGO?
Jenny: Sorry, a Non-Governmental Organisation.
Student: Right, of course. And what do you do?
Jenny: Well, actually I’m a lawyer. I’m in charge of managing the legal department and we make sure that Foodaid understands any legal issues that might crop up in the work it does.
Student: I hope Idon’t sound rude, but you look very young to do that.
Jenny: That’s what’s so good about Foodaid! You get important responsibilities very quickly. Afriend of mine is working in Somaliaand she manages development budget of about two million dollars and she supplies the whole of West Africa with trucks for transporting food and equipment. It’s a very challenging job and she’s only 23!
Student: I see, but, as it’s a charity, do you get paid for your work?
Jenny: Yes, of course. You’ll never be rich working for Foodaid, but you get paid. Very often people like you work with us for a few years to gain experience and then they move on to other jobs. Lots of companies like the fact that you’ve worked for a charity.
Student: Hmm. So, what makes a job with Foodaid interesting, then?
Jenny: It’s very rewarding. You feel you are doing something useful with your skills, not just making some company shareholders rich. And even if the work is demanding, it’s never boring.
Student: It sounds very interesting. Thanks for telling me about it.
Jenny: That’s fine. Here’s some more information about what we do and my card. If you have any more questions, just give me a ring…
Which strategies does Jenny employ successfully when talking to the student? Underline the relevant parts in the conversation and note the strategy in the margin. Does Jenny make any mistakes?
Saying it accurately
Fill in the blanks with the words below
I work ………… a journalist. I investigate and write articles for newspapers.
I work ………… the media. I’m an advertising executive.
I work …………underprivileged children, helping them to overcome disadvantages in life.
I work …………a multinational pharmaceutical company.
I work ………… Lords and Sons. I’m training to be a solicitor.
I work ………… large building projects, which often take up to two or three years to complete.
I work ………… tight budgets and strict schedules.
I work ………… a very inspiring manager, who has taught me everything I know.
Match the jobs on the left with the responsibilities on the right.
1.I’m a nurse.
2.I work in marketing.
3.I’m a manager on a construction site.
4.I’m a PA.
5.I’m an IT programmer.
6.I’m a project manager.
7.I’m an architect.
8.I’m a banker.
A I’m responsible for making sure that our projects come in on schedule and within budget.
B My job involves managing my customers’ money effectively and profitably.
C My company develops websites for clients.
D My main responsibility is to promote new products ahead of their launch.
E I’m in charge of designing new buildings for our clients.
F I help to look after people when they are sick.
G My job entails organizing my boss’s affairs.
H I oversee a team of 250 builders and twenty administrative staff.