When I grow up, I want to be...

And you Edoardo? What do you want to be when you grow up?
Voglio il posto fisso.

Edoardo is 8 years old. He always wears a polo, and his hair is always parted down the center. I think to myself, "of course you do, you already look like one!". But then I think...isn't it a bit sad that you aren't dreaming about becoming an astronaut or something? You've got plenty of time to become a "posto fisso", or as we say in English, a public worker.


I will never forget this little anecdote. But the more I think about it, the more I think little Edoardo really has his head on straight. In his mind, a public worker has a stable job with decent hours that allows them to spend time doing other things besides working. Be honest, that's what we all want right? In my humble opinion, public workers shouldn't be the only ones with decent working conditions though. Which is probably why, in the last few years, many young people have decided to pursue different types of jobs. The stable 9-18 office job is no longer appealing to many people, and thanks to technology (and social media), many people manage to make a living by working "less". What does this fact have to do with English? Everything! Why? Keep reading.

 

English required


Most, if not all, job advertisements include this little requirement, even if the candidate may actually never need English to do their job. But as the world becomes more and more interconnected, it's only inevitable that at some point, unless you live and work under a rock, you'll probably need at least a bit of English. Especially if you end up doing some kind of "new, alternative, techy" job (as I've heard my own job as an online English teacher described...). So, yeah, "new, alternative and techy" jobs require English, but not the English that most people learn at school. So here are a few tips on how to pick up some necessary English for your job, be it "normal" or "alternative".

  1. Use social media. Sorry, I said it. Follow English speakers or organizations on Facebook, Instagram, Tik Tok, whatever you use and interact or at least pay attention to their posts. They're using informal yet concise language to get their point across to their readers, so their vocabulary and grammar choices must be spot on in order to communicate complex ideas in just a few lines of text or speech.

  2. Watch YouTube. Whether you're a lawyer or a start-upper, there is something on YouTube related to your job, in English of course. Find a channel that you enjoy and that you can learn something from and click that subscribe button, even just watching one or two short videos a week will expose you to new vocabulary specific to your job.

  3. Listen to Podcasts. If you really need to brush up on your vocabulary for work, find a podcast related to your sector and listen to it on the way to or from work. If you can't fathom thinking more about work when you aren't actually working, then choose a podcast on a topic that interests you personally and listen to it. Either way you'll be exposing yourself to useful vocabulary that you can apply to your professional or personal life.

 

So, whether you have a "normal" or an "alternative" job, I bet at some point, having a few extra English words under your belt will come in handy, so why not give one or more of these tips a try? Do you have any other ideas that work for you? Leave a comment if you do!

 

Glossary

  • to look like: to describe physical appearance

  • to have one's head on straight: idiom for a sensible or logical person

  • to make a living: to earn enough money to live

  • pick up [a skill]: phrasal verb for - to learn something new

  • to be spot on: exact, correct

  • to brush up on: phrasal verb for - to review

  • to fathom [something]: to imagine

  • to have [something] under your belt: to know or to have experience





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