Phrasal Verbs – Jobs and careers


There are 1000’s of phrasal verbs in the English vocabulary. I like to use everyday topics to help you remember them more easily. Remember, practice makes perfect, the more you can use these phrases in everyday conversation, the more you will remember.

In today’s free lesson you will learn useful phrasal verbs to talk about jobs and careers.

The following are dialogues talking informally about a person’s work or career.

1.”Well, to get ahead in a job like mine you have to be prepared to take on a lot of responsibility and work long hours.

Get ahead- be successful in your job and do better than others. Take on -accept a particular job or responsibility.

2. “When the boss first took me on he filled me in on what the job involved, but he didn’t tell me I would have to do so much travelling.”

Take on – began to employ someone (hire). Fill in- Gave the information needed in order to do something.

3. “I’m 60 now, so I think it’s time for me to step down and hand over my company to a younger person.”

Step down -leave your job, especially so that someone else can do it. Hand over – give someone else responsibility or control.

4. ” Well, I stepped down as Chairman in 1998, and Mary Wilmot took over. As you all know, she has carried out some important reforms in the company and has been very successful.”

Step down – left an important job or official position so that someone else can do it instead. Took over – started doing a job or being responsible for something that someone else was in charge of. Carry out – done or completed something, especially something important.

5. Orson “It’s amazing how much we can get done when we all pull together, isn’t it?”, Phina “Yes, although sometimes it’s also good if people just leave you to it“.

Pull together – work as a group in order to achieve something. Leave to  – (informal) go away from someone so that they do something by themselves or so they can continue what they are doing.

Complete this text, using verbs or phrases from the lesson. You might need to change the verb tenses!

Karin has been _______ on more and more responsibility at work.
She was only taken _____ two years ago, but she has already managed
to carry ____ a very successful reorganisation of office procedures.
Her boss just _________ her to it and Karin then filled him _______
when she had arranged everything. She has always been very good at
getting people to ______ together and motivating them. She’s
someone who will really ______ ahead and make a successful career.
In fact, I’m sure that when the boss eventually _____ down, he’ll ______
over the running of the company to her. He can be sure it will be in
safe hands!
Get, On, Leave,
Take, In, Pull,
Hand, Step, Out.

Send your answers here

More dialogues with phrasal verbs.

Rick “Ryan, do you think you could fix up a quick meeting for me?”
Ryan “Yes, I’ll do that. When were you thinking of?”
Rick “Well, let’s pencil it in for Friday morning and see whether everyone else is free then.”

Fix up -provide or arrange something for someone. Pencil it in -arrange for something to happen on a particular date, knowing the arrangement might be changed later

Connie “Why are you back home already? Did you knock off early today?”
Paul “I wish I could say that. The truth is I’ve just been laid off.”
Connie “I am sorry to hear that.”

Knock off – (informal) stop working, usually at the end of a day (Amer. = take off). Laid off – lost your job because there is no work for you to do.

Answer these questions about your own working life, using full sentences.

1.What kind of tasks do you have to carry out each day?
2.At what time do you knock off each day?
3.Do you know anyone who has ever been laid off?
4.What qualities do you think you need to get ahead in the job that you do?
5.What did you do to get taken on for the job that you now have?


•get ahead•take on sth•take sb on•fill sb in•take over•carry out•step down•hand over (tosb)•fix sth up•pencil sb / sthin,knock off•lay off sb•follow up•pull together•leave sb to.

Now try to use the phrasal verbs you learned today in your everyday English.

The end

Note: I have adapted this  lesson from lesson plans I use with my students live online. Classes are 50 minutes long and can be done 1-1 or in small groups. For more information please visit my website

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3 thoughts on “Phrasal Verbs – Jobs and careers

  1. Pingback: Phrasal Verbs - Jobs and careers | TeachingEnglish |

  2. Pingback: Phrasal Verbs - Jobs and careers | important issues in ELT |

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