Talking about your profession in English: 3 easy ways & 3 advanced ways
December 4, 2019
Hi. I’m Rebecca from engVid. If you work internationally
or want to work internationally, you need to be able to answer many basic business English questions.
Now, of course, there are hundreds of basic business English questions, but in
this lesson, we’re going to start with one which is very important, and that’s the question:
“What do you do?” So I’m going to show you how to answer that question simply, correctly,
and confidently. And later, I’ll tell you about a resource I’ve written with over a
hundred other business English questions and answers, which you can access and download for free.
But for now, let’s start with the first important question: “What do you do?” Okay, so at the top here, I’ve shown you three
easy, simple ways to answer the question. All right? Let’s look at what they are. And
down here, there are some other options. But first, we’ll focus on these. So, the first one
is you could simply say when someone asks you: “What you do?” you could simply say:
“I’m” plus your profession. For example: “I’m a doctor.”, “I’m a lawyer.”, “I’m an accountant.” Okay?
That kind of thing. So, that’s one way to answer. A second way to answer is to talk about the
field that you work in. For example, I could say: “I’m in education.” Somebody could say:
“I’m in finance.” Okay? So that’s the field or the area of work. All right? The professional field.
So right now, for yourself, think: How would you answer this? What would you say?
“I’m a teacher.”, “I’m an engineer.” Okay? Or: “I’m in engineering.”, “I’m
in finance.” That kind of thing. Okay, the third way that you can answer is by
talking about your employer, talking about the company that you work for. So then you
would say: “I work for” plus the name of the company. “I work for Microsoft.”, “I work
for Sony.” Or if you don’t want to give the name of the company or if the name of the
company is not necessarily known, or it’s not important, or you don’t feel like disclosing
that information, you can simply say something in general, for example: “I work for an airline.”,
“I work for a law firm.” Okay? So, these ways, these three ways are completely correct and
you can be sure that if you say one of these, you will be answering the question:
“What do you do?” correctly. Okay? So, that’s enough, but now I’m going to show
you a little bit more that you could say, if it’s relevant to you. But if this is enough,
then just choose one of these, and use and learn one of those. Okay? But let’s look at
some other possibilities. For example, you could say: “I’m the CEO of Microsoft.” Okay,
that would be a very big position. “CEO” is “Chief Executive Officer”, the top person,
the senior most executive. All right? Or: “I’m the Director of Sales at Sony.” All right?
So, here, you’re giving your position. Okay? So you notice that because it’s a particular
position, we don’t say “a”, we say “the”. So if you’re giving your title, your
position, then you’d remember to say “the”. Next: If you want to express a little bit
more about your field, but in a different way with a little bit more vocabulary, slightly
more advanced vocabulary, then you could say: “I’m in the publishing industry.” Now, you
could also just say: “I’m in publishing.” That’s fine, too. But if you want to say a
little bit more, give a little bit more advanced answer, you can say: “I’m in the publishing
industry.”, or “I’m in the advertising business.”, or “I’m in the energy sector.” Okay?
“Sector” means a part of the economy. Or: “I’m in the public sector.” which means you work for
the government, or “I’m in the private sector.” Okay? That kind of thing. So you could also say these.
Okay? All the answers down here are a little bit more advanced. Now, suppose you work somewhere, but your
position is not very high. You’ve young, or you’ve just begun, or whatever the reason,
it doesn’t matter, then you might want to just say where you work in terms of the location,
but it’s not important of the name of the employer or anything like that. You just want
to keep it very general, so then you could say: “I work in a hospital.” You don’t give
the name of the hospital, you don’t say: “I’m a doctor”, because maybe you just have a job
in the hospital, so you can say that, too. You can say that: “I work in a hospital.”, or
“I work in a store.”, or “I work on a farm.” There are a few outside jobs where we use
the word “on”, like “on a farm”, “on an oil rig”, “on a construction site”. Okay? So,
again, all of those will be mentioned on the resource that I’m going to tell you how you
can access in a little while. But now, let’s do a little review to see how
well you’ve learned this. So, let’s do the first one. So, here, we’re
going to use “I’m” and in this column, we’ll say “I work”. All right? So: “I’m _______ real estate.” What do we need to say for “real estate”?
So, “real estate” is the field, so what would you say? “I’m in real estate.” Very good. “I’m _______ social worker.”
So that’s a profession, so what do we need to say? “I’m a social worker.” or “I’m
a social worker.” Good. “I’m _______ V.P. of Finance.” “V.P.”,
which means Vice President of Finance. Now, that’s a specific position,
so what do we need to say? “I’m the”: “I’m the V.P. of Finance.” Good. Next: “I’m _______
pharmaceutical industry.” So now we’re saying “industry”, it’s a little
more detail, a little more specific, so we need to say: “I’m in the pharmaceutical industry.” Good. And last: “I’m _______ architect.” That’s a profession, so we say: “I’m an architect.” In this case…
Here, it was “a social worker”, but here we needed to say “an architect” because
“architect” starts with an “a”, which is a vowel. It’s also a vowel sound. Okay?
So then we have to say “an”. Let’s go on this side:
“I work _______ farm.” Remember? Farm is outdoors,
so we needed to say: “on a farm”. Very good. “I work _______ Intel.” So, Intel is
the name of a particular company, so what do we need to say? “I work for Intel.” “I work _______ private sector.” Okay?
Again, a little bit more specific, like this, pharmaceutical industry, so: “I work in the private sector.” “I work _______ fashion business.” So,
what can we say? “I work”, same way “in the fashion business”. And: “I work _______ library.” Okay? We haven’t got the name of the library
or anything; we’re just saying “library”, so we have to say: “I work in a library.” Okay?
If you had the name of the library, then it would be different. Okay? Now, one point I want to just make: Even though,
here, I said… “Intel”, I said “For Intel” and earlier “for Microsoft”, right? “For Sony”,
but nevertheless, sometimes we also say “at” when we give the name of the company. All right?
So we say: “I work at Intel.” But, I think it’s better for you if you learn one
way to say things, and the simpler the better. Don’t confuse by… Yourself by learning three
ways to say something, and then get confused. Instead of that, learn one way
and use that confidently. Okay? Now, I told you that I would tell you where
you can get this other resource of over a hundred business questions and answers, so for
that, please go to our website: www.engvid.com. There, you can record… Sorry, you can download
a resource, a free resource of these hundred questions and answers. Okay? Also, you can
do a quiz on this subject and see how well you’ve understood it. Okay? So, bye for
now, and good luck with your English.