Learn English for Your First Day At Work



Today is your first day at work. Welcome aboard! In today’s episode you will learn new vocabulary to help you get settled into your new office cubicle. Enjoy :)


Hola amigos y amigas you are listening to the English Made Simple show, this is episode number 1-0-6, one hundred and six, numero ciento seis.

Hello minions, how are you? how’s it? How are things going? I hope you had an amazing weekend. It was a short weekend!

And now after the weekend is over, it’s time to come back to reality and go back to work.

Well someone’s gotta go to work and pay those bills, the bills aren’t going to pay themselves.
You know what I am sayin’.

Welcome amigos y amigas, my name is Milena from www.englishmadesimple.net.

In this month of May we are going to be learning all about Working in an Office. We will learn some new vocabulary related to working inside a company.


So in the last episode, we learnt about how to talk about our jobs and about our responsibilities.
And I hope you were able to practise the examples I gave you, I hope you were able to practise them on yourselves. That was your homework. Right!

Guys, remember the question we learnt in episode 104 – the question was – What do you do? Remember that question? Cool!

If you are new to the show I suggest for you to go back to episode 104 and learn how to answer this question.

There was a lot of valuable information for you in that episode, so hop into your time machine and transport yourselves to episode 104.

Before we carry on with today’s show, let me give you some other ways someone could ask you what you do, instead of simply What do you do? Ok I wanna share some more examples with you.

This question can be asked in many different ways. Let me expand on this as I think it could be really valuable to most of you listening. Some examples of this question would be:

What’s your profession? We know this one already. We learnt that in episode 104. This is a more direct way of asking the question and it’s not so common.

The next variation to this question would be:

What do you do for a living? This sort of question is something you would typically hear nowadays.
What’s your line of work? Another one, good one to know. What line of work are you in? Just another way of asking the same question.

What’s your area of expertise? It’s a fancy schmancy way of asking the question.

What do you specialise in? OR What’s your specialization? OR What your speciality? – It’s common to hear these type of questions if you work in the medical industry. The medical industry has many specializations, meaning the main areas where people are highly skilled or they are experts in one particular area, means they are specializing in one particular area.

Oki doki. Let’s not digress, and let’s carry on with today’s show.

In today’s episode, we are going to learn about what happens at the office. What happens when you start working in an English speaking country? Especially if you happen to be living in Australia or New Zealand.

Today’s episode will also be useful to those who are starting work in an English Speaking country.
I will share some personal examples with you.

I haven’t worked in the US or UK but I can imagine the environment would be quite similar.

So, what happens on your first day in the office? Let’s start with that one, ok?

Listen up amigos, new vocabulary coming your way now.

When you arrive at work, your manager will be showing you around the office – they will give you a tour around the office – and introduce you to your colleagues, people you will be working with.

We say colleagues, not collea’gg’es.

Another word you will hear is workmates. Instead of colleagues.

Workmates is something you will hear often in the UK, Australia and New Zealand. They refer to colleagues as workmates.

Other names you would hear are: co-workers or teammates.

Once the introductions are done, you will be taken to your desk or cubicle. You will have a phone and a laptop connected and hopefully the second monitor too. I wouldn’t be able to work without the second monitor. I would go nuts.

Laptop in Spanish is….notebook (in Chile) (or in Spain it is ordenador)

It’s rare to see a desktop computer nowadays, most companies use laptops.

The setup of your workstation should be ready on your first day. But sometimes things don’t go as smoothly as we would like. Which means you will have to set up your own workstation, your desk.

You will be shown a stationary room where they keep all the stationery. Útiles o materiales de escritorio, such as pens, papers, envelopes and so on. They are located in the stationery room or mail room.

This is normally where you would find printers as well. You know those machines where you can print documents. In Spanish printers are impresoras.

They are usually located inside the stationery room.

Some companies expect you to organise logins on your first day. Logins to different applications that you will be using for your job. Applications or programs, computer programs.

Alright, so what this means is that you would have to call the IT Helpdesk yourself becuase you are expected to organise logins on your first day! The IT helpdesk belongs to the company’s IT department. Departamento de or aria informatica. The IT department.

The IT helpdesk will provide you with the logins and passwords and normally they’d ask you what other programs you would need to have the access to.

What I would normally do in these situations is use a teammate’s name, someone who is in the same team as me, someone I will be working closely with, and then I would say to the IT Helpdesk person: can you please grant me the same privileges as John Smith. I need to have the same system access as John Smith.

That should be enough for the IT guys to set you up and have you up and running in no time.

And that way, you don’t have to remember all the different programs that you need access to. One less thing to worry about.

The first day at work usually involves these minor admin stuff, unfortunately. It’s normal. Such is life. You just have to deal with it.

On my first day at work, the first thing I would do is go straight to the stationery area and get myself some stationery, grab a notebook and different colour pens because I have a stationery fetish.

It’s another weakness of mine, I love all types of stationary.

Notebook here means cuaderno, this is where you write stuff. I know that in Spanish you say Notebook to mean Laptops or to mean laptop. Yes we can say that in English too, but I often hear notebook to be used for stationery instead, stationery items such as the notepad, or cuaderno.

So grab your stationary before you head off to your cubicle.

Your cubicle or your desk is now your new home away from home. This is where you will be spending a lot of your time, more than you would be spending at home.

It will be your new home. Sad but true. Depends on the company, it could be fun too, it doesn’t have to be sad.

During the first month in the company you will also have the opportunity to attend an orientation day or Induction. This is the day where you get introduced to other departments, the managers of other departments will be holding a presentation to talk about what their teams do in the company. What’s the function of their teams in the company?

You will also be able to learn more about the company’s Mission and Vision. You will hear about their mission statement.

BTW, the company Orientation day would take place in bigger companies, bigger corporations, not really when you work for a small business. They will have a different onboarding process.

What do you mean oboarding process?

It’s a bit of a corporate lingo – lenguaje corporativo – corporate language. So employee on-boarding or customer on-boarding means…. Wait I think it’s a perfect time to bring Weon Inteligente to the mix today, According to weon inteligente or the online dictionary, on-boarding means:

“to go through procedures to effectively integrate (a new employee) into an organization or familiarize (a new customer or client) with one’s products or services.”

Basically, it’s a procedure for getting the new employee settled in the company.

That was something new for you today, some corporate lingo. Next week we are going to learn more about this corporate jargon. So stay tuned amigos y amigas!

What else do you need to learn when you are in the office?

You will need to engage in small talk. There is a technique that I would like to share with you.
But I think we won’t have time to practise it in today’s show, so I will leave this for next week.

Next week I am going to introduce more corporate jargon and I will also show you how to engage in small talk with your colleagues. It will help you break the ice if you are new in the company.

Alrighty, cool bananas!

Cool bananas – Sid from Brazil asked me what Cool Bananas means? Why do I keep saying that? That’s a great question Sid, thank you for asking this question in the Facebook group. I am sure most of you would be wondering the same.

It’s a fun way to say, Awesome, Amazing, Cool. Actually, I can dedicate the whole show to bananas, there are other expressions which I won’t be getting into at the moment. There are other expressions to do with bananas, ok? We might use it next time.

So, cool bananas! We are approaching the end of the show.

But, before we wrap up, before we end today’s show, I would like to send a hello to David from Spain who recently shared his story with me, David also had a couple of cool suggestions, an idea for the future topic which was to do with fitness and exercise, so I have added this to my list of topics. Again, thanks for your nice comments David, and keep listening, gracias compañero David.

And also a special hello goes to Luis from Costa Rica, his friends call him Luisca.
Luisca is multilingual, he is learning English and he speaks French. Merci beaucoup for your nice comments Luisca. I am glad you are enjoying the show, keep listening!

Thanks everyone, you’ve been listening to the English Made Simple show. You’ve been jamming with Milena from English Made Simple.

I shall see you in the next episode – which will be a short and sweet episode, where we are going to learn more business expressions and phrases.

The next set of business phrases that you will learn will be extremely useful to you. So stick around amigos. Until next time, hasta la proxima!

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