There are many different reasons why somebody leaves their job. Sometimes it's because they have found a better job, or they don't like their job, or simply because they are old.

In this online exercise, we will look at business English vocabulary connected to leaving a job. Not only the names for the different ways of leaving a job, but also the vocabulary connected to the process of leaving. This exercise is for both people in human resources and those who want to leave a job.

Click here to see an online exercise on losing a job vocabulary


Exercise: Leaving their jobs

Read the following conversation between Geoff a human resources manager and Dave, a member of the human resources team, about two staff leaving their jobs.

From the context, try to guess what the meaning of the words/phrases in bold are. Then do the quiz at the end to check if you are right.

Dave:'I've just found out that Jason Smith from the engineering department has handed in his letter of resignation. He's going to work for Belbus in Germany.'

Geoff:'It's not a surprise he's quitting his job here. He does know that he has to give 4 weeks of notice before he can leave?'

Dave:'He's given 1 week of notice!'

Geoff:'He can't do that. Does he want to burn his bridges with us. OK, go and tell him that such an unreasonable request will have a consequence on what we write in any reference we'll give him in the future. If that doesn't work, tell him that in the contract that he signed when he started here, it stipulated that any employee has to work a minimum of 4 weeks notice after handing in a letter of resignation.

Also tell him that he needs to do an exit interview, so we can find out exactly why he's leaving us. We'll do it in the human resources meeting room this Friday afternoon.

Also, speak to his manager to see if they are wanting to find a replacement for him.'

Dave:'Will do. And also we need to process the paperwork for Simon Ward's retirement. He'll be 65 in November, but he's requested to retire in June.'

Geoff:'Can you make sure that he fills in all the retirement forms, and then get him to sign them.'

Dave:'His department want a replacement for him, so I think we should advertise his position next month. That should give us time to hire someone for his position before he leaves, so he can do a handover and show the person his job.'

Geoff:'I would appreciate it if you could take care of it. It never stops in human resources.'




Quiz: Leaving a job vocabulary

Below is a definition/description of each of the words/phrases in bold from the above text. Now fill in the blanks with one of these words/phrases in bold. Only use one word/phrase once and write it as it is in the text. Click on the "Check answers" button at the bottom of the quiz to check your answers.

When the answer is correct, two icons will appear next to the question which you can press/click on. In the first icon, , you can find extra information about the word/phrase (e.g. when, where and how to use etc...) and a Spanish translation. In the second, , is where you can listen to the word/phrase and do a pronunciation test (to make sure you can say it correctly).


1.

An informal way to say 'resign', is

         

Quitting:
(verb) The infinitive is 'to quit'. It is more commonly used than 'to resign', which is very formal. Another commonly used form is 'to leave your job'. In Spanish: "dejar el trabajo/dimitir".

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Quitting:

Pronunciation Speaking Test:
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2.

When people in their 60s finish their working career, is

         

Retirement:
(noun) The verb is 'to retire'. Generally people do this in their 60s, but some people do this when they are younger and this is called 'early retirement'. In Spanish: "jubilación".

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Retirement:

Pronunciation Speaking Test:
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3.

The period of time between announcing your resignation and actually leaving the job, is called

         

Notice:
(noun) Normally, you have to work 4 weeks of notice, although this depends on the company. The expression 'to hand in your notice', means to tell the company that you are quitting/resigning. In Spanish: "de antelacíon".

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Notice:

Pronunciation Speaking Test:
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4.

A different way to say 'to employ' a new member of staff, is

         

To hire:
(verb) In this context it means 'to employ' or 'to take on' a new worker in a company. 'To hire somebody' is very commonly used in business English. In Spanish: "contratar".

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To hire:

Pronunciation Speaking Test:
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5.

When somebody leaves a job and their company/manager is very angry with them, he

         

Burn his bridges:
(phrase) 'To burn your bridges' is a commonly used expression that means a relationship (personal or professional) ended very badly and one of the two will never help the other in the future. In the context of a company, if an employee does something like leaving without working notice or insulting the company, they will have 'burnt their bridges' with company. Which means that they will never be able to work there again or receive a good reference. In Spanish: "quema sus naves".

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Burn his bridges:

Pronunciation Speaking Test:
To check your pronunciation of this word/phrase, first click on the microphone icon () below. Then allow the browser to record your voice and then say the above word/phrase. Although this test is good, it sometimes does not recognise some of the words/phrases.

       

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6.

A formal opinion from an ex-employer/manager about your attitude and ability, is a

         

Reference:
(noun) A reference is like a short report about somebody's character and abilities. It is normally written by an ex-manager. When applying for a job, you normally have to give them the names of 2 people who will write a reference about you. In Spanish: "referencia".

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Reference:

Pronunciation Speaking Test:
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7.

When you show somebody to do your job, before you leave it, is a

         

Handover:
(noun) In this context it means to show your replacement how to do your job. It used when you both leave a company or change jobs in the same company. Normally, a handover lasts about one or two weeks. In Spanish: "relevo".

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Handover:

Pronunciation Speaking Test:
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8.

A legal document that you have to sign when starting a new job, is a

         

Contract:
(noun) This is a document where 2 sides/parties (people or companies) make a legal agreement about how to behaviour or act in a specified situation. In Spanish: "contrato".

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Contract:

Pronunciation Speaking Test:
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9.

A legal term that means that something was written or said, is

         

Stipulated:
(verb) The infinitive is 'to stipulate'. This is very formal and is only used in the context of contracts and legal agreements. It is frequently used when there is a disagreement, e.g. 'I am sorry we do not give refunds, it was stipulated in the agreement that you signed'. In Spanish: "estipular/poner como condición".

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Stipulated:

Pronunciation Speaking Test:
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10.

A situation where you are officially asked why you are leaving the company, is called a

         

Exit interview:
(noun) Not all companies do an 'exit interview' for staff leaving their company. Normally, in those that do one, they want to find out the reasons for you leaving. It is used by companies to improve their performance with their staff. In Spanish: "entrevista de salida".

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Exit interview:

Pronunciation Speaking Test:
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11.

A person who takes over the job of somebody else when they leave, is called a

         

Replacement:
(noun) A very commonly used noun. It is used for the new person who does the job of somebody that has resigned, retired or been fired. The verb is 'to replace'. In Spanish: "sustituto".

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Replacement:

Pronunciation Speaking Test:
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12.

A different way to say 'complete' a form, is

         

Fills in:
(phrasal verb) The infinitive is 'to fill in'. In this context it means to complete a form/document with all your details (name, date of birth etc...). Another phrasal verb that has the same meaning is 'to fill out'. Both are transitive phrasal verbs (they need an object) and the verb and particle can be separated, e.g. 'You need to fill the application form in'. In Spanish: "rellenar".

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Fills in:

Pronunciation Speaking Test:
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13.

When somebody decides to leave a company and it's their own choice, is a

         

Resignation:
(noun) The verb is 'to resign'. This happens when you aren't happy in a company and decide to leave or when you find a new job in a different company. Normally, you have to give a 'letter of resignation' first. In Spanish: "dimisión".

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Resignation:

Pronunciation Speaking Test:
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Practice

Now that you understand the leave a job vocabulary, practise it by creating your own sentences in English with the new words/phrases.