The business world is the world of idioms: from sports related expressions to idioms about financial problems, office conversations are filled with phrases and expressions English learners quickly pick up!

If you are a new employee (or, if you are a CISL Career English student and are spending time at an American company), the following expressions will be useful during your first few days at work. Are there any others you can think of? Tell us on Facebook or leave a comment below!

Interview Business English

Idioms for new employees

“Know/Learn the ropes”

Definition: to know or learn how something works when you are new to the job/company.

Example: “Thanks for helping me learn the ropes during my first few weeks.”

“Go the extra mile”

Definition: to put extra effort into something.

Example: “I’ll go the extra mile to make sure that we are efficient!”

“To get off on the right/wrong foot”

Definition: to have good (or bad) first impressions or experiences.

Example: “I plan on working overtime the first few weeks so that my boss and I get off on the right foot.”

“Hit the ground running”

Definition: to start smoothly and with energy and speed.

Example: “We’ll hit the ground running on Monday morning. After this meeting, I think we are ready!”

“The ins and outs”

Definition: the details.

Example: “My manager taught me the ins and outs of the company.”

“Rule of thumb”

Definition: general rule.

Example: “A rule of thumb here is that the customer is always right.”

“From the word go”

Definition: from the beginning.

Example: “From the word go, he has been a dedicated employee.”

Business English Formal Requests

Ways to connect in SD and SF

Are you business-minded? Want to use your English skills for business? Check out some of these resources in SD and SF!

This website is a great place to meet people who have your interests. Search for groups using the name of your business or industry and see what activities and events are happening!

Young Professionals of San Francisco 

Over 1,500 people are a member of this network which connects business-minded people throughout the Bay Area. Click here for info!

Photo from the YPOSF on Facebook.

San Diego International Club

This is a great place to meet international students in San Diego, practice your English, and connect with students who are “in the same boat” as you! (That means that they are experiencing the same thing as you.)

Click here to check them out!

San Diego Entrepreneur Center

If you are a driven person who wants to start a business, check out the San Diego Entrepreneur Center. It’s a great place to meet people who share your interests, and the center is full of resources!