Idioms: Starting a new job

Look out for some common idioms in the article. Don't worry if they are difficult to understand because there is an 'Idioms glossary' below giving you an explanation for them all. Summer is drawing to a close. ‘What summer?’ you say! Well, like it or not September is upon us, which for many means starting that all important first job. Whether it’s a grad scheme, a dull paper-pushing position or your dream role, you’ll be better equipped with these handy tips – and common idioms that come with them. 1.     Dress to impress Tie or no tie? High heels or flat shoes? We all know that first impressions count, so make sure you do your research and dress appropriately on your first day in the office to avoid making a fashion faux pas. You may be feeling like fish out of water sat at your desk, but dressing similarly to your colleagues should help you fit in. 2.     Get stuck in Chances are you’ll be thrown in at the deep end, so to avoid getting into hot water you’ll need to learn fast and hope for the best. In competitive working environments you’re often left to sink or swim, so roll up your sleeves if you want to stand out from the crowd. 3. Break the ice Take every opportunity to introduce yourself to others in the office, both in formal and informal situations. Chat to others at the coffee machine, join the company softball team and get down the pub on a Friday night. You may not see eye to eye with all of your new colleagues, but you may find you get on like a house on fire with some of them! If you’ve just started a new job, why not post a comment below to tell us about it? Is it all going swimmingly, or have you put your foot in it? And if you’re just about to start, good luck, and listen out for these common idioms!

Idioms Glossary

  • feel like a fish out of water – feel uncomfortable in an unfamiliar situation
  • thrown in at the deep end – given a difficult job to do without preparation
  • get into hot water – get into trouble
  • be left to sink or swim – be given no help so that you succeed or fail completely by your own efforts
  • roll up your sleeves – prepare to work hard
  • stand out from the crowd – make yourself noticed
  • break the ice – make someone you have just met less nervous and more willing to talk
  • see eye to eye – to agree with someone
  • get on like a house on fire – quickly have a friendly relationship with someone
  • go swimmingly – go well
  • put your foot in it – say or do something without thinking  carefully, so that you embarrass or upset someone


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