I bet you are not studying Italian in order to work in Italy.
Probably you are doing it to reconnect with your roots and ancestors, maybe you are doing it because you came to Italy once and fell in love with the country or maybe just because you think that Italian is a wonderful language and you want to be able to say something more than “Buongiorno!“, when you visit Italy.
This is why I have thought a little before choosing work and jobs as a topic for this post about Italian language and vocabulary. However, after thinking about it, I realized that work and business is quite a broad topic that includes words and phrases that can be used in your daily life as well, so I decided to give it a go.
I am sure that, even if you are not interested in the Italian work environment, you will find some words and phrases that you can use in your Italian conversation.
So let’s dive in!
Actually, before having a job (avere un lavoro), it is important to actually find a job (trovare un lavoro). When you look for a job (cercare un lavoro), you start checking the job ads (annunci di lavoro) on newspapers or online. Another thing you might do is to go to the employment agency (agenzia per l’impiego) or to a temporary employment agency (agenzia di lavoro interinale), bringing your resume (curriculum vitae, commonly referred to as curriculum).
If your CV is interesting or there is a possible job for you, you might be asked to attend an interview (sostenere un colloquio di lavoro) with your possible future employer (datore di lavoro). During the interview, you might be asked about your education (istruzione), your work experience (esperienza lavorativa), your skills (abilità) and your goals (obiettivi).
If the job interview goes well, you are hired (essere assunto): you sign your contract (contratto di assunzione) and start your new job. Your new job might be a fixed-term job (lavoro a tempo determinato) or a permanent one (lavoro a tempo indeterminato). It can also be a full-time job (lavoro a tempo pieno) or a part-time job (lavoro part-time), and you might also work in shifts (lavoro a turni).
Probably you will have to go through a trial period (periodo di prova) before you are hired. In some other cases, you might have to do an internship (tirocinio or stage) before you start working permanently.
If you finally have a job, it will be very easy for you to answer the dreaded question “What is your job?” (Che lavoro fai?), without having to say “I am unemployed” (Sono disoccupato) or “I am looking for a job” (Sto cercando lavoro): you could easily say “I am an office worker” (Faccio l’impiegato or Sono un impiegato) or any other job title you may want to use. If somebody asks you “Where do you work?” (Dove lavori?), you can answer “I work at Ferrari” (Lavoro alla Ferrari).
If you work in a big company (grande azienda), you might need to clock in and out every day (timbrare il cartellino). Probably your workday is from 9 am to 5 pm, with a lunch break (pausa pranzo). You will have many colleagues (colleghi di lavoro) and surely a boss (capo). If the company is big, it might have a canteen (mensa), where you can have your lunch, or you might need to eat out (mangiare pranzo fuori) or bring your own lunch (portarsi il pranzo da casa).
Every month, you will get your salary (stipendio) and your payroll (busta paga). If you are sick, you will be on sick leave (essere in malattia), while if you need to rest, you can take some days off (ferie). In case you don’t like the job, you can quit it (dimettersi, licenziarsi or lasciare il lavoro), while if for some reason your boss or company doesn’t like you, they can fire you (licenziare). When you are old, you can finally retire (andare in pensione).
Actually, you may not have an employer and work as a freelance or be self-employed (lavorare come freelance or lavorare in proprio). In such case, you may work from home (lavorare da casa) or have your own company (avere la propria azienda) and your work life (vita lavorativa) might be a bit different from someone who works for an employer (lavoro dipendente).
But now tell me: would you like to work in Italy one day or you prefer to visit just for the holidays?
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