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English Idioms & Idiomatic Expressions

Employment - Jobs

(page 2 : golder handshake  → separate sheep)

golden handshake A golden handshake is a generous sum of money given to a person when they leave a company or retire (sometimes given to encourage early retirement).
golden parachute A golden parachute is a clause in an executive's employment contract stating that the executive will receive certain large benefits if their employment is terminated.
glass ceiling This term refers to a discriminatory barrier perceived by women and minorities that prevents them from rising to positions of power or responsibility.
Claire knew she would never break the glass ceiling and rise to a senior management position.
hang up one's boots When a sports player hangs up their boots, they stop playing and retire. (This expression is often used to refer to retirement in general.)
Dad says he's going to hang up his boots at the end of the year.
number cruncher This is a humorous way of referring to someone who is an accountant or who is very good at working with numbers and calculations.
She's a number cruncher who perfectly understands the organisation's financial situation.
learn the ropes If you learn the ropes, you learn how to do a particular job correctly.
He's bright.  It won't take him long to learn the ropes.
paid peanuts If you are paid peanuts, you have a very low salary.
Jenny has a very interesting job, but she's paid peanuts. 
play second fiddle If you play second fiddle to another person, you accept to be second in importance to that person, or have a lower position.
John resented having to play second fiddle to the sales manager when the company was restructured.
plum job A desirable position which is well-paid and considered relatively easy is called a plum job.
Ideally he'd like to find himself a plum job in New York.
pound the pavement Someone who pounds the pavement walks the streets or goes from company to company, usually in search of employment.
(You can also pound the pavement in an effort to raise funds or gain support for a cause.)
Charlie is out there pounding the pavement since he lost his job.
put out to pasture To say that someone has been put out to pasture means that they have been forced to retire or give up their responsibilities.
He's in good health and he feels it's too early to be put out to pasture.
be sacked/get the sack If someone is sacked or gets the sack, they lose their job, usually because they have done something wrong.
Charlie got the sack when his boss caught him stealing.
separate sheep from goats If you separate the sheep from the goats, you examine a group of people and decide which are suitable and which are not.
Examining job applications is the first stage in separating the sheep from the goats.
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