Top 51 Slang For Jobs – Meaning & Usage

In today’s fast-paced job market, staying up-to-date with the latest slang for jobs can give you an edge in understanding workplace dynamics and trends. Whether you’re a seasoned professional or just starting out, this listicle curated by our team will equip you with the knowledge to navigate the ever-evolving language of the workforce. Get ready to level up your career vocabulary and be in the know with the latest job-related terms!

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1. Gig

A “gig” refers to a temporary or freelance job, often in the entertainment industry. It can also be used more broadly to describe any type of work or job.

  • For example, a musician might say, “I have a gig at a local bar tonight.”
  • A freelancer might say, “I just landed a gig writing articles for a magazine.”
  • Someone discussing their work schedule might say, “I have a few gigs lined up for next week.”

2. Hustle

To “hustle” means to work hard, often with a sense of urgency or determination. It can also refer to finding creative or unconventional ways to make money.

  • For instance, someone might say, “I’m hustling to finish this project before the deadline.”
  • A person discussing their side business might say, “I’m hustling to grow my online store.”
  • Another might say, “I’m always hustling, looking for new opportunities.”

3. Grind

The term “grind” is similar to “hustle” and refers to working hard and consistently. It often implies a repetitive or monotonous work routine.

  • For example, someone might say, “I’m on the grind, working long hours to achieve my goals.”
  • A person discussing their daily routine might say, “I wake up early and start grinding at the office.”
  • Another might say, “The grind never stops, I’m always working towards success.”

4. Nine-to-five

The phrase “nine-to-five” refers to a typical office job with regular working hours from 9 am to 5 pm. It can also be used more broadly to describe any conventional or traditional job.

  • For instance, someone might say, “I’m tired of the nine-to-five, I want to pursue my passion.”
  • A person discussing work-life balance might say, “I’m looking for a job with more flexibility than the typical nine-to-five.”
  • Another might say, “I enjoy the stability of a nine-to-five job.”

5. Breadwinner

A “breadwinner” is a person who earns the primary income for their household or family. It often refers to the person responsible for financially supporting their dependents.

  • For example, someone might say, “As the breadwinner, I feel the pressure to provide for my family.”
  • A person discussing gender roles might say, “Traditionally, men were expected to be the breadwinners.”
  • Another might say, “Being the breadwinner comes with a lot of responsibility.”

6. Day job

This term refers to a regular job that someone works during the day to earn a living. It is often contrasted with other forms of work, such as a side hustle or freelance work.

  • For example, someone might say, “I have a day job as an accountant, but I also pursue my passion for painting in my free time.”
  • In a conversation about career choices, one person might say, “I’m looking for a stable day job that offers good benefits.”
  • Another person might joke, “I can’t wait for the weekend to escape my day job and relax.”

7. Side hustle

This term refers to a secondary job or income stream that someone pursues in addition to their main source of income. It is often used to describe a part-time or freelance gig that someone takes on to earn extra money or pursue a passion.

  • For instance, someone might say, “I have a side hustle as a graphic designer, in addition to my full-time job.”
  • In a discussion about financial goals, one person might share, “I’m saving up for a down payment on a house, so I started a side hustle selling handmade jewelry.”
  • Another person might ask, “What’s your side hustle? I’m always looking for new ideas to make some extra cash.”

8. Freelance

This term refers to working as a self-employed individual or on a contract basis, rather than being employed by a specific company. Freelancers often work on a project-by-project basis and have more flexibility in their schedule and clients.

  • For example, someone might say, “I left my corporate job to become a freelance writer and have never looked back.”
  • In a conversation about work-life balance, one person might share, “I love being a freelance photographer because I can choose which projects to take on and have more control over my schedule.”
  • Another person might ask, “How do you find clients as a freelancer? I’m thinking of making the switch myself.”

9. 9-5er

This term refers to someone who works regular office hours, typically from 9 AM to 5 PM. It is often used to describe a person who holds a traditional job with set working hours and a predictable routine.

  • For instance, someone might say, “I used to be a 9-5er, but now I work remotely and have more flexibility.”
  • In a discussion about work culture, one person might comment, “I prefer being a 9-5er because it allows me to have a clear separation between work and personal life.”
  • Another person might joke, “Being a 9-5er means I live for the weekends!”

10. Cubicle farm

This term humorously refers to an office space that is filled with cubicles, often in a large open area. It is used to describe a workplace that lacks privacy and individuality, where employees are crammed together in a sea of cubicles.

  • For example, someone might say, “I spend my days in a cubicle farm, surrounded by coworkers and the constant hum of office chatter.”
  • In a conversation about office design, one person might comment, “I prefer a more open and collaborative workspace, rather than being stuck in a cubicle farm.”
  • Another person might sarcastically say, “Welcome to the cubicle farm, where dreams go to die.”

11. Paycheck-to-paycheck

This term refers to a financial situation where a person’s income is just enough to cover their expenses until the next paycheck arrives. It implies that there is little to no savings or financial cushion.

  • For example, “I’ve been living paycheck-to-paycheck for years, and it’s a constant struggle to make ends meet.”
  • A person might say, “I can’t afford to go on vacation because I’m stuck in a paycheck-to-paycheck cycle.”
  • Another might express frustration by saying, “I wish I could break free from living paycheck-to-paycheck and start saving for the future.”

12. Grunt work

This term refers to low-level tasks that are often considered tedious or unskilled. It implies that the work is physically or mentally demanding but lacks importance or significance.

  • For instance, “As an intern, I had to do all the grunt work like making copies and fetching coffee.”
  • In a discussion about job responsibilities, someone might say, “I’m tired of doing all the grunt work while others get the credit.”
  • A person might complain, “My job is nothing but grunt work. I feel like a robot doing the same thing every day.”

13. Desk jockey

This term refers to someone who spends most of their time working at a desk, typically in an office setting. It implies that the person’s job involves administrative or clerical tasks rather than physical labor.

  • For example, “I used to be a construction worker, but now I’m a desk jockey in a corporate office.”
  • In a conversation about different job types, someone might say, “I prefer being a desk jockey because it’s less physically demanding.”
  • A person might describe their job by saying, “I’m just a desk jockey, but at least I have a steady income.”

14. Bean counter

This term refers to someone who works with numbers, particularly in the field of accounting or finance. It implies that the person’s job involves meticulous attention to detail and a focus on financial calculations.

  • For instance, “I hired a bean counter to help me with my taxes because I can’t make sense of all the numbers.”
  • In a discussion about career paths, someone might say, “I’m considering becoming a bean counter because I enjoy working with numbers.”
  • A person might describe their job by saying, “I’m just a bean counter, but I play a crucial role in managing the company’s finances.”

15. Road warrior

This term refers to someone who travels extensively for their job, often spending a significant amount of time away from home. It implies that the person’s work requires them to be constantly on the move.

  • For example, “As a sales representative, I’m a road warrior, constantly traveling to meet clients.”
  • In a conversation about work-life balance, someone might say, “Being a road warrior can be challenging because it takes a toll on personal relationships.”
  • A person might describe their job by saying, “I’m a road warrior, always on the go, but I enjoy the excitement of traveling for work.”

16. Jobber

This term refers to someone who is employed and performs various tasks or duties in their job. It is a general term for a worker.

  • For example, “I’m just a jobber at the office, doing whatever needs to be done.”
  • In a conversation about different professions, someone might say, “I used to be a jobber in the construction industry.”
  • A person discussing their career might say, “I started as a jobber, but now I have a more specialized role.”

17. Workaholic

This term describes someone who is excessively devoted to their work and spends a significant amount of time and energy on their job. It implies an addiction or compulsion to work.

  • For instance, “She’s a workaholic, always staying late at the office.”
  • A person might say, “I used to be a workaholic, but I realized the importance of work-life balance.”
  • In a discussion about different work styles, someone might say, “I admire workaholics for their dedication, but I prefer a more balanced approach.”

18. Suits

This term refers to employees who work in corporate environments, typically wearing suits as part of their professional attire. It can also be used to describe the corporate world or the people who work in it.

  • For example, “The suits in the boardroom make all the decisions.”
  • A person might say, “I used to work in suits, but now I prefer a more casual work environment.”
  • In a conversation about different industries, someone might say, “I’ve worked in both suits and tech startups, and they have very different cultures.”

19. Wage slave

This term is used to describe someone who feels trapped or exploited in their job due to low wages or unfavorable working conditions. It implies a lack of control or freedom in one’s employment.

  • For instance, “I can’t quit my job because I’m a wage slave, barely making enough to get by.”
  • A person might say, “I used to be a wage slave, but I found a job that values my skills and pays me fairly.”
  • In a discussion about income inequality, someone might argue, “No one should be a wage slave in this day and age.”

20. Jobsworth

This term refers to an employee who strictly follows rules and regulations, often to the point of being inflexible or unhelpful. It implies a lack of initiative or willingness to go above and beyond in one’s job.

  • For example, “The jobsworth at the front desk wouldn’t let me in without an appointment.”
  • A person might say, “I used to work with a jobsworth who made everything more difficult.”
  • In a conversation about customer service, someone might say, “It’s frustrating when you encounter a jobsworth who won’t try to find a solution.”

21. Salaryman

A “salaryman” refers to a Japanese white-collar worker, typically working for a large corporation. The term emphasizes the importance of salary and the long working hours associated with this type of job.

  • For example, “He’s been a salaryman at the same company for over 20 years.”
  • In a discussion about work culture in Japan, someone might say, “The life of a salaryman can be very demanding.”
  • Another person might mention, “Salarymen often have to work late and attend company events after hours.”

22. Paper pusher

A “paper pusher” is a derogatory term used to describe an office worker who has a lot of administrative tasks, often involving paperwork. The term implies that the job is monotonous and lacks creativity or meaningful work.

  • For instance, “He’s tired of being a paper pusher and wants a more fulfilling job.”
  • In a conversation about career aspirations, someone might say, “I don’t want to be stuck as a paper pusher my whole life.”
  • Another person might comment, “Paper pushers often have to deal with tedious paperwork and bureaucratic processes.”

23. Wage earner

A “wage earner” is a general term used to describe someone who earns a salary or an hourly wage for their work. The term emphasizes the act of earning money through labor.

  • For example, “She’s proud to be a wage earner and support her family.”
  • In a discussion about income inequality, someone might say, “Wage earners are often at the mercy of their employers.”
  • Another person might mention, “Wage earners rely on their income to meet their basic needs and expenses.”

24. Bread and cheese

The term “bread and cheese” is a slang term used to describe a low-paying job. It implies that the job only provides enough money to afford basic necessities like bread and cheese.

  • For instance, “He’s stuck in a bread and cheese job and can’t make ends meet.”
  • In a conversation about financial struggles, someone might say, “I need to find a better job. I’m tired of living on bread and cheese.”
  • Another person might comment, “Many young people start their careers with bread and cheese jobs before moving up the ladder.”

25. Bean flicker

A “bean flicker” is a slang term used to refer to a coffee shop worker. The term plays on the word “bean,” which is often used to describe coffee beans, and “flicker,” which implies the act of working quickly or efficiently.

  • For example, “She’s been a bean flicker at the local café for a year now.”
  • In a discussion about job titles, someone might say, “Being a bean flicker requires a good knowledge of coffee.”
  • Another person might mention, “Bean flickers are responsible for brewing and serving coffee to customers.”

26. Entrepreneur

An entrepreneur is a person who starts and operates a business or businesses, taking on financial risks in order to do so. They are often characterized by their innovation, creativity, and ability to take initiative.

  • For example, “She quit her job and became an entrepreneur, starting her own online store.”
  • A discussion about successful entrepreneurs might mention, “Elon Musk is known for his entrepreneurial spirit and ability to disrupt industries.”
  • Another might say, “Being an entrepreneur requires a lot of hard work and determination, but the rewards can be great.”

27. Corporate drone

This term is used to describe someone who works in a large corporation or company, often in a monotonous or unfulfilling job. It implies a lack of individuality or creativity, as well as a feeling of being controlled or limited by the corporate structure.

  • For instance, “He felt like just another corporate drone, stuck in a cubicle all day.”
  • In a discussion about job satisfaction, someone might say, “I don’t want to be a corporate drone, I want a job that allows me to be creative and make a difference.”
  • Another might comment, “Corporate drones often feel disconnected from the company’s mission and don’t have a sense of purpose in their work.”

28. White-collar worker

A white-collar worker is someone who performs professional, managerial, or administrative work in an office or other professional setting. The term originated from the color of the shirts typically worn by office workers, which were often white.

  • For example, “She works as a white-collar worker in a law firm, handling administrative tasks.”
  • In a discussion about different types of jobs, someone might say, “White-collar workers typically have higher education and work in professional fields.”
  • Another might comment, “White-collar workers often have regular hours and stable salaries, but they can also experience high levels of stress and pressure.”

29. Blue-collar worker

A blue-collar worker is someone who performs manual labor, often in industries such as construction, manufacturing, or maintenance. The term originated from the color of the work shirts typically worn by these workers, which were often blue.

  • For instance, “He works as a blue-collar worker in a factory, operating heavy machinery.”
  • In a discussion about the economy, someone might say, “Blue-collar workers play a vital role in the production and infrastructure of our society.”
  • Another might comment, “Blue-collar workers often have specialized skills and training, and their work is essential for many industries.”

30. Cubicle dweller

This term is used to describe someone who works in an office, typically in a small partitioned area known as a cubicle. It implies a sense of being confined or trapped in a monotonous or unfulfilling job.

  • For example, “She spends her days as a cubicle dweller, staring at a computer screen.”
  • In a discussion about office environments, someone might say, “Cubicle dwellers often struggle with lack of privacy and distractions.”
  • Another might comment, “Being a cubicle dweller can be isolating, as you’re separated from your colleagues and have limited interaction.”

31. Pen pusher

This term refers to someone who works in an office and spends most of their time doing administrative or paperwork tasks. It can be used to describe someone who has a desk job and doesn’t do much physical labor.

  • For example, “I can’t stand being a pen pusher. I need a job that’s more hands-on.”
  • In a conversation about different types of jobs, someone might say, “I’m not cut out to be a pen pusher. I prefer jobs that involve interacting with people.”
  • A disgruntled office worker might complain, “I’m tired of being just a pen pusher. I want a job that challenges me.”

32. Day laborer

A day laborer is someone who is hired on a daily or hourly basis for manual labor tasks such as construction, landscaping, or moving. They typically work on a temporary or part-time basis and may not have a permanent job.

  • For instance, “I worked as a day laborer over the summer to make some extra money.”
  • In a discussion about the gig economy, someone might mention, “Day laborers often rely on platforms or agencies to find work.”
  • A person looking for help with a physical task might ask, “Does anyone know where I can find a reliable day laborer?”

33. Moneyman

This term is used to describe someone who is knowledgeable about money and finances. It can refer to someone who works in the financial industry or someone who is skilled at managing their own finances.

  • For example, “My uncle is a moneyman. He works as a financial advisor.”
  • In a conversation about investing, someone might say, “I need to consult a moneyman before making any major financial decisions.”
  • A person discussing personal finance might say, “Being a moneyman is all about making smart financial choices and planning for the future.”

34. Provider

This term is often used to describe someone who is the main source of financial support for their family or household. It can refer to someone who has a job or career that provides enough income to support themselves and others.

  • For instance, “My dad is the provider in our family. He works hard to take care of us.”
  • In a discussion about gender roles, someone might say, “Traditionally, men were expected to be the providers for their families.”
  • A person talking about financial responsibilities might say, “Being a provider means taking care of your loved ones and ensuring their needs are met.”

35. Taskmaster

This term is used to describe someone who is in a position of authority and assigns tasks or responsibilities to others. It can refer to a supervisor, manager, or anyone who is responsible for overseeing the work of others.

  • For example, “My boss is a real taskmaster. He’s always pushing us to meet deadlines.”
  • In a conversation about work dynamics, someone might say, “Having a taskmaster as a boss can be stressful, but it keeps us on track.”
  • A person discussing leadership qualities might note, “A good taskmaster knows how to motivate their team and get things done.”

36. Employee

An individual who is hired by an organization to perform a specific job or task. The term “employee” is commonly used to describe someone who works for a company or business.

  • For example, “John is an employee at a tech company.”
  • In a conversation about workplace benefits, someone might say, “As an employee, I am entitled to health insurance.”
  • A manager might discuss employee performance by saying, “We need to address the productivity of our employees.”

37. Staffer

A person who is part of a group or team within an organization. The term “staffer” is often used to refer to someone who works in a specific department or area.

  • For instance, “Samantha is a staffer in the marketing department.”
  • In a discussion about roles within a company, someone might say, “We need more staffers to handle the increased workload.”
  • A supervisor might address the team by saying, “Great job, staffers! Keep up the good work.”

38. Staff member

An individual who is part of a group of people employed by an organization. The term “staff member” is a general term used to refer to any person who works for a company or business.

  • For example, “Sarah is a staff member at a law firm.”
  • In a conversation about team dynamics, someone might say, “We value the input of every staff member.”
  • A manager might discuss staff members’ roles by saying, “Each staff member has specific responsibilities and tasks.”

39. Worker bee

A term used to describe someone who is diligent, industrious, and dedicated to their work. The term “worker bee” often refers to individuals who are known for their productivity and commitment to their job.

  • For instance, “Emily is a real worker bee. She always goes above and beyond.”
  • In a conversation about work ethic, someone might say, “We need more worker bees like John.”
  • A supervisor might praise an employee by saying, “You’re a valuable worker bee. Keep up the great work.”

40. Laborer

A person who performs physical work, often involving manual labor or tasks that require physical strength or endurance. The term “laborer” is commonly used to describe individuals who work in construction, manufacturing, or other physically demanding industries.

  • For example, “Mike works as a laborer on a construction site.”
  • In a discussion about different job roles, someone might say, “Being a laborer requires a lot of physical stamina.”
  • A manager might address a group of laborers by saying, Thank you for your hard work, laborers.
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41. Grindstone

Refers to the act of working hard or diligently. It implies a persistent and focused effort towards achieving a goal.

  • For example, a person might say, “I have my nose to the grindstone to finish this project on time.”
  • In a conversation about career advancement, someone might advise, “If you want to succeed, you have to keep your nose to the grindstone.”
  • A motivational speaker might encourage, “Don’t give up! Keep your eyes on the grindstone and keep pushing forward.”

42. Daily grind

Describes the repetitive and often mundane nature of one’s daily work or routine. It implies a sense of tedium and lack of excitement.

  • For instance, a person might say, “I’m stuck in the daily grind of a 9-to-5 job.”
  • In a conversation about work-life balance, someone might express, “I need a vacation to break free from the daily grind.”
  • A person feeling burnt out might say, “I’m tired of the daily grind. I need a change.”

43. Rat race

Refers to the fiercely competitive nature of the modern workplace. It implies a constant struggle to get ahead or achieve success, often at the expense of personal well-being or happiness.

  • For example, a person might say, “I’m tired of the rat race. I want a job that allows me to enjoy life.”
  • In a conversation about career aspirations, someone might express, “I don’t want to get caught up in the rat race. I value work-life balance.”
  • A person feeling overwhelmed by work might say, “I feel trapped in the rat race. I need to find a way out.”

44. Techy

Refers to someone who is knowledgeable or skilled in the use of technology, particularly in relation to their job or profession.

  • For instance, a person might say, “I’m not very techy, so I struggle with using new software.”
  • In a conversation about hiring, someone might ask, “Is the candidate techy enough to handle the demands of the role?”
  • A person describing their skills might say, “I’m highly techy and comfortable with various computer programs.”

45. Salesman

Refers to someone who is skilled at selling products or services. It implies the ability to effectively communicate and convince others to make a purchase.

  • For example, a person might say, “He’s a natural salesman. He can sell anything.”
  • In a conversation about sales strategies, someone might ask, “What techniques do successful salesmen use to close deals?”
  • A person describing their career might say, “I’ve been a salesman for over 10 years and have developed strong selling skills.”

46. Wordsmith

A wordsmith is someone who is skilled at using words and writing. It is often used to refer to a writer or someone who has a way with words.

  • For example, “As a wordsmith, she can effortlessly craft engaging articles.”
  • In a discussion about literature, one might say, “Shakespeare is considered one of the greatest wordsmiths of all time.”
  • A person might describe themselves as a wordsmith by saying, “I’ve always had a passion for writing and consider myself a wordsmith.”

47. Grease monkey

This term is used to refer to a mechanic, particularly one who works on cars or other vehicles. It is often used in a playful or affectionate way.

  • For instance, “He’s been a grease monkey since he was a teenager.”
  • In a conversation about car troubles, someone might say, “I need to take my car to the grease monkey to get it fixed.”
  • A person might affectionately refer to their mechanic friend as a grease monkey by saying, “My friend is a real grease monkey. He can fix anything with an engine.”

48. Shrink

This slang term is used to refer to a psychiatrist or psychologist, someone who provides mental health counseling or therapy.

  • For example, “I’ve been seeing a shrink to help me with my anxiety.”
  • In a conversation about therapy, someone might say, “Finding the right shrink can make a world of difference.”
  • A person might jokingly refer to their therapist as a shrink by saying, “I have an appointment with my shrink tomorrow to discuss my latest life crisis.”

49. Doc

“Doc” is a casual term for a doctor, typically a medical doctor. It is often used in a friendly or informal way.

  • For instance, “I’m going to see the doc about my persistent cough.”
  • In a conversation about healthcare, someone might ask, “Have you found a good doc in your area?”
  • A person might refer to their family doctor as “my doc” by saying,“my doc” by saying, “I’ve been seeing my doc for years. He’s the best.”

50. Chef

A chef is a professional cook who is trained in culinary arts and often works in a restaurant or other food service establishment.

  • For example, “The chef prepared a delicious five-course meal.”
  • In a discussion about cooking, someone might say, “Becoming a chef requires years of training and experience.”
  • A person might describe themselves as a chef by saying, “I’ve always had a passion for cooking and recently became a chef at a local restaurant.”

51. Plumber

A plumber is a skilled tradesperson who specializes in installing and maintaining systems used for water supply, drainage, and sewage. They are often referred to as “pipe whisperers” because they have the expertise to diagnose and fix problems with pipes and plumbing systems.

  • For example, if someone has a leaky faucet, they might say, “I need to call a plumber to fix this.”
  • In a discussion about home renovations, someone might ask, “Does anyone know a reliable pipe whisperer in the area?”
  • A plumber might advertise their services with a slogan like, “Call the pipe whisperer for all your plumbing needs!”