Chatterbox #100 – The corporate world

Work! Love it or hate it, most of us have to do it. In this episode, Harp and Maura talk about the corporate world and what it’s like nowadays. Almost everyone hopes to make as much money as they can, and some people work to climb the corporate ladder in order to get prestige as well. Harp and Maura also talk about the latest interview trends and discuss what the job market currently looks like. This is a super-informative episode, and some of the ideas in this episode were suggested by two Culips listeners!


Expressions included in the learning materialsoffice-corporate

  • To climb the corporate ladder
  • On the other hand
  • A go-getter
  • A career path
  • VP and CEO
  • The glass ceiling
  • To take something
  • To work around the clock
  • To get around something
  • A workaholic
  • The rat race
  • A shout-out
  • A split-second decision
  • The STAR approach to answering behavioural questions
  • Baby boomers
  • Booming

Sample transcript

Maura:            All right. Now, today we’re going to do a Chatterbox episode, and that is where Harp and I chat about all different kinds of topics.

Harp:              Yeah. Today we’re talking about climbing the corporate ladder.

Maura:            That is right. So, first we’re gonna talk about living and working in the corporate world and a little bit about what that is like in Canada.

Harp:              Yeah. And then we’re gonna talk about some trends in interviews, when you’re looking for a new job.

Maura:            And then we’re gonna talk about job availability, because right now, the situation is a little bit bleak. And if you don’t know what bleak means, listen for the last part of this episode.

Harp:              Yes. So let’s get started with talking about the corporate world.

Maura:            Now I have to say, I only spent a very short amount of time working in the corporate world. ’Cause if you’re an avid listener, you might already know that I’m a teacher, so I actually don’t work in the corporate world, normally.

Harp:              Yeah. That’s true. I, on the other hand, do work in the corporate world.

Maura:            Now there’re some people who go into university or college and they are real go-getters. That means that they know what they want, they have a career path in mind, they know what job they want to do, and they’re going to work hard until they get it.

Harp:              Yeah. I had friends in school—in high school and in university—they knew what they wanted to do, they knew they wanted to earn a lot of money, and they figured out their career path to get them there.

Maura:            Some people really know what they wanna do at a young age, and they have high expectations. They want to have a job that is of a certain status. They want a position of power.

Harp:              Yeah. These people really wanna climb the corporate ladder fast.

Maura:            Now, the corporate ladder means to continually increase your job status. So you’re constantly trying to get promotions and increase your salary and go up and up and up. If you know what a ladder is, it has different steps, and when you climb it, you rise to the top, usually the top of the room or a building, but in this case, the top is, like, the president or CEO. We’re talking about climbing the corporate ladder, which is getting a better and more powerful job.

Harp:              You can start out just as a regular employee, and then maybe become the assistant manager, and then the manager, and then the division manager, and then maybe a VP position, and then the CEO.

Maura:            Yes. So some people are content to get a job as a manager and then work that for the rest of their lives, or maybe change it up now and again, but others are really focused on climbing the corporate ladder and they always are looking for how to get ahead and get to the next step.

Harp:              And an interesting topic that often comes up when you’re talking about climbing the corporate ladder is that sometimes women hit the glass ceiling.

Maura:            Yes. The glass ceiling. And this is when women are not able to attain high, powerful positions. And this is just because of gender stereotyping that women were traditionally not in powerful roles.

Harp:              Yeah. That women need to stay at home with the kids and they can’t take the high-pressure jobs.

Maura:            Right. So, a woman who’s a go-getter and climbing the corporate ladder gets to a certain point where she can see the position that she wants, the high, powerful position, let’s say, for example, of president. She can see it, but she can’t get to that position, because of certain prejudices that people have. Now, the idea of the glass ceiling is that it’s a ceiling, it’s the top. It’s the end of the room. But it’s glass, so the woman can actually see that there is more beyond the ceiling.

Harp:              Yeah. And this is starting to change, with more and more women in high-level positions. But there is definitely still a glass ceiling in Canada and very few female presidents of big companies or female CEOs or CIOs or CTOs.

Maura:            Yeah. Or even politicians. But slowly, gradually, it is changing.

Harp:              And so, if you’re climbing the corporate ladder, you often have to work around the clock.

Maura:            That is right. You know what I heard some people do, Harp?

Harp:              Tell me.

Maura:            Some people who want to give the impression that they are working around the clock schedule emails to be sent from their account later at night so that if someone receives an email from them at 6pm or 7pm, it looks like they’re still working and sometimes these people aren’t actually working.

Harp:              That is so devious. I’ve never even thought of that.

english PodcastAudio/Learning Materials: Culips