400 Must Have Words for the TOEFL » LESSON 23 - Employment

Word List
  • compensate [ˈkɒmpənseɪt] v.
    To give an employee money or other things in exchange for the work he or she does
    My pay doesn’t properly compensate me for my efforts, but my other benefits,like health insurance, fill in the gap.
    Usage tips     Compensate is often followed by a for phrase.
    Parts of speech     compensation n., compensatory adj.
  • dynamic [daɪˈnæmɪk] adj.
    Full of energy
    This job requires a dynamic person, someone who will look for opportunities instead of just waiting around for them.
    Parts of speech     dynamism n., dynamically adv.
  • enterprising [ˈentəpraɪzɪŋ] adj.
    Creative in thinking of ways to make money
    Immigrants are often among the most enterprising members of society, partly because anyone brave enough to make an overseas move is likely to be a risk-taker.
    Parts of speech     enterprise n. (Note:There is no verb “to enterprise.”)
  • exploit [ˈeksplɔɪt] v.
    To take advantage of; to treat inconsiderately in order to profit
    The company tried to exploit the low interest rates to expand operations.
    Parts of speech     exploitation n., exploitive adj.
  • incentive [ɪnˈsentɪv] n.
    A possible benefit that motivates a person to do a certain thing
    This city’s willingness to support its public schools gave us an incentive to move here with our two young children.
    Usage tips     Incentive is usually followed by a to phrase.
  • industrious [ɪnˈdʌstrɪəs] adj.
    Willing to work hard
    The Dutch settlements in Ottawa County were founded by industrious farmers who objected to frivolous behavior such as dancing.
    Usage tips     Only people can be industrious; companies cannot.
    Parts of speech     industriousness n., industriously adv.
  • marginal [ˈmɑːdʒɪnl] adj.
    Not very significant or effective
    Our new advertising campaign had only marginal success, raising sales by a mere 3 percent.
    Parts of speech     marginally adv.
  • merit [ˈmerɪt] n.
    Value; success based on one’s work, not on luck
    Pay raises at our company are based on merit, as determined by a committee of managers.
    Usage tips     Merit is uncountable.
    Parts of speech     merit v., meritorious adj.
  • promote [prəˈməʊt] v.
    To move someone to a higher position in a company
    Because of his excellent handling of the Vredeman account, Jim Harris was promoted to vice president.
    Usage tips     Promote is very often followed by a to phrase indicating the position one has been moved up to.
    Parts of speech     promotion n.
  • resign [rɪˈzaɪn] v.
    To quit one’s job
    Because of controversy over his leadership style, Morton resigned from his job as president.
    Parts of speech     resignation n.

TOEFL Prep I Find the word or phrase that is closest in meaning to each word in the left-hand column. Write the letter in the blank.

______ 1. compensate (a) good at finding business opportunities
______ 2. dynamic (b) hard-working
______ 3. enterprising (c) energetic
______ 4. industrious (d) move up
______ 5. promote (e) pay

TOEFL Prep II Circle the word that best completes each sentence.

  1. Some companies move their factories to poor countries in order to (exploit / compensate) the desperation of people who are willing to work for very low wages.
  2. For the last five years, we’ve seen only (dynamic / marginal) improvements in our productivity.
  3. Judging by actual money-generating (promotion / merit), Williams is the company’s most valuable employee.
  4. I had a lot of (compensation / incentive) to move to our new facility in Minnesota, because two of my brothers live there.
  5. Unless my employer stops polluting local rivers, I’m going to (resign/ exploit).
Answer Key
TOEFL Prep I
  1. e
  2. c
  3. a
  4. b
  5. d
TOEFL Prep II
  1. exploit
  2. marginal
  3. merit
  4. incentive
  5. resign
Answer Key

TOEFL Success Read the passage to review the vocabulary you have learned. Answer the questions that follow.

In the 1960s and 1970s, America was reaching the end of its role as a manufacturing power. Old-style systems of compensation, especially company pension plans, were impoverishing many companies. Much to the disadvantage of less-industrious workers, companies started demanding merit, not just seniority, before someone could be promoted. Many managers who were only marginally effective were encouraged to resign. These changes were painful, but unavoidable, symptoms of a growth spurt in the U.S.economy. Economies grow and change just as people do. A truly enterprising businessperson knows how to exploit these large changes and become involved in tomorrow’s dynamic businesses, not yesterday’s. There’s still plenty of money to be made in America, a very effective incentive for workers to adapt to new conditions.

Bonus StructureEspecially introduces an outstanding example.

  1. Which sentence best expresses the essential information of this passage?
    • a. Most companies cannot afford to compensate their employees like they used to.
    • b. Anyone interested in making a lot of money should move to the United States.
    • c. The 1960s and 1970s were times of great change for the American economy.
    • d. Just as retailers adapt to economic change,so must manufacturers.
  2. The author of this article expresses a negative opinion about __________.
    • a. businesspersons
    • b. workers who depended on seniority for promotion
    • c. companies that exploit changes in the economy
    • d. the American economy as a whole
Answer Key
Answer Key
  1. c
  2. b
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