I am writing some message to introduce my manager to my friend, but I am stuck at this sentence:

He is a big boy. His previous job position was serving as a sales manager in a famous local bank.

I am not sure why I added serving as in the sentence, I have came across some web sites and I saw they using serving as in some example sentences.

  • 1
    It doesn't sound right to say "his position was serving as a sales manager". He was serving as a sales manager, or his position was sales manager, but it doesn't really make sense to say his position was serving as something.
    – stangdon
    Jul 26, 2016 at 19:46
  • 1
    @kitty There are many ways to phrase your thought. If you like the verb "to serve," try using the simple past tense: "He previously served as a sales manager..." Jul 26, 2016 at 20:15
  • I am not sure why you added "He is a big boy." Others have already commented on that. You can also say, "He worked as a sales manager in a famous local bank," or "He served as a sales manager in a famous local bank." By using past tense of "serve," it is implied that it was during his last job.
    – Usernew
    Jul 27, 2016 at 14:25

2 Answers 2


He is a big boy.

I wouldn't use that kind of language when introducing someone professionally. I do hope you understand why.

I don't know what exactly you were trying to say with big boy, but I'll go out on a limb and assume that you meant that he was mature professionally. So, after fixing some things here and there, my take on your sentence would look like this:

He is a very experienced employee. His last job was a sales manager at a famous local bank in San Diego.

  • 1
    "Mature" sounds to me like a euphemism for "old". It's reasonable to describe a child as mature. But in an adult, maturity is taken for granted. I would use "experienced".
    – James K
    Jul 26, 2016 at 22:07
  • 1
    I think you're right. I'll change it. Jul 27, 2016 at 1:03
  • Except in resumes we do want to use action verbs (served) or stative verbs (was). Jul 27, 2016 at 1:50

If you say

He is a big boy.

You are literally referring to something about your friend, his size, his maturity, etc.

If you say

He's one of the big boys.

You are figuratively saying he is a big player and important here. For example, in investment banking the "big boys" are Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley, Merrill Lynch, Credit Suisse.

To describe his previous position, you might say

His served as a sales manager in a famous local bank.
His previous position was as sales manager in a famous local bank.

as evidence that he is "one of the big boys". However, usually the term "one of the big boys" is reserved for Managing Director or above.

One notes the increasing use of "big boys" during the bull market of the 80's

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  • "Big boy" is not used to describe a person professionally at all.
    – James K
    Jul 26, 2016 at 22:09
  • 1
    @JamesKilfiger Formally, not at all. Colloquially, it's not an idiom specific to banking, but as a descriptor of executives generally, it's not uncommon. Jul 26, 2016 at 22:28
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    I would disagree, from a UK perspective "Big boy" has two connotations: Childish "Big boys don't cry", or sexual (I'll refrain from giving an example). Colloquially one could play with the language, but it would be unprofessional to introduce someone as being a "boy" and to describe someone in writing as a "big boy" would probably just provoke ridicule.
    – James K
    Jul 26, 2016 at 22:37
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    On a US resume an action verb (served) is greatly preferred to a stative verb (was) Jul 27, 2016 at 1:52
  • 1
    @JamesKilfiger I did specify that it's colloquial, but I should have further specified "...but as a descriptor of executives generally in the U.S...." Jul 27, 2016 at 3:52

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