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At work: job satisfaction

Aspects of job satisfaction: What does job satisfaction mean? [a feeling that your job is worth doing and fulfils you] Is it just having a pleasant workplace or is it more than that? [the place where you work] Can a run-ofthe-mill job be satisfying? [ordinary, not special or exciting] Some people are prepared to put up with a stressful or unpleasant job if it means short-term financial reward. [immediate; opp. = long-term] [money gained] Staff morale has been very low since the company announced a freeze on pay rises. [amount of confidence felt by a person or group] Our new manager is very keen to encourage teamwork to help us solve problems. [working together for a common purpose] Is job stability more motivating than an exciting, high-risk career? [not likely to change] After working in the fast-moving fashion industry for six years, Sam has decided to look for a career with a better work–life balance. [developing or changing very quickly] [the amount of time spent working compared to the amount of time spent doing things you enjoy] Daniel's job in a dynamic new company is often challenging but exciting. [continuously developing] Chloe is demotivated in her current job following recent changes in the finance sector. [feeling less enthusiastic about work] She is looking to work in / seeking a career in something more creative, like marketing.

Language help

The text has some words with similar meanings connected to work. It is a good idea to learn them in pairs, e.g. fast-moving and dynamic (industry/profession), seeking a career in … and looking to work in … . (Note: we say look to, meaning consider or plan, NOT look for.)

Expressions connected with working life

In many countries, women are allowed maternity leave, and men paternity leave, if they're family are having a baby. If they adopt a child, they may have a right to adoption leave. [time away from work to prepare for and look after a new baby / adopted child] What perks e.g. a car, health insurance] What's your holiday entitlement? I get four weeks a year. [number of days you have the right to take as holiday] Do you get regular salary increments each year? [increases/rises; formal] Do you get performance-related pay rises? [depending on how well you do your job] Do you get an annual bonus? [extra money paid once a year, usually based on good performance] Most people think they are overworked and underpaid. (often said together as an informal, humorous fixed expression)


Perks : (informal) / (extra) benefits (formal) do you get in your job? [extra things apart from salary,

Because of the recession, the company announced that there would have to be voluntary/ compulsory redundancies. [people losing their jobs, by offering to do so / having no choice] During the strike, the airport managed to continue running with a skeleton staff of volunteers. [the minimum number of workers needed to keep operating] The people on the interview panel at the last job I applied for were so unfriendly that I got very nervous. [the group of people interviewing someone for a job]
Rewrite these sentences by using words and phrases instead of the underlined words.
Find expressions which mean the opposite of these words or phrases.
  1. Do you enjoy working as part of a team?
  2. I don't think that earning a lot of money is the key to job satisfaction.
  3. Would you feel nervous giving a presentation to a group of people at interview?
  4. Sales staff are often paid extra money each year when they perform well.
  5. a full staff of workers
  6. someone who has a light workload and is paid
  7. an automatic pay rise each year
  8. a very unusual, exciting job
  9. a person who is highly motivated
  10. a rather static and slow-moving profession
  11. a drop in salary
  12. compulsory redundancy
Choose the best word or phrase to complete each sentence.
  1. Rafael has done the same job for the last fifteen years and his job will be secure until he retires. Rafael feels happy with this situation because he values job stability / job satisfaction
  2. Kate has a good workplace / work–life balance. She never works late and she often finds time to relax with her family or go to the cinema in the evening.
  3. After graduating from Manchester University, Dan was looking forward to an exciting time in the run-of-the-mill / fast-moving film industry.
  4. Amy joined the law firm for the bonus / long-term career prospects they offered. It would be hard work for the first few years, but she could later become a senior partner.
Each sentence in these pairs of sentences contains a mistake. Correct them.
  1. She was on mother leave for three months after the birth of her baby. Then her husband took father leave for three months.
  2. Sarah has been on adapted leave since she and Brian welcomed their new two-year old child into their family. Brian took volunteer redundancy from his job, which means he can help out at home too.
  3. My holiday titlement is four weeks a year. The atmosphere in my place for work is very pleasant, so I"m happy.
  4. When I applied for the job, I was looking for join a dynamic team. However, the interview jury gave an impression of complete boredom and lack of interest.
  5. The factory had to operate with a skeletal staff during the economic crisis. There had been a large number of compulsive redundancies.
  6. I get some good parks in my new job. I get a company car and free health security.

Over to you

What does job satisfaction mean to you?

Do you think financial reward is more important than job stability or work–life balance?

More about job interviews
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