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
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.
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
and men paternity leave
if they're family are having a baby.
If they adopt
a child, they may have a right to
[time away from work to prepare
for and look after a new baby / adopted child]
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
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
- Do you enjoy working as part of a team?
- I don't think that earning a lot of money is the key to job satisfaction.
Would you feel nervous giving a
presentation to a group of people at interview?
Sales staff are often paid extra money each year when they perform well.
a full staff of workers
someone who has a light workload and is paid
an automatic pay rise each year
a very unusual, exciting job
a person who is highly motivated
a rather static and slow-moving profession
a drop in salary
Choose the best word or phrase to complete each sentence.
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
Kate has a good
workplace / work–life
She never works late and she often finds time to relax
with her family or go to the cinema in the evening.
After graduating from Manchester University,
Dan was looking forward to an exciting time in the
run-of-the-mill / fast-moving
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.
She was on
for three months after the birth of her baby.
Then her husband took
for three months.
Sarah has been on
since she and Brian welcomed their
new two-year old child into their
from his job,
which means he can help out at home too.
My holiday titlement
is four weeks a year.
The atmosphere in my place for work is very pleasant,
so I"m happy.
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.
The factory had to operate with a skeletal staff
during the economic crisis.
There had been a large
number of compulsive redundancies.
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