In a British newspaper – The Guardian, readers were asked what makes them happy at work. In most cases, money was not the top answer. Getting free coffee at work, having the chance to develop professionally, and making a difference to people were more likely to make people feel satisfied in the long run. In this month’s article, we’re going to look at six idioms associated with the topic of job satisfaction. Each phrase will be introduced with a question followed by an explanation.
- Why do people stay in a dead-end job? A dead-end job is a job which offers no chance of promotion or is one you might feel doesn’t develop you professionally. People might stay in a dead-end job because it’s easier than looking for another job or because they get on well with their colleagues.
- Do you find it difficult to keep your nose to the grindstone? This phrase means to work hard. You might also use this expression to make a joke about how hard you work. E.g. “Don’t worry, you go home while I’m keeping my nose to the grindstone”. Some people find it difficult to keep their nose to the grindstone because it’s a Monday morning and it can be difficult to get back into a working routine.
- Have you ever worked for a real slave driver? A slave driver is a manager who bosses their staff around and insists that everyone work very hard. It can be difficult to work for a real slave driver because it takes the fun out of a job.
- If you are up to your ears in work, what do you do about it? This phrase means that you have a lot of work to do and the kind of work could be very stressful. If you are up to your ears in work, you’ll probably need to ask a colleague to help you out.
- Would a carrot and stick approach make you work harder? This is a way of motivating staff. A carrot is a kind of reward and a stick is a punishment. It is often said that rewards are not a good way of motivating staff and most people certainly won’t respond well to punishment.
- Do you think doing unpaid work is a good way of getting a foot in the door? This means you start working for a company in a low-paid or unpaid position as a starting point from which you could work up from. This is sometimes necessary especially in a competitive environment. Some people think unpaid interns are exploited by companies.
According to an article on careerkey.org we should pay attention to signs of dissatisfaction at work. In many studies job satisfaction has been linked to how long a person lives, so this is obviously something we should be mindful of. It is important to work out a solution if your job is making you unhappy. This will then ensure that you are on the right track to feeling satisfied in your job.