This is the next in my series of model IELTS essays. In this essay on job satisfaction and employment, I talk you through different ways to structure the essay – there is always more than one way to skin a cat. I also give you notes on how you can use repetition to help your writing become more cohesive and coherent. Repeating words and ideas can be a good thing. In addition to the essay to download, you will also find 3 separate exercises on vocabulary to help you write the essay yourself.
Understanding the task
This is a particularly tough question because it is a double/double question. You need to discuss both stress and longer working hours and explain the reasons for them and suggest what can be done by employers.
Nowadays many jobs are more stressful and the working day is longer. What are the reasons for this? What can employers do to help employees?
Thinking about essay structure
There are different ways you can structure this essay. Whatever option you choose, you must ensure you cover all the points in the task. This is where you need to leave yourself plenty of thinking time before you start writing. What I do here is to show you some of the possible choices you have. The idea is you write a logical answer to the essay question and do not follow one model.
4 paragraph options
One choice would be to divide the essay by employees (stress and hours) and employers (solutions):
- content 1: explain reasons for both stress and long working hours
- content 2: suggest what employers could do
- content 1: write about stress and what employers could do about it
- content 2: write about working hours and what employers could do about it
- content 1: write about stress
- content 2: write about working hours
- content 3 and conclusion: what employers could do about stress and working hours
5 paragraph options
One option is to write about different reasons for stress and hours in separate paras and then write about employer solutions. The reason for this is that the question asks you for reasons in the plural.
- content 1: reason 1 for stress and hours
- content 2: reason 2 for stress and hours
- content 3: employer suggestion
- content 1: write about stress
- content 2: write about working hours
- content 3: what employers could do about stress and working hours
- separate conclusion
Ideas for the essay and for job satisfaction essays
Stress and longer working hours ideas
- employees are worried about losing their jobs because of job market conditions – mass unemployment
- globalisation causes greater competition and leads to everyone having to work harder
- employees are not given adequate training
- employees work individually and not in teams
- poor management and lack of feedback
- some countries do not regulate working hours
- employees do too much overtime to earn more cash
- employers recognise longer hours do not mean more efficiency
- employers limit the hours of work and restrict overtime
- set meal breaks
- provide a better working environment
- provide all the training necessary
- encourage employees to spend some time relaxing during the working day
- managers set clear targets for employees that can be attained
Other job satisfaction ideas
Here are some other job satisfaction ideas for other employment essays.
- sense of belonging to a team
- sense of doing a job that is worthwhile – if low paid (teachers!!!)
- being promoted and taking on more responsibilities
- enjoyable work environment and socialising with your colleagues
- sense of achievement when you meet a target or complete a project
- learning new skills
- understanding why and how what you do matters
- understanding more about your company and its business
Vocabulary for the essay – think word formation and collocations
It is important that you have some variety of vocabulary when you write this essay. This does not mean that you need to use lots of different words. In fact, your essay will be more cohesive if you repeat some words. All you need to do is make sure that you use them in different ways. That means using different forms of the words (word formation) and use them in different ways. In this essay, the key word is work. Here are some variations I use:
work longer hours
do the same work
work more efficiently
I do of course use other words too. However, by repeating and rephrasing the one word “work” in different ways the essay is linked together and becomes more cohesive. It’s a trick you should try. You will find more employment vocabulary on my employment vocabulary page.
The essay to read and download
Two ways in which the workplace has changed in the modern era are that employees are required to work longer hours and there is more pressure on them than in the past. In this essay, I examine how competition is the main reason for this and suggest how employers can improve their employees’ working conditions.
Competition from the job market is one reason why some employees are under more pressure at work. High levels of unemployment mean that it would often be cheaper for an employer to hire someone else to do the same work. This naturally has a negative psychological effect on employees. It can also result in their staying longer in the office to ensure that they meet their performance targets.
Increased competition caused by globalisation is also significant. Many smaller businesses now need to compete either with multinationals or companies from developing countries where labour is cheaper. The effect of this on employees is that they know they may be made redundant if the business they work for fails. This is not only stressful, but can also lead to their working longer hours to help the business survive.
Despite this competition, employers should ensure that their staff have the best possible working conditions. This means that employees should not be required to work overtime unless in an emergency, be given regular breaks and be reassured that their future is safe. If this were to happen, the employees should work more efficiently, something which is in the interest of the employer.
My conclusion would be that competition from the job market and globalisation is the principal cause of stress at work and a longer working day. Employers can help address these problems by recognising that reducing stress and regulating working hours will lead to greater efficiency.
You will find more exercises on vocab below. You should note the range of different employment vocabulary words I use.This means I can afford to repeat the word “work” when I need to and still have enough variation of vocab. The skill is to vary when you need to and be consistent when you need to.
To write this essay well, you need to think about cause and effect. See the different cause and effect language I use.
Identifying the task in the introduction
The introduction clearly identifies all the parts of the task. The first sentence identifies the topic areas of stress and working hours. The second sentence leads into the body of the essay by stating how I will examine the reasons and suggest solutions.
Coherence and essay structure notes
See how the first sentence of each content para links to the main idea of the introduction and the conclusion. Sometimes repetition is a good thing.
Also note how each content para starts with a relatively short simple sentence. All I am trying to do is show the reader what the one main idea of that para is
Note how I don’t try and include all my ideas in the essay.
Download the essayModel job satisfaction essay (5409)
Vocabulary exercises on the essay
Here are 3 exercises to help you write the essay yourself.
- essay on stress at work – choose the correct work words
- academic vocabulary – AWL words from the essay
- variations of work – learn some collocations of work
Get more free lessons