Mandarin Lesson: What is a perfect job mean to us?

Mandarin Lesson What is a perfect job mean to us

Mandarin Lesson: What is a perfect job mean to us?

Alan Felstead, a professor at the Cardiff School of Social Science in the UK, conducted research which found that workers who work remotely are happier with their work. They’re more enthusiastic about their jobs and more committed to the organisation for whom they work.

英国卡迪夫社会科学学院教授阿兰·菲尔斯泰德(Alan Felstead)进行的研究发现,远程工作的人对职业满意度更强。他们对自己的工作更加热心,对自己所在的组织也更加效忠。

“The often-held assumption is that those who work from home, are skiving, they are taking it easy,” says Felstead ‘the evidence is that workers are actually working harder. So, for example, there’s a 15 percentage point gap in the proportions reporting that they often work beyond normal working hours. And a six percent point gap in the effort levels.”


But it’s not all plain sailing – the research also found that working from home made it harder to switch off. Not defining a clear boundary between work and home meant that there was a danger of overworking. So what’s the use in gaining all this control over your life if you use it to start earlier, finish later and answer emails at 3am?


Stephen Lewandowsky, a professor of cognitive science at the University of Bristol, is also wary that while giving people more control over their work-life might make it seem less stressful, it doesn’t necessarily lead to actual happiness.

布里斯托大学认知科学教授史蒂芬·莱万多斯基(Stephen Lewandowsky)也心存疑虑:虽然让人们可以自己控制工作与生活之间的平衡似乎能够减少压力,但却未必能给他们带来真正的幸福。

He says that the temptation is to equate happiness with being successful at work. “You start working harder and harder,” he says, “to the point where all of a sudden you feel guilty if you’re not working and the moment that happens your work-life balance and your family obligations are going to suffer.”


Giving people more control over their work doesn’t necessarily mean that they make good decisions. Just ask anyone who has found themselves finishing up a report at midnight or emailing clients at the weekend.


What about the creative dream? Lots of people dream of crafting great art – painting, sculpting, writing comedy and turning that into their job. Surely that’s the very definition of an ideal profession?


But if you want to do creative work you have two options. Either work for the man all day and create at night or find someone to pay you to be creative all the time. Writer, performer and podcaster Ross Sutherland has done both.

但如果你想从事创造性工作,那就面临两种选择。要么为别人工作一整天,等到晚上再去搞创作,要么找到那些出钱让你一直搞创作的人。作家、演员兼播客主播罗斯·萨瑟兰(Ross Sutherland)就这样做过。

“I read Generation X when I was about 15 which was probably the exact right age to read that book,” he says referring to the novel by Douglas Coupland in which the term “McJob” was coined meaning a low paid, low prestige job often in the service sector. “I definitely remember this thing about like there is the work that pays the bills and then your internal work which you’re doing on yourself which is the thing that drives you.”

“我大约15岁的时候就看过《X一代》,这大概是最适合读这本书的年龄。”他指的是道格拉斯·柯普兰(Douglas Coupland)创作的小说,书中还杜撰了”McJob”一词,专门指代收入和地位低下的工作,往往来自服务行业。”我肯定记得那个时候,比如,我要做一份工作来维持生计,但随后还要凭借兴趣追求内心喜欢的工作,后者会给你带来动力。”

Sutherland has certainly had his fair share of McJobs including; working in a pub, a stationery warehouse, being a compere at a wrestling match, teaching creative writing at a prison and rap workshops to primary school kids and writing the mail-out for a casino encouraging pensioners to spend their money (which he considers a career low point).


But far from despairing over this early career path, he sees it as essential to his creative inspiration.


“So often people’s early work was the stuff that’s most vital because that’s at the membrane between them being a real person and responding to it. How many great rappers – first album amazing, second album is all about being on tour and about being successful and it just eats itself so quickly.”


Chasing the idea of the dream job is something that people can spend their whole lives doing. But perhaps the perfect job is an illusion?


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