Moving up the ladder 人往高處走

更新時間 2013年 11月 11日, 星期一 - 格林尼治標準時間12:50
Exam room

Vocabulary: Social mobility 詞匯: 社會流動性

What did you want to be when you were growing up? A teacher? A doctor? An astronaut? What do you need to do to achieve your dream job?

Perhaps you think that studying well and then going on to work hard will get you the career you want. We are constantly taught that our hard work will eventually pay off.

But a government survey has shown that hard work is not the only thing that will help you to move up the ladder. Two thirds of people believe that who you know matters more than what you know when it comes to social mobility. So are the connections that you have more important than your education?

Seventy six per cent of people in the survey believed that family background is important in influencing your chances of success. They believe that if you are privileged from birth, you are more likely to have a successful career, especially if your family is wealthy. Are some people just handed life on a plate?

Even if you don't have a privileged background, the people you know can still make a difference to your career. Networking is a skill which is encouraged by many careers advisers. Some companies run networking workshops to try and encourage staff to meet other people, to communicate and build relationships. It』s a valuable skill.

But the survey also revealed something quite interesting. Although most people believed that networks are more important than education, many people put their own career success down to talent, rather than background. 41% of people said that their parents' income had influenced their life, but at the same time, another 41% believed that they had engineered their own success.

So which is the more important, what you know or who you know? It seems that by working hard and making lots of connections, the answer may be that both are very important.

Quiz 測驗

1. What phrase means 'to improve your social status'?

To move up the ladder.

2. What adjective means 'having an advantage'?


3. Is this statement true or false? Three quarters of people believe that family background influences your success in life.


4. What do some careers advisers encourage people to do?

To network.

5. What percentage of people feel that they are responsible for their own success?


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