IELTS Writing Task 2 - Model Answer

Some people say that it is necessary to give importance to your career, while others say that it is better to spend time with your family and friends. Discuss both views and give your own opinion.

Many of us have competing goals in life: we would like both to be successful at work and to enjoy as much quality time with our loved-ones as we can. It tends to be impossible to devote as much time as we would want to both of these aims. This dilemma affects millions of individuals and certainly merits discussion.

There are particular circumstances in which working long hours might make sense. Those with fulfilling and rewarding careers may get immense job satisfaction, actually enjoying being in the workplace more than at home. Similarly, anyone doing work which benefits others - such as doctors, care-workers and social workers - may reason that helping the wider community is essential, and of greater importance than their private life. For another group of individuals - those who seek prestige and influence - committing themselves to a job in order to gain promotion and become powerful seems like a legitimate strategy. Finally, it should be recognized that many work excessively long hours in order to earn the salaries needed to give their families the standard of living they yearn for.

However, the majority of adults of working age would probably prefer family and friends to be the focus of their lives. They would like to be fully involved in bringing up their children and to have the deep and meaningful relationship with their partner which results from spending a great deal of time together. Being able to enjoy and express yourself by taking part in activities - whether hot-air ballooning, caving, knitting or gardening - is another clear advantage of working less.

It seems reasonable to conclude that our attitude to the so-called ‘work-life balance’ depends entirely on our personality and goals. Undoubtedly, there are human beings who thrive on work. Others certainly prefer relaxation or social activities. Adults who avoid work at all cost and those who are obsessed with their job tend not to be particularly happy and it is probably safe to say that finding a sensible balance between work-life and home-life is the key to contentment.


dilemma = a situation in which a difficult choice has to be made between two or more alternatives, especially ones that are equally undesirable

fulfilling = making someone satisfied or happy through allowing their character or abilities to develop fully

immense = extremely large or great, especially in scale or degree

prestige = widespread respect and admiration felt for someone or something on the basis of a perception of their achievements or quality

legitimate = able to be defended with logic or justification; valid

yearn for = desire

contentment = a state of happiness and satisfaction