It looks like you're new here. If you want to get involved, click one of these buttons!

In lands I never saw -- they say
Immortal Alps look down --
Whose bonnets touch the firmament --
Whose sandals touch the town --

Meek at whose everlasting feet
A myriad daisy play --
Which, Sir, are you and which am I
Upon an August day?

Emily Dickinson
When you first apply to join the forum, you will have to wait a while to be approved. Just be patient.

Once you are a member, don't forget to check the calendar(s) for session times. Sessions are held on different platforms, so be sure to find out where the session will take place:-

Speaking Practice

LEN English sessions:-

Listening Practice 24/7

English radio playlists on Discord.

Monday Night Owls - 13 August 2018 - The benefits of being a big fish in a small pond

NatashaTNatashaT Posts: 1,057 Teacher
We read about the studies done on athletes showing the benefits of being a big fish in a small pond, and how this theory can be applied to school and work as well:


Vocabulary Top 4:

a big fish in a small pond - a person who is very well known or important in a small group of people but who is not known or important outside that group

quench - to stop (a fire) from burning : to put out (a fire) (can also be used figuratively)

take it with a grain of salt - to not completely believe (something) : to be doubtful about the truth or accuracy of (something)

by the skin of your teeth - only by a small difference in time, space, or amount : just barely

Do you think it's better to be in a big organisation, where there are lots of other talented people, or in a small company where you are the best?


  • aprilapril Moderator Posts: 10,875 mod
    edited August 2018
    To be honest, I prefer to be the average at school or at work.
    Maybe ... average plus is okay, :D , but certainly I don't want to be the best.
    It's fine to hear that you are "something" or the best from time to time but to be the best all the time is too much responsibility.
    You are expected to be better and better and better.
    Take some tennis players; once they won a Grand Slam title, they are supposed to defend their title for the second time, the third time and so on and so on.
    The pressure is sometimes too much that they just can't play their best anymore.
    It happened to a lot of them.

    "Do you think it's better to be in a big organisation, where there are lots of other talented people, or in a small company where you are the best?"
    Well, there is always pros and cons for everything, in this case too.
    To be one in a big company with lots of other talented people is fine as long as you are not forced to compete the whole time, if you are allowed to do your best and be appreciated for your hard work.
    You'll have less chances to get promotion, maybe.
    To be the best in a small company gives you maybe a good possibility to get promotion, but you will have also more responsibility, you are not supposed to make mistake, you are expected to be the best always, to resolve any problem.
    But it depends on the manager too, I suppose.
    If you are lucky, you could get a job in a small company, be the best, get promotion and still could do your job without too much pressure.
    Post edited by april on
  • filauziofilauzio Genoa ( Italy )Posts: 1,929 ✭✭✭✭✭
    I think the pond's breadth doesn't matter so much after all: as rather it does the probable presence of crocodiles as pond's dwellers.

    I also believe ' the big/small fish in a small/large pond ' idea works effectively, as the article said, as long as two requirements are met:
    • recently graduated young people or young athletes, as saying the most ambitious, ' hungry ' persons within the society are involved.
    • the sporting or work's environments are highly competitive.

      However, it can still be validated in the daily work experience of people from several economic sectors and industries; only, in this cases, the consequences on the single's careers are maybe less evident and more faded.

      We read how the mechanism operate in schooling: the pupils who scored higher compared with their peers, were allowed to join a more prestigious school.

      However, soon on, they get discouraged on comparing their own results with their more talented schoolmates'.

      They grow ever less confident, ending up with great discomfort and willing to give up any further career, by waving university farewell.

      The article cited the humans' nasty habit of getting jealous, envious, while spotting our next companion who is doing far better than us.

      This attitude works with small fishes swimming in a large pond.

      Nevertheless, I believe, a similar phenomenon appears when entering an organizatin when you happen to stand out among your colleagues, co-workers, schoolmates or whatever it is the case there.

      You are a big fish in a small pond.

      I mean, in this case it isn't you who get jealous of your surroundings, it's rather the other way round: your surrounding environment gets envious of you, and, possibly, start off with any means to spread any kind of hurdles along your way to the top.

      Therefore, what you thought would be a level, smooth, paved or waxed path, along which to reach progression and career, suddenly turn out a rough jungle track, littered with poisonous snakes, repellent scorpions, untrustworthy fake diamonds or friends and quicksands.

      So much so, that you had better immediately give up such quixotic fancy of an internal career, whatever.

      It takes the lash of competition, then, to have all envy's owners avert their gaze and turn it down on desk, to buckle down and use all resentment as a fresh energetic push towards the succes of the firm as a whole.

      Big fish and small crocodiles, then, will make up a crew on the same rowing boat, running along the rapids of market fight.

    glad to stop strict diet, splashed in belly flop? Don't care you're not light, here on English hop !
Sign In or Register to comment.