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How to Translate Popular Job Descriptions

How to Translate Popular Job Descriptions


Agent of change – you’ll be responsible for implementing a bunch of stuff we’ve been unable to make happen with a group of people who are digging in their heels and refusing to convert.

Works well under pressure – our management team considers everything urgent and is going to micro-manage you daily.

Solution-oriented – we are going to give you lots of messes to clean up and expect you to figure out how to handle them without our direction and with a big smile on your face, even though we aren’t going to give you any resources or support to get it done.

Okay – so if you’ve visited before you know I’m being sarcastic. But, let’s not forget, all humor is rooted in a bit of truth, right?

I’m not saying that any job posting with one or more of these terms should be crossed of your list of potential employers. I’m just pointing out that every job seeker should do their homework to make sure they have a realistic understanding of what a potential employer’s work environment is really like. FACT: There are no perfect jobs or perfect employers.

I know these are desperate times and many people feel compelled to accept any job offer they get. However, in doing so, you could jump out of the frying pan and into the fire. You need to honestly assess an employer by asking questions that will help you see their flaws (tactfully, of course). Remember: employers are like a potential mate. Don’t fool yourself into thinking you can change them once you are together. Take off your rose-colored glasses (or, beer goggles, for you younger readers) and choose an employer for who they really are – warts and all.

Finally, I leave you with this last piece of advice…

If you do see any of the terms above coupled with “unlimited income potential,” “rapid advancement,” or “ground-floor opportunity,” then before your apply, I just hope you’ll ask yourself, “Why are they trying so hard to impress me?” Need I say more?

Now, who’s got job posting terms they’d like to decode? Post them below and help all the job seekers reading this post translate employer-speak.

This article was originally published on

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