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4 Tips To Avoid Using Office Jargon

Posted by Glassdoor Team

Career Advice Experts

Last Updated May 14, 2020

Who isn’t guilty of using office buzzwords from time to time?! Phrases like ‘touch base’ and ‘no-brainer’ have certainly entered the common vernacular, but beware overusing jargon. It’s important to remember that each company and office may well have its own culture, language quirks and acronyms, so new starters should try and get to grips with that quickly to help integrate.

Glassdoor, one of the world’s largest job sites, has come up with four ways to ensure you don’t come across as the office ‘jargon junkie’.

  • Don’t overuse buzzwords in an interview. It’s easy to want to mimic language and mannerisms in order to fit in, but make sure you understand your acronyms and phrases before throwing them into conversation!
  • Research the language that current employees use. Have a look at Glassdoor and company social media feeds to see if a company or workplace has any language quirks before you start a new job.
  • Don’t fill your CV with jargon. Chances are, if you pack your CV or social media profiles with buzzwords, it will reflect badly on your personal brand and you’ll look like you don’t know what you are talking about.
  • Remain respectful. Don’t be tempted to be over-familiar with an interviewer or new colleagues. Slang might not be well received on your first day in a new job.

UK’s Most Annoying Office Jargon?

According to a survey of 2,000 people, here’s what UK employees hate hearing the most:

Touch base (according to 24 percent of employees)

To meet or talk about a specific issue

Blue sky thinking (21 percent)

Creative thinking not grounded in reality

We’re on a journey (13 percent)

Highlighting that a company, team or project has not yet reached its mission or objective

Game changer (13 percent)

A product, idea or process that represents a significant shift in thinking or way of doing things

No-brainer (13 percent)

Claiming that something is an irrefutably good idea

Thought shower (11 percent)

A meeting to share ideas, often without considering practical limitations

Run it up the flagpole (11 percent)

To present an idea and see if it generates a favourable reaction

If you don’t like it, get off the bus (10 percent)

Implying that a colleague should leave a company if they are unhappy

Mission statement (10 percent)

A stated “reason for being” in respect of a company and its activities

Pick it up and run with it (10 percent)

To continue an activity or process that someone else has started, often when that person could not finish it or make it work

Punch a puppy (9 percent)

To do something horrible for the greater good

Let’s get our ducks in a row (9 percent)

To align a team or multiple parties in preparation for an event or discussion

The words “stakeholder”, “paradigm shift”, “bandwidth” and “roadmap” were picked by only 5 percent or less of employees questioned.


  1. The Glassdoor survey of 2,000 people was conducted within Great Britain by OnePoll on behalf of Glassdoor from 29/03/17-04/04/17. For more, please contact pr@glassdoor.com
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