35 Corporate Jargon Phrases That Are Ruining Your Professional Image

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June 23, 2024 at 10:3PM UTC
We need to address the elephant in the room — corporate jargon is a pain point for many of us and it's time we reinvent the wheel. 

This article is your window of opportunity to get acquainted with these overused idioms and our first action item is to loop you in to the 35 most common phrases. Follow along with the infographic below to unpack what each of them truly means.
"35 Corporate Jargon Phrases That Are Ruining Your Professional Image" by Fairygodboss.
"35 Corporate Jargon Phrases That Are Ruining Your Professional Image" by Fairygodboss.

What they actually mean:

1. Action item: A task that an employee or team must complete, sometimes with a tight turnaround. 
2. A lot on my plate: I'm really busy, I have a lot to get done — maybe even too much.
3. Apples to apples: The comparison of two congruent or reasonable comparable things.
4. Back to the drawing board: Scratching an unsuccessful idea and brainstorming a new one.
5. Bang for your buck: Getting the most value or performance out of your money.
6. Bells and whistles: Aesthetically pleasing (but often superfluous) features.
7. Blockchain: A growing record of transactions — called blocks — linked in bitcoin or another cryptocurrency.  
8. Brain dump: The transfer of knowledge or subject expertise from the brain to a storage system. 
9. Cutting edge: A game-changing business model or groundbreaking approach.
10. Deep dive: To analyze or explore something deeply.
11. Disrupt the landscape: To outperform or outshine other companies with new ideas and innovations.
12. Drill down: To more closely at.
13. Drink the kool-aid: When someone buys into an idea wholeheartedly — this stems from when cult members drank poisoned kool-aid in the Jonestown massacre.
14. Ducks in a row: To complete your duties and responsibilities before beginning an activity or project.
15. Elephant in the room: A very large and obvious issue that everyone's aware of but no one wants to talk about. 
16. Get the ball rolling: To get started on an activity or project.
17. Happy Hump Day!: It's Wednesday! Have a good one!
18. Idea shower: If brainstorm is the verb, idea shower is the noun.
19. I don't have the bandwidth: The energy or capacity to get something done, oftentimes heard as "I don't have the bandwidth to do this."
20. I'll loop you in: I'll catch you up on or pull you into the conversation.
21. I'll ping you: I'll get in touch with you.
22. Let's circle back: Let's revisit this at a later time. 
23. Let's table this: Dealing with something at a later time.
24. Let's touch base: To connect with someone for updates or insights. 
25. Low hanging fruit: Something that can be easily obtained with little effort to get immediate results.
26. On my radar: To be aware, attentive to, or considerate of something.
27. On the same page: To be in agreement with something with someone else.
28. Out of the loop: To be unaware of information known to others.
29. Pain point: A specific problem customers are experiencing that the business aims to solve.
30. Reinvent the wheel: Recreating something that already exists or has been optimized by others.
31. Run the numbers: Doing the calculations.
32. Take this offline: Continuing a conversation in person rather than the online communication form where it started.
33. Unpack: Similar to deep dive, to analyze or explore.
34. Window of opportunity: An opportunity to take immediate advantage of something that will only be available for a short while.
35. Win-win: A situation where all parties benefit in some way.

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Stephanie Nieves is the SEO & Editorial Associate on the Fairygodboss team. Her words can also be found on MediumPayScale and The Muse.

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