‘Outside the box’: The worst corporate jargon offender

Don’t worry, ‘synergy,’ ‘low-hanging fruit,’ ‘incentivize,’ and ‘mission-critical’ also made the list, according to a new CareerBuilder survey.

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Wait, what? Annoying, right? If you’re anything like me, corporate jargon makes your skin crawl. In today’s workplace, however, it’s sometimes hard to get away from. We’ve likely all been guilty of at least one of the business buzzwords below.

“Outside the box” is the most popular—or unpopular, word depending on your view, according to Career Builder’s survey of 5,300 workers. (Check out the infographic.) The next worst offenders are:

Navigating workplace issues can be tricky enough without throwing flowery, cliché (or just plain made up) vocabulary words in each other’s faces. It only takes one brave person to turn “outside the box” into “creatively” or “let’s circle back” to “I’ll call you”—and suddenly, we can begin to peel back the layers of complexity and really talk honestly to each other.

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