Translating Corporate Speak & 2024 Slang: A Glossary

corporate jargon and buzzwords

Have you ever wondered what your boss or client really means when they use corporate jargon? Do you feel confused or frustrated by phrases like “let’s take this offline”, “we need to pivot”, or “I’ll loop you in”? 😕

Not only will we fill you in on traditional jargon, but this is also a vibe check for all your Gen Z co-workers. It's a real W for anyone who wants to spice up their work life with some wisdom.

Gen Z & 2024 slang

Here are some of the top trending business jargon terms in 2024, and what they mean:

Career cushioning - This term refers to the practice of having a backup plan or a side hustle in case your main job falls through or becomes unsatisfying.

Rage applying - This term describes the phenomenon of applying for multiple jobs out of frustration with your current one, without much consideration for fit or quality.

Vibe - This term is popular among Gen Z workers and means the general mood, atmosphere, or feeling of a situation.

No cap - This term is also used by Gen Z workers and means “no lie” or “for real”. It is often used to emphasize a statement or an opinion.

Bet - This means “okay” or “sure”. It is often used as a response to a request or a suggestion. For example, “Can you send me that report by tomorrow?” "Bet."

Lit - This means exciting, amazing, or awesome. It is often used to describe something positive or fun. For example, "That presentation was lit!"

Basic - This means boring, unoriginal, or mainstream. It is often used to criticize something or someone that lacks creativity or uniqueness. For example, "That idea is so basic."

Traditional corporate jargon

From 'synergy' to 'leverage', these words may sound impressive, but let's be real, they're just a fancy way of saying 'we're working together' and 'we're using money to make more money'. So sit back, grab a cup of coffee (or a stiff drink, depending on your level of frustration with corporate speak), and let's decode the corporate lingo together.

Synergy - The cooperation of two or more organizations or people to produce a combined effect greater than the sum of their separate effects.

Leverage - Getting an outsized result from the effort put in. It's also the use of financial instruments or borrowed capital, such as margin, to increase the potential return of an investment. 

Scalability - The ability of a system or process to handle a growing amount of work, or its potential to accommodate growth over time.

Disruptive innovation - An innovation that creates a new market, displacing established market-leading firms or products. You can disrupt on price, customer service, or a new technology. 

Paradigm shift - A fundamental change in approach or underlying assumptions. A whole new way of looking at things. 

Low-hanging fruit - Opportunities that are easy to take advantage of.

Thought leader - An individual or organization that is recognized as an authority in a specialized field and whose expertise is sought and often rewarded.

Core competency - A specific skill that a company does better than its competitors.

Best practices - Procedures that have been proven to be the most effective way of achieving a specific task or objective.

Blue ocean strategy - A strategy that creates new market space and makes competition irrelevant.

Key performance indicator (KPI) - A measure used to evaluate the performance of an organization or one of its components (such as a department or employee) in terms of meeting its strategic and operational goals.

Runway - The amount of time a company has before it runs out of money.

Boil the ocean - To attempt to do something that is impossible or too difficult. Overthinking solutions, wasting time. 

Guerrilla marketing - An advertisement strategy in which a company uses surprise or unconventional interactions in order to promote a product or service.

Mindshare - The extent to which a brand is recognized or dominant in a particular market.

Fast follower - A company that quickly imitates the strategies of successful companies.

Out of the box - Original and creative thinking. Or, things that "just work" without putting in significant effort.

Right-sizing - The process of adjusting the size of a company's workforce to meet its financial goals. Sometimes called layoffs. 

Value proposition - The unique benefit or combination of benefits a company promises to deliver to its customers.

Cross-functional team - A team made up of people from different departments or functions within an organization.

Game changer - Something that fundamentally alters the direction or expected outcome of a situation.

Visionary - Someone with a clear, distinctive, and specific idea of what the future will or should be like.

Core values - The fundamental beliefs of an organization.

Actionable intelligence - Information that can be used to make decisions or take action.

Strategic alignment - The process of aligning a company's goals and objectives with those of its stakeholders.

Return on investment (ROI) - A performance measure used to evaluate the efficiency of an investment or compare the efficiency of a number of different investments.

And with that, we've come to the end of our journey through the often-baffling world of corporate buzzwords and management jargon. While these terms may sound impressive, it's important to remember that behind the jargon or slang, there are often simple concepts being expressed.

We hope this guide has helped you navigate and understand this corporate language better. And next time you come across any of these buzzwords in a meeting or presentation, you'll know exactly what they mean and can impress your colleagues with your newfound knowledge.

Mr. Goblin


Related posts

Search 10 Tips for a Positive Work from Home Experience
The Meeting Master: How to Run Productive Meetings (Part 1 of 2) Search