Office Space

Get that dream job – but mind your language

by Simon Henry @simlington

It’s spring – the season of hope and growth, when we’re lured into believing new beginnings can actually apply to us.

A lamb signifies spring. It also signifies a delicious roast dinner with mint sauce, roast spuds and all the trimmings. Yum.

A lamb signifies spring. It also signifies a delicious roast dinner with mint sauce, roast spuds and all the trimmings. Yum.

So how can you land your dream job this spring?

There are two ways of getting a good job in a British office.

The first (and easily the best) is to have a well-connected family.

CVs (resumés), personal statements, covering letters and interviews are unnecessary.

You know if you fit into this category. Just as you know which knife and spoon to use.


The second way of getting that perfect position is to actually apply for jobs …

You’re in the second group, aren’t you?

Hmm. Shame. Ah well. Chin up.

Here’s a tip to get you started:

Words mean different things to different people.

So be careful with your personal statement.

Here’s what the job seeker might write:

“I’m an ambitious self-starter.

My flexibility is matched by a decisive, diligent and dynamic attitude.

A strategic thinker, I’m tough and passionate about what I do.

Resourceful and intuitive, I would be a real asset to your organisation.”

This is how the British employer might read it:

“I’m a borderline psychotic pain in the arse.

I’m desperate for a job now but once I’m in I’ll act like I own the joint and be a really annoying, shouty know-it-all.

Utterly remote from reality, I’m also nasty and liable to sulk.

Lazy and prone to lying, I’m trouble on stilts.”

So here’s the advice: tone down the jargon and self-aggrandising, egotistical lies – and you may well get an interview.

Here’s an A-Z of Office Jargon for more words you may want to treat with a degree of caution.

Alternatively, I hear marrying into the British upper and upper-middle-classes is relatively easy.

Good luck with that.

If you enjoyed this, you may like my post about why Failure is often better than success.

You can get an email alert whenever I publish a new post. If you’re on a mobile you can sign up below. If you’re on a computer, sign up at the top right-hand of the page.

And you can follow me @simlington on Twitter

Copyright Simon Henry @simlington 2014


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