8 Important Business Terms You MUST Know to Succeed

Want to get ahead? Speak the language of success.

Starting a new job or career path can be intimidating, particularly when your boss or coworkers start throwing all kinds of jargon into conversation. Know these eight important business terms to avoid embarrassment and impress your colleagues.

1. Stakeholders

This select group of employees, investors, and loyal customers have the corporate and legal authority to drive a stake through your heart. While Stakeholder Status is often tied to years of service or number of shares owned, you mustn’t overlook the less obvious Stakeholders. When the smooth wood of that embossed stake pierces your heart, it won’t matter whether it was the CEO or an Instagram micro-influencer.

Can you spot the stakeholder? Their weapon is well-hidden!

2. Sync Up

Imagine you pass someone from an adjacent department in the break room and conversation turns to a project you will need to collaborate on. The coworker then says, “we should sync up on this.” What do you do?

Don’t be caught looking foolish, simply pull your USB cord out of your pocket and attach it to the port installed behind your left ear during onboarding. Always allow the coworker to attach the cord to their port themselves. The exchange of data will begin immediately. Bilateral sync is mandatory.

3. Piggybacking

A common part of performance plans (aka “do better or you’re fired”), piggybacking is the practice of carrying everyone above you from conference room to conference room. In a meeting, when someone says “to piggyback off of that,” they are alerting the underperforming employee that they will require a ride to their next meeting. Piggybackers frequently signal their availability by wearing a company pin or some other branded swag.

Although it originated in more traditional companies, piggybacking is also common with younger organizations.

4. Expense It

You must have misheard this. The phrase is “ex-Pence it,” which of course means to remove all mentions of the current Vice President from whatever project you are discussing. More and more companies are adopting a no-Pence policy.

Use the search function in any word processor to identify blunders quickly.

5. Alignment

This is one of the most important qualities of effective teams. If you and your coworkers are not aligned, how are you ever supposed to channel your various skills and talents toward a common goal?

Typically, your manager will consult with the chiropractor about the ideal alignment for your team. Then, one by one, the chiropractor will adjust each team members spine, neck, and hips for identical alignment. More difficult coworkers may require greater force or even multiple sessions to achieve alignment.

Alignment is sometimes painful, but it’s always worth it.

6. Ping Me

This is a common phrase at startups and other small, agile companies. Since resources are limited and everyone is very busy, this is how many professionals handle the surplus of people demanding their time. When someone tells you to ping them, they are saying that they will grant you five minutes of their time if you can hit them with a rubber band from three cubicles away (distances vary in open plan offices).

Your greatest weapon in the fight for face time.

7. Resources

Some companies use the term “employee” while others prefer “team member” or “co-laborer.” But if you work in hiring or are discussing reorganization, your coworkers will probably use the term “resource.” It allows them to think of each person as a functional machine with an expected output and associated price tag. A person is irreplaceable, but there are millions of other resources on LinkedIn and Indeed.

Happy, successful resources.

8. Growth Opportunities

Following the Affordable Care Act, many more company-sponsored healthcare plans offer growth opportunities, typically in the form of a third arm or sometimes a leg. While this does give you a spare in case of emergencies, it also comes with greater performance expectations. If you have 50% more arms, for example, you will be expected to be 50% more productive.

An extra limb means even more barefoot relaxing when you cash in those vacation hours!

Now go out there and build the career you’ve been dreaming of!

As Mark Twain once said,

“Get a job. You will not regret it. If you live.”

Writer, musician, improvisor, recovering pessimist.

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