We’ve all stumbled upon a corporate job description that sounds like a dream. But what if popular buzzwords like “dynamic environment,” “incredible room for growth,” and “we treat each other like family,” in fact, mean quite the opposite?

Well, the marketing director and content creator Sarah, better known by The Corporate Mama on social media, has done everyone a public service and translated these descriptions. In a series of viral TikTok videos, Sarah revealed what companies really meant versus what they wrote on paper, and it’s a genuinely eye-opening read for anyone looking for a job.

So in case you’re wondering why you feel toxic vibes fuming through the roof in your new start-up job that advertised itself as one big family where everyone is a rockstar, it may be because you skipped the part that remained between the lines.

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Marketing director Sarah has been translating glossy job descriptions to expose the not-so-pretty truth behind them in a series of viral videos

Image credits: thecorporatemama

@thecorporatemamawhere do I sign?! ##corporate##corporatetiktok##9to5##permylastemail##millennials##Productivity insired by: @mba-ish ig♬ translating corporate job descriptions – Sarah the corporate mama

Bored Panda reached out to Sarah, a marketing director in the consumer packaged goods industry, and a mom to two boys, who has been sharing useful advice and insights into the corporate world on her TikTok channel.

“During quarantine in March last year, as a creative outlet, I started sharing videos about my experience first as a mom, then over the summer what it was like to still be working from home months later (who knew at the time that we’d be looking at a year-plus?!)”

At that point, Sarah began building a community of people who were also experiencing this stage of life. She said she realized “I could help provide insight and advice for people joining the corporate world, and for women becoming working moms for the first time.”

According to Sarah, the common buzzwords and statements in job descriptions often hide a lot behind their surface

From tons of corporate job descriptions Sarah has seen and “translated,’’ she said that what’s often left unsaid by the companies is the difficulties. “Many employers often reframe their complex problems as ‘exciting challenges’ which in some cases may be true, but this does not paint a complete picture for an incoming associate to help them understand the full scope of a role and how to find success.”

 

However, Sarah warns that all jobs have problems; “that’s why smart people are paid to do them. It’s about employers addressing that they exist instead of sweeping them under the rug.”

Sarah urges any jobseeker going through job descriptions to “be mindful of too many phrases that indicate self-reliance (e.g. must be a self-starter, able to work with no oversight). While it is necessary to be competent, guidance and support is crucial in most roles, and these phrases often indicate an under-resourced team.”

Moreover, “If the job description requires someone be ‘a rockstar’ or ‘have a sense of humor’ run, don’t walk!”

Most importantly, Sarah suggests not only doing your research, but also going with your gut! “If you don’t vibe with the hiring manager or are uncomfortable with the way a task or role has been described, your intuition is usually on the right track. So long as your financial situation allows, hold out for the role you can’t say no to,” she concluded.

More people had a lot to add to this list