Cracking the Job Description Code
Proficient multi-tasker. Motivated team player. Independent self-starter. Job descriptions are typically laden with vague terms like these. In addition, some employers use glorified verbiage to make a job sound better than it really is. However, lack of specifics and inaccuracies can lead to confusion and disappointment on your end.
To avoid this frustration, here’s how to translate some common terms used in job descriptions so you can ultimately find the Houston job that’s a great match for you:
Translation: This is probably a small company where everyone is expected to wear a lot of hats. That means if you were hired to perform one job, you may be expected to take on additional responsibilities outside the realm of that position. For some employees, this kind of variety in their daily duties is welcome; but for others, it can be frustrating.
“Motivated team player”
Translation: The company has a lot of cooks in the kitchen and you need to be able to work well with all of them to build consensus. If you consider yourself a diplomat and are good at negotiating and persuading, then this position could be right for you. Otherwise, keep moving.
Translation: The company doesn’t have a lot of time or resources to train you. They will likely expect you to hit the ground running without a lot of direction from management. If you’re a highly experienced professional, then this kind of autonomy could be appealing. But if you’re just starting out, you may want to instead consider an environment that offers more support.
“Works well under pressure”
Translation: This company regularly operates under tight deadlines, and you will be expected to go the extra mile to ensure projects are completed on time. If you’re like many people and actually operate better under pressure, then this Houston job could be the one for you. But if regular intense pressure gives you major anxiety, then you’ll probably wind up hating it.
“Potential for rapid advancement”
Translation: This is probably a start-up company that can’t pay you a lot of money to perform the job, so they’ll try to entice you by offering the opportunity for growth instead. If you’re passionate about what the company does and see potential, by all means go for it. But also understand that taking a job with a start-up could mean lots of long hours and working weekends, only to have the company go bust after a short time. So it’s a risk; but it could also be a risk worth taking.
“Ability to solve problems”
Translation: The company probably has a lot of problems that need solving. If you’re up for the challenge, then this might be the Houston job for you. However, if you don’t like confrontation and don’t perform well under pressure, then you may want to move on.