July 26, 2020

Job Training Special

Euphemism in Job Titles – What are they and why?

Since I wrote the last post about “Why are software engineers hate being called coders?“, a lot of people asked me if there are other interesting job titles that make people confused at the beginning? The answer is – Yes. And in fact, a lot more than you think. There’s an ongoing trend of euphemistic job titles invented by the recruitment consultants to make vacancies sound more enticing. These are some job titles that make you scratch your head when you first heard it but using another term could get your head around quickly. Today, let me share some interesting euphemism in job titles with you.

Sounds Good To Me GIFs | Tenor

Euphemism = a word or phrase used to avoid saying an unpleasant or offensive word. For example, Senior citizen is an euphemism for old person ~ Source: Cambridge Dictionary.

25 Euphemistic Job Titles

Here are some of the common euphemism used in the workplace we heard of from time to time, in no particular order.

Weird Job Titles – Can You Guess the Job? | Jobsite Worklife

  • 1. Talent Acquisition Specialist vs Headhunter

How to Attract a Top Performer - Crawford Thomas Recruiting

  • 2. Relocation Specialist vs house mover
  • 3. Bus Captain vs Bus Driver

Hi, I'm Your Bus Captain | Talking Point | CNA Insider - YouTube

  • 4. Chief Door Officer vs Receptionist

Questioning Receptionist GIF by South Park - Find & Share on GIPHY

  • 5. Interior Designer vs House Renovator
  • 6. Steward / Stewardess vs Waiter/Helper on the plane
  • 7. Sanitation Engineer vs Janitor
  • 8. Environmental Services Technician vs Toilet Cleaner
  • 9. Administrative Assistant vs Secretary

Secretary GIF - Secretary - Discover & Share GIFs

  • 10. Domestic Workers vs Housemaids
  • 11. Account Manager vs Salesman
  • 12. Financial Consultant vs Insurance Sales Agent
  • 13. Media Distribution Officer vs Paper boy
  • 14. Culinary Assembly Engineer vs Fast food worker

What Makes McDonald's A Great Place To Work - McDonald's India ...

  • 15. Design Consultant vs Freelance designers
  • 16. Independent Programmer vs Freelance programmer
  • 17. CEO vs Recent Graduate who wanted to start a new business
  • 18. Sole Proprietor vs Business owner
  • 19. Software Architect vs Programmer
  • 20. Project Manager vs Supervisor of Programmers

The difference between a programmer and a developer: A recruiter's ...

  • 21. Foreign Expat vs Foreign Worker
  • 22. Immigrating Advisor vs Human Trafficker
  • 23. Chauffeur vs Taxi Driver (Oh now we have Uber driver vs taxi driver)
  • 24. Sales Assistant vs Cashier
  • 25. Agricultural Specialist vs Farmer

And the list goes on..

Why Euphemism is needed?

As you can see, euphemism is actually a great word game.

“As societies grow decadent, the language grows decadent, too. Words are used to disguise, not to illuminate, action. You liberate a city by destroying it. Words are to confuse, so that at election time people will solemnly vote against their own interests.” Gore Vidal The Decline and Fall of the American Empire, 1992 (Source)

Euphemism is as old as human history.

Excited Turn Around GIF by Dr. Donna Thomas Rodgers - Find & Share ...

Euphemism in Wartime

In wartime, the great leaders use Euphemisms to inspire their soldiers to perform certain actions without using the dirty words. A few examples below.

  • Terminate = Kill
  • Interrogate = Torture
  • Collateral Damage = Killing the innocent people
  • Fringe Benefit = Give the soldiers extra benefit (often the women for sex comforting) after performing their duties
  • Put down = kill the animal

Put It Down GIFs | Tenor

Why do we need Euphemism in Workplace

You can see from the examples above, euphemisms are used more commonly than we thought and they are necessary for inspiration for some.

For the Human Resource Officers, when they use the Euphemistic Job Titles, they tend to attract more applicants and in the end they will have a larger pool of candidates to select from.

Words GIFs - Get the best GIF on GIPHY

For the job seekers, by putting the euphemistic job titles on their resume or business cards, they sounded more professional and important. Impression is the key.

What are the implications?

The truth is, like it or not, euphemistic job titles are here to stay. As our industry grow more complex and specialized over time, people needs more specialized terms to describe their jobs better. Of course everyone likes to sound important and cool. As long as they are not lying about their actual duties when the questions are asked, there is no actual harm to using euphemism.

Integrity is not a component of ethics, integrity is much more ...

In fact, sometimes we are still constantly in awe by some genius terms people come out with to describe their work.

Genius GIFs | Tenor

As for the implications, it really depends on who are you and the situations or roles you plan when you look at the titles. That is, you can have different roles at different times.

If you are a HR trying to post a recruitment ad to hire someone, it’s best to check up on the euphemistic terms for the jobs you are recruiting. It may make a huge difference in the number of candidates sending their application, especially if you are just offering the market rate instead of the top notched salaries.

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If you are a person writing a resume, remember to google and find some euphemistic job titles to make you stand out from thousands of resume. 

Trust Me GIFs | Tenor

If you are a HR recruiting someone for the job and inspecting the resume of the candidates, you should always be vigilant. Look beyond the title and ask the candidates to describe in details on what do they actually do for the previous companies.

10 Ways to Stay Vigilant in an Uncertain World - SecurityRI

If you are just talking about the topic with a friend over a hangout session, you can have a good laugh. This can aid into a heated discussion or even games to come out with the best euphemistic job titles for something.

Let’s have a game!

CEO of [Surname] Inc.
Work Description: Strategize and execute the [Surname] Inc company’s overall strategies going forward, including the company size expansion plan, day-to-day operations, nutrition source procurement plans, budgeting, sanitation engineers recruitment plans, etc.

Can you guess who is this person?

A hint: This is the person that give life to all of us.

Empowerment GIFs | Tenor

Extension Reading

Why are software engineers hate being called coders?



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