Swearing at work may stall your career
Are swear words in regular rotation in your work vocabulary? Consider passing on the expletives or you may be passed over for a promotion.
According to a new CareerBuilder survey, 64 percent of employers say they'd think less of an employee who repeatedly uses curse words, and 57 percent of employers say they'd be less likely to promote someone who swears in the office. More than 2,000 hiring managers and 3,800 workers across industries and company sizes nationwide were surveyed, and their response was loud and clear: Swearing at work is unprofessional and creates a negative impression of the offender.
Swear words and work culture
Fifty-one percent of workers report that they swear on the job. Ninety-five percent of those workers say they do so in front of their co-workers, and 51 percent swear in front of the boss. However, workers were the least likely to use expletives in front of senior leaders (13 percent) and clients (7 percent).
Despite the large number of offenders, employers aren't very understanding of employees' use of profanities. Eighty-one percent of employers say that the use of swear words brings the employee's professionalism into question; 71 percent say that swearing indicates a lack of control; 68 percent say there's a lack of maturity; and 54 percent say swearing at work makes an employee appear less intelligent.
However, while most employers judge workers who swear, they aren't so innocent themselves. Twenty-five percent of employers admit to swearing at their employees. Could censor-worthy employers be a bad influence? Nearly the same amount of employees (28 percent) say they've sworn at co-workers.
Cities most likely to swear
Maybe it's because it's an election year, maybe it's Denver's wildfires or maybe it's Chicago's frustration with baseball, but the top three cities whose workers report swearing at work need to find new ways to vent. The top swear-word-loving cities include:
1. Washington, D.C. -- 62 percent
2. Denver -- 60 percent
3. Chicago -- 58 percent
4. Los Angeles -- 56 percent
5. Boston -- 56 percent
6. Atlanta -- 54 percent
7. Minneapolis -- 50 percent
8. Phoenix -- 47 percent
9. New York -- 46 percent
10. Philadelphia -- 44 percent
Swearing by age
The millennial generation and baby boomers are the least likely to swear at work, while Generation X workers report that they're more likely to swear while on the job. Here's a breakdown by age group of the percent of respondents who admit to cursing at work:
- Employees ages 18-24 -- 42 percent
- Employees ages 25-34 -- 51 percent
- Employees ages 35-44 -- 58 percent
- Employees ages 45-54 -- 41 percent
- Employees ages 55 and over -- 44 percent
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