A Graduates Guide to Office Lingo..


So you’re a few weeks in to your grown up job and it’s going fairly well. I mean you haven’t managed to set the place on fire yet, nobodies shouted at you, you haven’t insulted anyone directly. It’s all good, they have no idea that you have no idea what you’re doing or that you’re actually a complete weirdo but no fear, the Christmas party is quickly approaching, that will change.

Anyway everything is smooth sailing, or at least it would be if you could figure out what the hell everyone was saying. Ah yes welcome to the world of needless corporate jargon, you may have had a brief encounter with it once upon an internship but now you’re engulfed and the office block lingo is killing you. Fear not I have created this guide to help you interpret these outrageously important sayings.

  1. How long is a piece of string?

Upon hearing this, one would be tempted to ask where said piece of string is or what relevance it has to the campaign invoice you’re currently sweating trying to compose. In essence you’ll find this term means, “I’ve no idea how to answer your query, nor have I any intention of uncovering the metric you’re referring to”.


2. Boil the ocean

“No need to boil the ocean here, the writings on the wall..” Hmm so what you’re saying is there is no need for pointless exertion of effort to produce something simple. Essentially that it would take a long time to do this. Now in terms of time, would that be longer or shorter than the time it would have taken you to use the phrase “pointless”?


3. Touch Base

You bite your tongue and restrain yourself from quoting “I Love You Man” every time Niall from accounts says he will touch base on the matter next week. “Yaaas Niall! Slappa da Base with you then”- Don’t do that, Niall probably wouldn’t laugh, he works in accounts after all. Niall’s basically saying he will be in contact over said matter shortly.


4. Deep Dive

Do not bring in your togs, really its not what this means, that scuba diving licence you got in Phuket is of no use to you here pal. Unfortunately this is simply your overzealous colleague illustrating how excited they are to get stuck into a forthcoming project.


5. Going forward.

Now I’m not sure what other direction time would move in but this phrase is usually tossed about when looking at the handling of a certain topic in the future. We are all quite blatantly aware that you are referring to the future so this phrase is not only completely redundant it also amplifies how little you actually listen to yourself when you talk.


The list could literally go on forever and we could be actioning this and leveraging that till there is a bottleneck of phrases which are all as silly as each other. Let me know what other ones grind your gears. 🙂

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