Business English you should know
Can you stay on top of all the English at your workplace? Or do you feel
you're behind in your language learning? English is the
international business language, but not all of it is straightforward.
Here are some terms you might hear at your office
Stay on top of
If you're feeling overwhelmed in your job, you're probably not
staying on top of your work. This means to stay in control, and not get
behind or let your work pile up
On the ball
This phrase comes from the sports field. When you are on the ball, you
have to be alert and in charge. "Make sure you are on the ball with
those reports." The opposite is to drop the ball, which would mean not
completing an assignment and letting down the people you work with
Think outside the box
Many employers expect their staff to think creatively and approach
projects in new and different ways. In this phrase, the box signifies
conventional wisdom, or what is already known. Thinking outside the box
suggests coming up with new and innovative methods. "For this marketing
project, we need to think outside the box
Get the ball rolling
This idiom means to start something and set it in motion. "Let's get the
ball rolling on this project." Once you're off to a great start, you may
express your desire to keep the ball rolling
This means to spend time thinking up lots of ideas. Many companies may
hold brainstorming sessions to tackle problems and dream up new ideas.
"Let's brainstorm new ideas for the advertising campaign.
What happens when you pull the strings to a puppet? It does what you
want it to do. This phrase means to go beyond what is normally done to
make something happen. "It will be difficult to talk with her. You may
have to pull some strings with her department
Are you good at multi-tasking or doing multiple tasks at the same time?
"This week we need you to write a report, make a presentation, and
review last year's earnings. I hope you can multi-task!" It still means
you only get paid one salary though
Bite off more than you can chew
If you take on too much work, you may not be able to do it all properly.
"He's working late every night. He bit off more than he could chew
Are there periods of time where you don't have much work to do? Where
your job is just not as busy? That time is called downtime. "If you have
some downtime this week, please brainstorm some ideas for our next team