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Starting a new job? Be prepared for an avalanche of acronyms and abbreviations coming your way. It’s always better to ask for explanation than to give the mistaken impression that you know what’s going on – but Peter Holmes has compiled a helpful guide to get you started.
The workplace and the business world love nothing more than jargon and acronyms, so before you start your fantastic new job make sure you're on top of the words and phrases that are shortened, or tossed about like confetti at a wedding.
Before long you'll be WIP-ing, FYI-ing and keeping an eye on your KPIs and the ROI, just like the rest of us.
COB - Close of Business
If a manager or colleague tells you they need something done by COB then that means you need to factor this request into your day. COB means COB, not tomorrow morning.
If you've worked in a few different jobs before landing the dream role, you may be well on your way to accumulating multiple superannuation accounts, each attracting fees. By consolidating all your accounts into one you could potentially save thousands of dollars over the long-term.
Here’s how to consolidate
DM - Direct Message
A colleague may ask you via email or the office's internal communication system to "DM me". This means they want to discuss something with you outside of any group chat.
FYI - For Your Information
Emails may contain FYI in the subject box or in the body of the email. Often this is background information that a colleague or manager wants you made aware of. These will not always require a response.
KPI - Key Performance Indicator
When you start your job you may receive a set of KPIs, or Key Performance Indicators, from a manager or boss. Essentially these are yardsticks or goals by which to measure your performance. For example, you may be set a KPI of attracting a certain number of new customers, increasing a business's efficiency, or reaching a revenue target.
Short for "memorandum", a memo in the workplace usually refers to a brief communication circulated around an office. Once sent on paper, now by email.
Need to know
Referring to knowledge – often of a sensitive nature – that is only to be shared with certain people – ie, those who really need to know.
ROI - Return on Investment
The Return on Investment is calculated in the percentage gain or loss on your original investment. For example, if you invest $100 and one year later your investment is worth $110, then you had an annual ROI of 10%. If your investment was worth $90, you had an annual ROI of -10%.
Some companies offer staff the option of "salary sacrificing" to buy items such as a car or computer. The repayments for the item are organised through your payroll office, and are deducted from your pre-tax income. Long story short, you may pay less tax. You can also salary sacrifice into your superannuation account.
The full term is superannuation, but mostly people talk about their "super". Superannuation is a percentage of your wage that is paid by your employer into a retirement savings account that is managed by funds such as QSuper.
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SGC - Superannuation Guarantee Contribution
The SGC is not a cricket ground but a guarantee that if you’re eligible, your employer must put a minimum percentage of your wage into your super account, as governed by law. This minimum is currently set at 9.5% of your ordinary time earnings.
TIL - Time In Lieu
If you work unpaid overtime then you may be given time off at a later date to make up for the overtime. This is known as TIL. Not to be confused with an RDO (rostered day off)..
WIP - Work In Progress
Your boss may send around an email scheduling a WIP. A WIP is a meeting during which all parties to discuss where a particular project is at. It may also be a regular one-on-one with the boss during which you discuss how you’re progressing on projects you’re responsible for.
There are plenty of other acronyms specific to certain industries and businesses so if you’re ever in doubt about a meaning, ask a colleague. You don’t want to assume that something was simply FYI, only to find out later that it was actually an important KPI.
These definitions are based on commonly accepted industry terms. This is general information only.
Lower fees means more money working for your retirement. QSuper reduces fees.
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