There’s no need to be embarrassed, we all have those moments at work when we just need a little help from good ol’ Google—whether you’re struggling to set up a conference call, or you’re trying to understand a movie reference your co-worker makes all the time, or you’re attempting to decipher an acronym-filled email from your boss.
It’s called being resourceful. And that’s what the internet was made for, right?
In fact, these three things are so common to look up at your desk that you’re probably the odd man out if you don’t Google them regularly—just ask our team.
1. Confusing Buzzwords or Concepts
When I first started working at a tech company, people kept talking about “sprints.” At first I was confused, since I never imagined running was a part of being a developer (but hey, they must be really fit). Of course, when I actually Googled it it all made sense—and I never told anyone about it until, well, now.
And I’m not alone:
I had no idea what ‘company culture’ was when I was working as a paralegal on Wall Street just a few years ago. This term kept popping up in articles and on LinkedIn as I began to wonder how I could transition out of my corporate workplace. My Google search results eventually led me to TheMuse.com, and now here I am as part of the team!
‘Fullstack!’ I had no idea what that meant.
Today someone said he was working on a ‘Gantt chart.’ First thing I did was open Google.
2. Long or Obscure Acronyms
You’ve got “OMG” and “LOL” down, but then a colleague throws out “NRN” and “IMO” and suddenly you’re wondering what happened to using full sentences instead of letters to communicate.
Don’t worry, we’ve been there (which is why we made you the ultimate cheat sheet to common business acronyms). Here are the ones that stump us:
I definitely struggle with some of the more ‘modern’ acronyms, even when I try really hard to figure it out based on context. One I remember looking up recently was ‘HBU’. I was chatting with someone on Slack and when she typed those three letters, I was seriously stumped and had to turn to Google.
‘VPN’, ‘ISP’, ‘Tor’, ‘EVP’, and ‘ATS’
I learned recently what ‘TIL’ means: ‘Today I learned.’ It’s funny, since the day I learned it I got to say ‘Today I learned: today I learned,’ or something like that.
At my old job, I had to google ‘BAU’ (business as usual) because everyone was saying it and I had no idea what it meant.
3. How to Do Your Job
And last but not least, we all use the internet to do our jobs the best we can. Because sometimes we have brain farts, or off days, or just need a quick reminder on how to spell that one word, or what the formula is for that one program, or where that one stat exists on that one website.
(Hint: Here are some great Google search hacks to find it.)
I use Google a lot to search other sites because it’s usually faster and better. For example, instead of searching ‘military’ on The Muse, I’ll just Google ‘site:themuse.com/advice military.’ Or, instead of looking for marketing materials from another player in the space through their site, I’ll use ‘site:smashfly.com case study.’
‘Awesome questions to ask manager during a one on one’—five minutes before my one-on-one meeting.
I took Excel classes back in college, but didn’t really utilize the tool until years later so I lost all of my acquired skills. I often find myself Googling Excel tips and tricks, when I’m asked to supply a particular equation, bar graph, or anything above my basic knowledge of Excel.
I recently Googled how to do a three-way call, I legit had no idea how to do it.
What do you Google at work? Did you look up anything in this article? Let me know on Twitter—nothing’s too crazy!
Photo of person on laptop courtesy of Hero Images/Getty Images.
Previously an editor for The Muse, Alyse is proud to prove that yes, English majors can change the world. She’s written almost 500 articles for The Muse on anything from productivity tips to cover letters to bad bosses to cool career changers, many of which have been featured in Fast Company, Forbes, Inc., CNBC's Make It, USA Today College, Lifehacker, Mashable, and more. She calls many places home, including Illinois where she grew up and the small town of Hamilton where she attended Colgate University, but she was born to be a New Yorker. In addition to being an avid writer and reader, Alyse loves to dance, both professionally and while waiting for the subway.More from this Author