Wicked Smart, Defined

a glossary of terms that will make you look wicked smart… especially in interviews, through those first few treacherous years on the job, and beyond…


Procurement involves the management and oversight of ordering, receiving, reviewing and approving items and/or services from suppliers and vendors.

As in: Walter is such a great procurement manager, he’s got a real knack for making sure we get what we paid for.


A term used primarily in startups (made popular by Eric Ries’ Lean Startup methodology, based on lean manufacturing), to describe a “structured course correction designed to test a new fundamental hypothesis about the product, strategy, and engine of growth.”

As in: This approach isn’t working, and hasn’t worked for the last 3 months. I think it’s time we pivot…better to change direction than abandon the entire project.


An environment outside, or otherwise apart from, the current time/place.

As in: [Boss] So that wraps up the abysmal Q4 financial forecast. Any questions?

[Silly You] What about our raises?

[Boss] Let’s take that offline.

core competencies

The combined knowledge, experience, skills and/or production techniques that provide additional value to the user or consumer.

As in: There are plenty of other companies out there that are (doing X) but our core competencies are what really set us apart.

out of pocket

  1. out-of-pocket expense: a business expense that you pay for personally, and then submit to the company for reimbursement at a later date
  2. be out of pocket: to be unreachable

As in: I’ll be out of pocket this afternoon while I’m at the dentist.

top-line / bottom-line

In financial terms, top-line refers to gross revenue (often the first, or top, line of a financial statement). Figuratively speaking, to “top-line” a conversation means to give an overview.

Likewise, in money speak, bottom-line refers to net revenue (usually the last, or bottom, line of a financial statement), and figuratively refers to a roundup or summary of something.

As in: The bottom line is,


Management term used to describe the content and/or tasks that must be provided and/or completed in order to fulfill the requisites of a project.

As in: Peter needs those deliverables by Monday for the client meeting.


Return On Investment

As in: We took the client out to Ruth’s Chris for dinner to help loosen up their perspective. Great ROI.

low-hanging fruit

easily obtainable goals; the work that is the simplest, easiest and/or fastest to accomplish

As in: We need a quick win to demonstrate the value of this project to the client, so let’s go after the low-hanging fruit.


mental capacity; intelligence; a person’s capacity to handle or think about more than one thing at the same time

As in: I asked Michael if he could help us out with this project, but his reaction made me think he just doesn’t have the bandwidth right now.

And our final entry in this edition of Wicked Smart, Defined:


how one presents him/herself to the world

As in: Bring all your swagger on over to WickedSmart, make sure your profile is as amazing as it can be, and you’ll be ready when the right employer comes along!

(concurrently) Check out our profile tips and feel free to email us if you have any questions or run into any problems.

Stay smart!

The WickedSmart Team

By Tiffany Brower @tiffbrower and Sara Phipps @sarajainephipps

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