To be put into a complex situation (especially work-related) without preparation or when lacking experience in the field; especially in the case of a new job. Derived from the slope in a swimming pool which is shallow at one side, for beginners, and has a deeper section which is designed for more experienced swimmers.
Also 'jump in at the deep end' - to deliberately tackle a difficult area; to take the bull by the horns
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"in at the deep end." Phrases.net. STANDS4 LLC, 2017. Web. 21 Nov. 2017. <http://www.phrases.net/phrase/in-at-the-deep-end_13120>.