Become an Office AdministratorPublish Date: Jun 26, 2009
Office administrators handle a variety of tasks that are involved with keeping the offices of all types of businesses running smoothly. Rather than being involved in the actual running of the business, office administrators handle and oversee staff that handles tasks such as filing, word processing, bookkeeping, human resources, and anything else required to run an office.
Become a good office administrator is determine which requests are most important
The office administrator is the point person for all of the various departments within the office. This is a position that does not usually require a college degree, although some classes in office administration will be helpful. There are associate degree programs available, but many successful office administrators have no college education at all.
Office administrators will work very closely with people in every department of the business. For this reason, it is vitally important to be able to work well with others, even when many of them are pulling you in all different directions.
You will also need to be able to determine which requests are most important. As the office administrator, part of your job will be to prioritize the tasks that you are given. Obviously, each department will feel that their requests are the most important, so it will be up to the administrator to rank the tasks in order of importance. You will also need to juggle several projects at once.
Many office administrators got their start in clerical positions and then worked their way up. Another option is to seek out internships. You will need to demonstrate excellent keyboard and computer skills, so consider brushing up on these if needed.
If you do earn an associate's degree in office administration, that may give you an edge over some of the competition, but many businesses are going to value experience as much, if not more than, a certificate or degree.
For this reason, you may consider accepting a job as a secretary, administrative assistant, or in another clerical role so that you can get your foot in the door and gain experience. While in those roles, learn all that you can. See if the current office manager or administrator is willing to mentor you.
While working in the office, in any capacity, try to learn all that you can about as many aspects of running an office as possible. Some of these areas include ordering supplies, conflict resolution, light bookkeeping, database management, and human resource issues.
Make your desire to become an office administrator known. Once you have some office experience under your belt, you will be in a position to begin applying for open office manager and administrator roles at a variety of businesses.
Office administrators are needed in both the private sector and in non-profit and government agencies.
It is a good idea to focus on businesses that you find interesting. While, as mentioned above, you will not be involved in the direct operation of the business, you will have tasks pertaining to that business. If the company is one that you find important or interesting, it is less likely that you will be bored or frustrated by the workload.
Choosing to embark on a career in office administration is a wise choice for someone who needs to begin working right away and does not have time to attend college. Depending on the company for which you work, it can be a lucrative career offering the best benefits including retirement and health and dental coverage.
While it is true that you will likely have to start in a clerical position, you will be earning money while setting yourself on a path to reach you goal of being the office manager or administrator.