Careers in Office Administration

Posted by Tina Kelly 26/03/2012, 12:00
1339 Views | 1 Likes | 1 Comments

Office administrators are the unsung heroes of the business world – they are the men and women who keep the day-to-day operations of the business flowing smoothly so that working professionals can perform their specialised tasks with ease.

They specialise in administrative tasks like managing the front office, dealing with visitors and callers, cataloguing and ordering office supplies, planning and scheduling events, and lots more – all tasks that require great organisation skills, a polite and professional demeanour, project management ability and practical training.

The field of office administration can lead to a successful career in people management, human resources, executive assistance and other interesting jobs. To start off, however, most administrators have one of the following four job types.

Secretary

A secretary or receptionist is the first person most people interact with at a company, and is therefore a vital cog in the corporate machine. Secretaries are usually in charge of the front office, which means that they screen and welcome visitors, take calls, handle mail deliveries, catalogue and source office equipment, and keep track of appointments, meetings and schedules.

The role largely depends on the organisation – a secretary at a small dental office, for example, may be responsible for all aspects of running the business except for the actual dental work, while a receptionist at a large corporation may spend most of the time managing a switchboard.

Personal Assistant

A personal assistant (PA) is someone who handles all administrative matters on behalf of another person, to free them up to do other important work. PAs usually work for high-ranking corporate officials, like CEOs and high-level managers, whose frenetic jobs mean they have no time for tasks like scheduling appointments, keeping track of expenses, and organising business-related events.

The PA therefore plays an essential role as the person in charge of the CEO’s time and attention, and usually forms a close relationship with the person they are assisting. Vitally, PAs also act as a buffer and gatekeeper for the CEO – they filter content, messages and visitors so that only the most important and relevant ones go through.

Office Manager

An office manager can wear many faces, depending on the organisation they work in. In general, an office manager is responsible for the day-to-day smooth running of the business by managing the physical office space and internal employee matters. He or she will track stocks, ensure the physical maintenance and repair of the office building, coordinate and organise internal company data, and organise company events like team-building outings, Christmas lunches and training sessions.

Some may be responsible for the health and safety of the company, and could also deal with low-level HR issues. While a secretary is the outward face of the company, the office manager focuses inward to make sure employees stay efficient in their working environment.

Skilled Administrator

Aside from the general roles above, office administrators also often possess specialised skills that will help them perform additional valuable tasks for the business. Many secretaries are also trained bookkeepers, which allows them to keep track of incoming and outgoing payments, control stock, and manage the petty cash, which is usually located at the front desk.

PAs often have paralegal training, to enable them to advise CEOs on basic matters like contracts, legal business obligations, tax matters and other related laws. Human resources management is another useful skill set – even if the office administrator doesn’t work as an HR representative, the people skills and conflict resolution always come in handy.

This article is published under the Creative Commons Attribution license.

If you are interested in this topic, take a look at our University of Cape Town Professional Communication and Office Management course.

Source: GetSmarter

  1. Suzan Dimples Ndlovu

    Suzan Dimples Ndlovu

    That is my career and I love doing it. It's very hard to land up in what you actually like doing in a career. I am currently looking and I hope do find my career one of these good days.

  2. Anonymous
    1.  
    Comment
Dion Truter
Wiebka Cooper
Richard Wooding
Marcus Grove
Imraan Parker
Kris T Jarzebowski
Mokgatla Moseje
Nicole Attridge
Rob Olsen
Chilton Adriaanse
Elan Lohmann
CareerJunction Company
Robyn van der Meulen CA(SA)
BANDILE NODADA
Valerie Mdluli
shafeek Naidoo
Emmmanuel Xola Cebo
The Car Guy
Jaco Botha
Paul Byrne
oteng  frank
Kholiwe  Sibotho
Mark Waite
Dave Asher
Tefo Motsoeneng
Clinton Bush
Adedapo Ajakaye
Rhulani Gerald Sibuya
Mpho Moloi
Phuti Morris Moila
Precious Lerato Motsamai
Elton Simetsi
Kevin Yates
Anne Wilson
Seeiso Lehlehla
Jill Carlse
Thandiwe Queen Xaba
Thembisile Gwebeda
Depika Kassie
Mariette Van Rhyn
Yvonne Basson
Donna Jameson
Nerville Ngoako Mapunya
Morne Louw
ESSOP ASMALGEE
Leon Williams
Mcdonald Ubisi
Siyanda Brian Ndzuzo
Siyabonga Dilimeni
Victoria Malamule
Kopano Ke-Matla Vundla
Maureen van Tonder
Joshua Kwela
Leonore Williams
Rainer Beuthner
Tshidi Motubatse
Jessica Lee
Godfrey Van Wyk
Kris T Jarzebowski
Marcus Grove
Marius Botha
Alistair Thomson
Imraan Parker
caissa veeran
Nicole Attridge
CJI CareerJunction Index
Elan Lohmann
Ben Goosen
Unis Zuurmond
Rob Olsen
Richard Wooding
Claire Olivier
shafeek Naidoo
Kobie Snyman
Sue Grant
Robyn van der Meulen CA(SA)
AutoJunction Company
PropertyJunction Company
Careers I'm interested in
Credit Controller Eastern Cape
Market Related CTC Incl Benefits Neg
EE Food Safety & Quality Manager Montague Gardens
Up To R22,500 Per Month CTC Incl Benefits
Administration Assistant East London
Market Related CTC Incl Benefits Neg
EE Executive Assistant to CFO Cape Town Metro
Market Related CTC Neg
EE Administrative Assistant (Perishable Products Export Control Board) Western Cape
R176,804 Per Annum CTC
Auto Electrician (Confidential) Middelburg
R15,000-18,000 Per Month Basic Plus Commission And Benefits
EE Recruitment Consultant Fourways
Market Related Basic Salary
EE Administration Supervisor Durban Metro
Market Related CTC Incl Benefits Neg

Do you have a question about your career, car or property? Get answers from other users with similar lifestyles and experts.

in

Do you have a idea about your career, car or property. Get answers from other users with similar lifestyles and experts.

in

Share your lifestyle with everyone by uploading photos of where you work, what you are driving and where you live.


Select Photos to Upload

in