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How do most people enter this profession or field?

#Office #Administration

Thank you comment icon Hi, Monica. I'd love to have more insight into your question. What type of office or administrative work are you looking to get into? And do you have background or experience in this so far? This will help me and others provide helpful answers to you. Thanks! Nicole M.

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Ron’s Answer

Administration is a really broad term that can cover many jobs, but generally means some form of managing day-to-day office duties. As such, there are many different ways you can get started. In my case, for example, I knew I wanted to work in an office environment but didn't know where to start or even what specific job I wanted, so I went to what's called a "temp agency" to get help with finding a job. Temp agency (or a "Temporary Staffing Agency" if you're fancy) is a company that looks at your resume, interviews you and figures out what kind of job you'd be good for, and refers you to outside companies looking to hire people with your skill set. As the name "temporary" states, though, you will only have the job temporarily. This is a great way to get work in multiple places and see what sort of jobs you like. If a certain place likes you, they may choose to hire you as permanent staff. This is what happened to me and was basically the start of my career.

That's one possible path, but the other is just to apply to entry level positions. So the important question is - what kind of skills will you need, and which do you have already? Everything will start with your resume. It can be really hard to write a resume when you don't have much job experience, but volunteering, work you've done for family and extra-curriculars at school can all tell a potential employer what you're good at and why they want to hire you. It could be that you're good at answering the phone and speaking to the public, or good with numbers or, as in my case, good with data entry. Some common desired skills are knowledge with Microsoft Office programs (like Microsoft Word, Powerpoint, or Excel), having good customer service and phone ettiquette, or having good written communication. Sometimes, however, different skills can get you in the door as well, like knowledge with web design, Photoshop or even social media! In any event, you will probably start out in a more assistant role, doing work that is repetitive like filing, data entry, etc. and heavily supervised. As you work your way up you will have more responsibility, and may find that you've learned so much about the job that you're training in and supervising people that are doing the job you started with!
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Michelle’s Answer

Hi Monica, for a lot of office administration jobs, you will have the best luck simply by applying! Some key traits that you need to succeed in office administration include organization, great customer service, and time management skills. You want to make sure that your resume shows off these skills to have the best chance of getting an interview. One of the most important parts of your interview is simply how you present yourself. Dress to impress, be positive, polite, upbeat, and let the company know how interested in the job you are. Good luck!
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M’s Answer

Hi Monica! Not too sure if you are asking specifically about entering the administration role at a business. But if it this position or even a different one I would recommend the following: 1. create a resume, 2. open a linked in (connect with others, include your past experience, etc) 3. reach out to recruiters. Also, if you are in school/college look for these jobs on campus there should be quite a bit of office administrator jobs at your school. Hope this helped, good luck!
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Angel’s Answer

Hi Monica.

I agree wholeheartedly with the response provided by Ron Burton about ways to get introduced to administrative positions. I would also recommend networking--talking to people you know to ask if they know anyone who needs some help in their office. This can be done by word-of-mouth, but also via social media sites, such as LinkedIn. By the way, always have an updated copy of your resume available at all times so you can hand it to someone or send to them electronically at a moment's notice. And as you learn something new, update that on your resume and LinkedIn account right away.

As it would turn out, many years ago I was referred for a job working as a word processor at a law firm. Soon after being hired, I was trained to be a legal secretary, and then cross-trained as a legal assistant, and eventually made the choice to go to school to get my paralegal certificate. That word processing referral took me on a seven-year journey with this law firm and taught me sooooo much about the value of having basic computer skills and being teachable to learn more. I was curious to know what else I could do with my administrative skills so I ventured out and signed on with a temporary staffing agency that placed me right away at Qualcomm where I worked for nearly a year as an engineering staffing assistant. I really enjoyed working there but once my assignment ended, I chose to work on a variety of other assignments a bit longer so I could see what other types of companies I might like working at. Eventually I returned to the legal field because it turns out I was really good at what I did.

So, as long as you have some solid computer skills and are willing to learn and grow, your administrative experience can take you a very long way and into so many different types of industries. Best wishes to you, Monica!
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Mara’s Answer

Hi Monica!

Like Ron, I too started my career in office administration through temp agencies. They are a GREAT way to get an inside look at a variety of industries, especially if you are unsure of exactly what you want to do. Office admin positions can range from basic front desk duties to more administrative/executive assistant work and even office management (facilities, etc.). In my 4 years of working with temp agencies in the San Francisco Financial District, my title was usually the same ("Front Desk/Receptionist/Admin Assistant") but the duties were very different depending on the industry.

I would like to point out that there is definitely room for advancement in this industry, especially if you are adaptable. Similar to Angel, I went from a 3-week temp job as an admin assistant to a full time legal operations specialist in my current role and it's only up from here! There are always possibilities to change roles also if you don't find the admin life for you.

My advice would be to sign up with a temp agency, learn some of the basic programs and skills you will need such as calendaring, expense reporting, managing shipping or visitor logs, booking travel, and other office skills, and check out a variety of industries to see what you like best. I also agree with what Angel said about always having a copy of your resume; you never know when it will come in handy. Always make revisions when you learn new skills, etc.. Good luck!
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Giovanni’s Answer

Hello Monica,

Jobs within the administration side of business there are a lot of entry roles. Most roles being known as administrative admin, administrative support, and office assistance. If you're pursuing in getting a future job in the office environment an excellent way to enter is by applying for an officer assistant and or administrative assistance role as an intern while finishing college. Whether an intern or administrative assistant at a small office, you'll be able to get more involved with the environment due to the career develop and experiences received during that time.

I will like to share my story with you. During my first year in college I applied to a immigration law firm in 2016 for an intern position. I was fortunate to get the role as a Office Assistant Intern. I worked as an intern for 3 months until I was offered the opportunity to become a part-time office assistant. During my 3 month internship, I learned how to be organized, manage my time and work priority, customer service, due diligence in working with confidential information, creating and editing documentation, and a bit of networking. It was a very good experience.

It's ok to start small. An administrative role in an office requires you to go out of your comfort zone and also presents challenges that will help you grow professionally. I wish you the best in choosing your goals in relation to a future career. Thank you.
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Deanna’s Answer

Hi Monica,

I started my journey at the front desk greeting visitors, answering and directing calls. What I found helpful was asking to be mentored from the admins in the office. This gave me an inside look to their day to day, tips and performance expectations for entry level admin to executive admin.

Regards,

Deanna
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