With a wide range of employment possibilities and a median average salary of $43,860 in the Windsor region, becoming an office administrator is a wise career move. Administrative professionals have transferable skills that allow them to work in a variety of industries, and with an older than average workforce, the number of retirees in the coming years should result in many new job opportunities.
But what does it take to have a really successful career? Different businesses can require admin staff to take on different kinds of responsibilities, so the day-to-day job duties can vary. However, there are a number of characteristics and skills which all good office administrators have in common.
Office administrators usually have to deal with clients, management, and other members of staff on a frequent basis, so having good communication and people skills are essential. When dealing with clients, admin staff need a good telephone manner, and to be capable of adopting a personable but formal tone, even when handling complaints. Administrators also need a good sense of teamwork in order to work well with their colleagues on a day-to-day basis.
Most administrative work is done on computers nowadays, which is why office administration courses provide comprehensive training in commonly used programs such as Microsoft Office, PowerPoint, and Outlook.
In addition, many businesses use other administrative software programs to suit their specific needs, so office admin staff need to be able to adapt to new computer programs quickly. Luckily, most students find it easier to learn new programs once they have been trained in basic computer skills.
Office administrators often find that they not only have to manage their own time, but the time of other staff members too. They may be tasked with scheduling appointments and meetings for managers or sales teams, as well as general staff meetings and training sessions. As a result, administrative staff often have a number of calendars to keep track of, and need to be able to juggle them efficiently.
Throughout your office administration career, it’s important to be ready for anything. Administrators will often come into work to find a long list of problems to solve, such as scheduling conflicts, dissatisfied customers, or missing paperwork. Being able to think on your feet and find creative solutions to problems is a surefire way to impress your employer, and will help advance your career.
Above all else, administrators need outstanding organizational skills. They will often oversee the day-to-day functioning of the entire office environment, so it’s necessary to keep on top of everything that needs to be done. Administrators need to maintain filing systems, keep track of office paperwork, and manage ingoing and outgoing correspondence in a timely manner. Doing all of these things at once requires an ability to multitask, and to prioritize work to ensure everything gets completed.
Interested in studying for an office administration diploma? Visit Canadian College for more information or to speak to an advisor.