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I’m just the receptionist. I just do the accounts. I’m just the admin assistant here.
These are statements I hear often. I hear them when interviewing admin candidates. I hear them when I am on site with a client coaching and developing their team.
A job in admin (and when I refer to admin I am referring to our receptionists, data entry assistants, admin officers, office managers, Personal or Executive Assistants, accounts and finance people) is critical to the success of any business. A job in admin is also one of the best career paths you can pursue because of the experience you can gain, the skills you have the opportunity to develop and the career paths that can be created.
Many years ago, my first real job out of high school was in admin. I didn’t know what I wanted to do when I finished year 12. I didn’t know what I wanted to be when I grew up. I didn’t know what I wanted to study at Uni. Instead of going straight from Secondary School to University I was desperate to get some experience in the workforce. Luckily for me I secured a 12-month traineeship as a receptionist in a real estate agency.
Getting a start in admin was what gave me the skills base and experience to take my career in a variety of directions. A start in admin led to roles such as Sales Admin, Property Management, Executive Assistant, Sales Consultant, Conveyancing Clerk, Administration Assistant, Accounts Assistant to Recruitment Admin and the rest is history. When moving from one job to the next it sometimes meant a step back to be able to take a bigger step forward in the long run or sometimes it meant a side-step.
I truly believe that a career in admin can be the best opportunity to explore various career paths, build some exceptional skills and experience and find your genius. Admin isn’t my genius but it was the admin experience that opened the door for my recruitment career.
The challenge can be that as admin professionals there isn’t one clear career path. For example if you are an Accountant you start out as a Graduate Accountant, then as you build your experience you move to being an Accountant, then a Senior Accountant, then through to the likes of a Finance Manager up to a Chief Financial Officer (of course there are lots of opportunities to specialise and diversify along the way but in simple terms there is a clear career path of progression). As admin professionals, the career path is not so clear cut; as I explained with my career path who would have thought that a trainee reception role would lead to owning a recruitment and HR agency.
Making the most of your admin career requires planning. As you build and gain experience it’s really important to understand what elements of your job you love and are most satisfying and which admin tasks don’t come so naturally to you. When we have clarity around what we love to do most, we have a much better chance of finding our dream job and/or progressing our career. When we invest the time in planning we can identify our skill gaps, understand what areas we need to gain new or further experience in and we can proactively work on building our skills and experience to better position ourselves for that next career move rather than waiting for it to fall in our lap.
The other important element to consider is that there are lots of awesome and amazing admin professionals out there so competition can be tough when applying for your dream job. As an admin professional it is important to make yourself stand out from the crowd. This can be no easy feat for many admin professionals because often you are most comfortable out of the spotlight; the one behind the scenes that just pulls everything together and makes stuff happen in business. However, when making a career move it is so important to tell your story, show case your skills and experience and demonstrate what you have to offer.
Which is why at Inspire HQ we are holding a Disrupt your Admin Career week long free event!
If you or someone you know is an admin professional trying to navigate their admin career our Disrupt your Admin Career | Free Career Coaching Chat is for you.
Choose the chat that best meets your needs (limit one session per person):
1. Define Your Direction
Let’s make a start on planning the next chapter in your career story!
2. Update Your Toolkit
Tips to update your resume or LinkedIn profile, so they jump off the page!
3. Nail the Interview
Let us help you share your career story, so that you stand out from the crowd!
Limited spaces available! Sessions available from Monday 22nd June through to Friday 26th June – book a time that is convenient to you by emailing [email protected] noting your preferred date and time. It’s that easy!
Angela Connor is the Founder and Director of Inspire HQ, one of regional Victoria’s leading recruitment, human resource and career coaching companies. She understands the significance of having the right team of people in a business and is passionate about helping business to attract, recruit and engage the right people so those people can inject their talents into the business; creating an environment where they can do great work and love what they do. Find more useful information and advice at www.inspirehq.com.au or by following Angela on LinkedIn.
Disclaimer: The material contained in this publication is of a general nature only. It is not, nor is intended to be, legal advice. If you wish to act based on the content of this publication, we recommend that you seek professional advice.