The question I’m asked most often about getting started in the work of admin is: “Do I have to do a course?”
In actuality, you don’t NEED any qualifications to work in office administration. Having some qualifications or training under your belt will certainly help you progress in your career, but it’s not a requirement to work in this industry.
What do I need, then?
The key thing you need is experience. By experience, I don’t just mean in an admin role. You could have worked as a teacher, volunteered to answer the phones for your local charity, helped manage the local Little Athletics program, been a stay at home mum. Don’t underestimate facets of your life that have developed your time management, organisational and critical thinking skills. Take some time to jot these down and I think you’ll be pleasantly surprised by what you discover!
What if I want to get a qualification?
Then I say go for it! You can study for Certificates or Diplomas through TAFE or business colleges. TAFE is cheaper, but business colleges are more often approached by companies looking for recent graduates. Ask around to find out which have a good reputation locally, check them out online and attend an open day. You can also look at community colleges for shorter courses.
Where should I look for admin work?
You can start by checking out your local papers to see if there is anything that you might be interested in. If there aren’t any jobs being advertised, why not try printing off your resume and dropping it in to local businesses? Walk in with your best smile, explain to the receptionist that you’re looking for admin work in the local area and ask if he or she could pass in your resume.
I’m a big fan of recruitment agencies. Sure, they feel like a dating agency, but they cost you nothing, they can give you great advice and they can find you a job that matches your skillset. Google around for agencies near where you live (or where you want to work) and drop in your resume. They’ll give you a call and get to know you. Before putting you up for interviews they’ll have you tested for basics like spelling and typing. For me, I find the best part about going through agencies is that you get exposed to the interview process. The anxiousness, the hand shaking and answering questions, it gets you used to it and you can perfect your spiel!
The #1 thing you need
When it comes to the crunch, what you need more than anything else is the ability to put yourself out there, listen to any feedback you get and just keep going until you get that job.
You can do it!
Are you thinking of working in office administration? If you’re looking for advice, I’d love to help you out!
[Image by Academia]