Offices are busy places, full of activity. Then, on the front lines of the office, you find an administration team juggling a wide range of critical tasks. The administration team needs to keep on top of those tasks or the business will slow down, and fail to function well. The office manager plays a critical role keeping an eye on the bigger picture and works with a team of administrators to get things done. Consider a career as an office manager if you are a natural leader, with very good communication and organisational skills. Using your talents to manage people, you coordinate staff and oversee daily procedures. The result, a successful, smooth running administration office.
Step one: Gain experience
If you want to become an office manager then you will do best if you have a combination of experience and training. Before you begin a course you can focus on working in an office, in an entry-level role. In this way, you can gain experience in the area, and understand better the work environment.
Step two: Choose a vocational course
To get an edge over other applicants for an office manager job. Or to strengthen your application for progressing your career you can consider taking a course. There are vocational courses available which will teach you everything you need to know. Taking a course and pairing this new knowledge with your experience will give you an edge over other applicants.
Step three: Apply for a new job
Once you have built up some experience and gained qualifications, you are ready to seek work as an office manager. You might find an opportunity opens within the company you already work for. Or you may want to seek an opportunity in a new company. Remember to tailor your resume and cover letter for each application. As well as highlighting your experience, qualifications, and personal strengths.
Step four: Consider a specialisation
Once you have settled into your work as an office manager you may consider a specialisation. You may need to take extra training before specialising. Here are four options for career progression you can consider.
Human Resources Officer
HR officers are the hub of staff operations and usually found in large business and corporations. You specialise in the administration tasks directly related to staffing. Your tasks revolve around payroll, issuing contracts, updating contracts, and collecting documentation required from new staff members. Sometimes you will need to play a role in resolving workplace disputes. HR officers need good people skills, as well as top-notch administration skills.
If you love a busy lifestyle, but you don’t like to work in a large or medium team you may enjoy working as an executive assistant. In this specialisation you focus on supporting an individual. This person has a demanding role with a mountain of administration which he can’t do himself. In general, you manage the diary and other administrative tasks. For example, correspondence, taking notes and making travel arrangements.
In this specialisation, you move for focus from the administration team. Now, your focus is the whole company. You breakdown protocols and strategies to see if there are ways to improve efficiency across the company. As well as working on internal improvements, you keep on top of industry changes, including legislation, or WHS laws. In this way, you make sure the company acts on any legal or regulatory changes.
Medical Office Manager
If you’re passionate about healthcare and you would like to play a part in improving services for patients. Then, becoming a medical office manager could be a good option for you. You oversee daily operations, and administrative tasks in the hospital, clinic or GP office.
What does an Office Manager do?
As the leader of the administration team, your main task is to oversee and manage the daily running of the office. You make sure the team handles business’s administrative tasks, and jobs are efficiently seen through. Importantly, you delegate tasks to the team of administrators and track everything. Making adjustments to the responsibilities people have if you think there is a need. Besides these managerial responsibilities, you may take charge of hiring new staff members, and training them up. In addition, you keep track of departmental budgets and ensure the team adheres to them. For example, you keep an eye on the expenditure for stationary and come up with ideas to reduce these costs if they are too high.
- Delegating tasks to team members
- Organising the lease of the office space
- Holding interviews for vacancies
- Providing training in administration to staff
- Overseeing budgets and expenditure
Skills for Success
Good managers will always have good people skills. You need to communicate clearly, listen well, and handle people by guiding and motivating without belittling. At the same time, you should articulate your ideas and what you want to achieve clearly. You usually work under pressure with deadlines always on the near horizon. The office manager needs to rise above the stress and remain calm. As the leader of the administration team, you need to lead by example. Every day you juggle a number of different balls, and you need to keep track of everything, get everything done all without dropping a ball. Therefore, if you are good at multitasking you will do well in this role.
Skills and attributes
- Able to keep calm in stressful situations
- Pragmatic and organised
- Multitasking extraordinaire
- Very good people skills
- Excellent communicator
What is the Office Manager Salary in Australia?
In Australia, office managers earn a median wage of $57,598 per year. This varies according to a number of factors and is intended as a reference only, from Payscale 05/’18.