Your Job as an Office Professional

Office Support positions sport many titles such as Administrative Assistants, Office Assistants, Secretaries, “Something” Clerk and various other labels. This type of position is not limited to any one specific industry or company. It is no secret that many offices are seeking out how they can effectively graduate to a paperless office and utilize their staff more. This does not mean that the office support title will become extinct; it just means that the position will now have different more expertise-type functions when it comes to the overall scheme of a company’s structure.

Many office support job seekers, especially non-degreed individuals gravitate towards any office support position in the newspaper with no regard to what industry its in. What’s most important seems to be benefit packages and the schedule of raises and bonuses. But there are more things that should be considered if you are interested in becoming an office professional

Get To Know Your Computer Skills
There are so many office related duties that can be simplified by using computer programs. Word processing programs are great for clear, spell-checked memos and letters. There is also mail-merging functions which can be essential in saving time with mass-mailings. These programs gradually improve typing speed and accuracy with every use. Then there are spreadsheet programs, which are used for recording data that may require formulation such as money, product amounts and percentages that are easily converted into useful charts and graphs to present a visual look for boring numbers and figures. Then there are presentation programs that allow you to create presentations and share them across the country or across the world.

What Work Environment Works For You?
The most popular are corporate office support positions which have that members-only feel and a more strict hiring process which can be frustrating having to attend second and third interviews, urinating in those ridiculously small cups and having to trace your steps as far back as ten years. The dress code is definitely business or at the least, business casual but too casual will not be tolerated. Most of these positions do have excellent benefit packages, scheduled raises, possibly bonuses and the option of bidding internally for other positions after only a few months of service. Also, there are options to move within the company if you are moving out-of-state because of the amount of locations this business operates out of.

Then there are midsize companies who may not have the best benefits but you are less of a number here and may know a lot more people by their first and last name. The dress code is not as strict as corporate offices but office professionals are expected to present themselves properly. It may be difficult to move into other positions quickly because positions don’t open up as quickly because of the size or revenue of the business.

Smaller operations including family owned operations are more cozy and family-oriented. It is only difficult to acquire a position here because it’s very small and the owners or hiring personnel usually hire people by word of mouth. For example, their receptionist may have been hired because her mom works with the owners’ wife and mentioned that she needed a summer job. Benefits may or may not be available because the company is not large or bringing in large amounts of revenue. The location that you interview at, may very well be where everything happens and each employee is expected to do their job and other duties if no one is available to do it. Working as an office professional at a company this size may require not only many hats but “odd” hats. And the chances of getting raises and higher positions aren’t as great.

What Schedule Fits Into You Life?
There are many businesses that are 24-hour operations. Although most of them don’t require business services to be performed overnight, there is still a chance that the schedule will be irregular. Some shifts may begin in the afternoon around 1 or 2pm and end in the evening around 8pm or 9pm as opposed to the regular 9-5pm or 8-4pm office hours. There are organizations such as hospitals and warehousing facilities that have irregular hours for the office support staff.

Industries/Company Types to Consider
�· Hospitals
�· Airlines
�· Sports Associations (NBA or NHL)
�· Human Resources/Recruiting �· Photography (Studios)
�· Entertainment (Record Labels, Recording Studios, TV/Radio Stations)
�· Manufacturers and Suppliers
o Car and Truck Parts
o Food (Import/Export)
o Household Products
o Electronics
o Paper Products
�· Telecommunications
�· Doctor/Dentist Offices
�· Insurance
�· Health Organizations such as HMOs
�· Retail Stores
�· Adult Companies
�· Virtual/On-Line

What More Education Can Do For You?
According to statistics, a college graduate in any profession has the opportunity to gross more per year than non-college grads. As an office support professional, a degree or certificate can greatly improve your chances of getting certain positions. Most entry-level office positions require a high school diploma at the least but certain industries require an office support professional to have unique skills. This would be the case in which a law office requires office personnel to have law experience or a doctor’s office requiring medical certification. If you take a look at what you are currently doing as an office support professional, this is something that can be maximized with education that focuses on that particular industry. Becoming degreed can enhance your skills and increase your pay by hundreds more per paycheck and thousands more per year.

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