Steps To Becoming A Successful Office Manager
Every successful company that conducts business in an office has an office manager. That’s the person whose role is to ensure that everything is running smoothly and they help support and facilitate office operations.
If you’ve been thinking about starting a career in office management, but you have little to no administrative work experience, don’t worry – there are steps you can take to launch your career as an office manager.
We’re going to go over the duties and responsibilities of an office manager, as well as what you can expect in terms of pay. We’re also going to cover what skillset you should strive to develop, and what kind of work experience and education will help you get a job with little to no effort.
HOW TO BECOME A STELLAR OFFICE MANAGER
1. Get A Relevant Degree
In order to become an office manager, you’ll need a minimum of a high school diploma. Equivalent education degrees and diplomas will also work. You should bear in mind that sometimes employers prefer their office managers to have a bachelor’s degree.
If you’ve been thinking of getting a bachelor’s degree and you have aspirations towards becoming an office manager, you should strive for a degree in information management, business administration, HR management, or similar fields.
2. Complete A Certification Program
If you’ve already finished university and you’re looking to switch your career path to become an office manager, you will certainly benefit from getting an office manager certification. This certification will help you demonstrate your skills and capabilities to potential employers.
A great certification program is the Certified Administrative Professional (CAP), offered by the International Association of Administrative Professionals (IAAP). This certification is great for both established office assistants or managers and for those who are shifting careers.
This well-known program and certification provide a significant boost and anyone who passes the in-depth exam is certain to be recognized as a true expert when it comes to office management, especially if you lack relevant work experience or education.
Other useful certifications you should consider are Certified Facility Manager (CFM), Certified Information Governance Professional (IGP), and Certified Records Manager (CRM).
3. Develop Relevant Skills And Qualities
People tend to assume that being an office manager is easy and that anyone can do it. But, that’s not true at all – being an office manager requires a variety of skills and qualities, including excellent communication, organization, and leadership skills.
Aside from that, you also need to be analytical and great with money, since you’ll be in charge of organizing and managing the office budget. An office manager needs to be a great listener and problem solver too, especially if you have a team of office assistants working by your side.
Since you’ll be in charge of managing the day-to-day at the office, you’ll need great planning skills in order to be able to successfully facilitate and manage important meetings, events, and even parties.
4. Apply For Office or Administrative Assistant Jobs
If you don’t have any work experience in office management, it’s a wise decision to start with baby steps, which means applying for the positions of office assistant or administrative assistant. Both of these roles typically work under a well-established office manager.
This will provide you with the much-needed work experience that virtually any employer will ask of you. It’ll significantly increase your chances of getting hired as an office manager in the future. Working this entry-level job is a great way to gain insight into the duties and responsibilities of an office manager.
Additionally, it’s a smart choice to choose the same industry you want to work in as an office manager since the responsibilities and job scope will vary slightly depending on the field of work the company is in.
5. Learn How To Use Important Industry Tools
Knowing how to use key industry apps and tools is going to make all the difference and will set you apart from other job candidates. Nowadays, there are tons of useful apps that help office managers manage their day-to-day, and you can find online tutorials on how to use pretty much any of these apps.
For example, if your job scope as an office manager also includes managing payroll, you’ll want to familiarize yourself with some of the most frequently used payroll software. This includes tools like Gusto, Square Payroll, Xero, and many others.
Another popular set of apps an office manager might use is the entire G Suite, including Google Docs, Google Sheets, and Google Calendar, which is extremely useful for scheduling events, meetings, seminars, or anything else within your organization.
Google Drive is also a great tool to utilize for document storing and document collaboration purposes. Similarly, Google Meet, previously known as Google Hangouts, is a great solution for any video conferencing needs. Zoom is also a good choice.
If you’re also in charge of a team of office administrators or assistants, you might also benefit from using project management tools such as Asana, Monday, and even Bitrix24.
For communication within your organization or team, we recommend choosing Slack, Skype, or MS Teams.
6. Apply For An Office Manager Job
In order to get started with your job search, you’ll need to create an impressive office manager resume. Make sure to include everything that’s important in your resume, including contact information, work experience, and even a short summary section. You can even use an online template to help you create your resume with ease.
After you’ve nailed down your resume and you’re satisfied with how it looks like, it’s time to start applying for jobs. Nowadays, there are tons of ways to apply for jobs. Since we’ve been living in a pandemic, it’s easier than ever to apply for jobs online using online job boards.
If you’d like to use a different approach, you can also consider networking and getting discovered by recruiters on LinkedIn. Finally, you can also consider working with a recruiter or even visiting a job fair to look for open positions in office management.
What Does An Office Manager Do?
An office manager’s primary goal is to help facilitate and organize a business office’s operations. By utilizing their management, organizational and administrative skills, they ensure that an office is running smoothly and efficiently.
Additionally, depending on the company, an office manager may also be in charge of procedures such as paperwork processing, scheduling of events, and payroll. Their job is also to keep a record of employees, systems, or anything else important to the business.
Other duties of an office manager include bookkeeping, maintaining and managing daily, weekly, monthly and yearly office budgets, as well as accessing, filing, protecting, and destroying essential documents.
In the case of a large-scale organization or company, an office manager may also have subordinates, typically office assistants, or administrative assistants. In that case, their job will also be to manage, supervise and organize those assistants to ensure smooth workflow.
Office managers are in charge of planning, coordinating, and executing important meetings and work-related events, including seminars, parties, and more.
What Is The Salary Of An Office Manager?
According to Indeed, the average base salary of an office manager in the United States is $19.06 per hour, meaning it’s around $55,276 per year. Additionally, they may receive up to $3,250 per year in cash bonuses.
Of course, the pay range, benefits, and bonuses will vary depending on your location, previous work experience, and the company that hires you.
What Skills Does An Office Manager Need?
Because an office manager is involved in many office processes and aspects, they need to have a wide range of skills in order to be efficient and successful. We’re going to break down the most important skills employers look for when hiring a new office manager.
Since office managers frequently plan and coordinate important meetings and events, one of the most practical skills you can possess to be good at this role is communication skills. Both written and verbal communication skills are necessary in order to be able to effortlessly communicate with employees, other managers, clients, or stakeholders.
Also, as an office manager, you’ll probably be in charge of relaying important pieces of information across departments within the company, so in order to ensure that everything is communicated properly, your communication skills need to be flawless.
An office manager is going to be the person that knows everything about the company. Their knowledge is often unrivaled and they’re supposed to help the business even in the most challenging times.
This requires excellent problem-solving and quick thinking skills. Similarly, the more time you spend at the company, the more likely it is that employees will turn to you for various work-related issues.
You might also be put in charge of making something happen with little to no resources, which will require you to utilize your problem-solving skills and think of ways to make it possible even with a limited budget or other necessities.
One of the key requirements for office managers is excellent organization skills. As someone who will be responsible for coordinating several aspects of the workplace, both in terms of employees and important documents or paperwork, your organizational skills must be top-notch.
Office managers frequently take on the responsibility of keeping, filing, and organizing important company documents, such as contracts or various forms, so being extremely organized is a must.
Additionally, if you’re working with office administrators or office assistants, you’ll need to organize their duties, schedules, and more.
One of the many duties of an office manager is taking care of daily, weekly, or monthly office budgets. Developing excellent budgeting skills will be extremely useful in helping you analyze, determine, and predict the financial needs of the office.
It will also prove useful for analyzing expenditures and incomes. If your employer requests so, you might also be in charge of reviewing sales reports or supplier invoices.
An office manager is the leader of the office, in a sense. Oftentimes, you’ll have to work with other administrative workers or HR representatives, so having strong leadership skills will be very beneficial to your career in office management.
Knowing how to manage and motivate people who are working directly under you is crucial to establishing your position and authority within the team. Depending on the company, you might also be in charge of supervising more than one team, so leadership is a quality you must develop and work on if you strive towards becoming an excellent office manager.
Last but not least, a stellar office manager is expected to not only manage and upkeep an office but also suggest and make improvements that further help the company grow and thrive. This requires the ability to analyze and evaluate systems that are already in place.
For example, as an office manager, you might evaluate budgets and suggest an increase or a cut, or you might evaluate technological equipment to ensure that all the company needs are met.
GET STARTED WITH A CAREER IN OFFICE MANAGEMENT
Becoming an office manager is certainly a lucrative career move. However, it’s not as easy to get a job as an office manager right away, so you might need to work on your skills and gain valuable work experience before being able to apply for this job.
Depending on the company, a typical day for an office manager will vary. Some days you might be in charge of scheduling interviews or meetings, whereas other days you might be asked to review invoices or organize the company’s budget.
This job certainly requires a neat and organized person who can manage people, time, and money. You might even need a bachelor’s degree in a relevant field, but this depends entirely on your employer.
If you have previous job experience, you might already have the necessary skills, including leadership, time management, organization, and analytical and budgeting capabilities.
So, if you’ve been thinking of starting a career in office management, or changing your current career path to this one, we recommend starting off with a lower-level office position, such as administrative or office assistant, and then working your way up the corporate ladder.
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