Jemma started work as a word processor/typist in a medium-sized manufacturing company producing pet products, but soon discovered it provided opportunities for more interesting and challenging work in other areas of the business as well.
What does your job involve?
I deal with all the correspondence in the company which involves replying to letters, seeking responses from other members of staff and filing. As I became more computer proficient I took on responsibilities for other tasks in the office, such as the payroll, customer orders, creating invoices and delivery notes.
Do you get involved in the accounts?
Yes. I process payments from customers and check on overdue items. At the end of the month I use the software programme to calculate commissions, debtors and creditors and stock. I deal with telephone enquiries and ensure that despatch documentation is ready to go with the products for delivery to customers.
What do you do on a daily basis?
Every day is different, although I have to have certain routines. I open the mail and check new orders as they come in. I make sure all the mail is delivered to the relevant person in the company and take down any replies for word processing subsequent letters. I check stock levels to ensure that orders can be completed quickly. I then make out invoices and delivery notes.
In the afternoon I ensure that as many orders as possible are completed and packed, and that the documentation is ready for them to be collected by the carrier who delivers them to the customers.
How did you get into this type of work?
I enjoy working with a high volume of paperwork, files and data on a computerised system. Managers now have their own computers and tend to deal with their own correspondence directly so I attended evening courses in IT and developed an interest in working in other areas with computers. It seems a natural progression to get more involved in the many computerised office tasks with most people doing their own word processing now.
What hours do you work?
Generally 8.30 a.m. to 5.30 p.m., five days a week. The work is very seasonal – we are very busy in the winter and I have to work to 7pm some evenings.
What do you like best about your job?
Working in a completely new area in the manufacturing industry has been a learning experience for me and I enjoy the new challenges that I have encountered. The variety of tasks keeps the job interesting.
What do you need to be an office administrator?
Computer skills are essential in this role and it is more important to be familiar with a computer and its functions as well as having the ability to type properly. You need good English skills and the ability to spell, although spell checkers are an enormous help now!
You need to be hard working, show initiative, and be flexible and willing to carry out a variety of tasks.
How to become an Office administrator
- College evening courses in computer skills – RSA Computer literacy and information technology (CLAIT) and Integrated Business Technology Stage 2.
How do you become an Office administrator tips
- Find out what key skills are necessary for the job you want and get some experience beforehand.
- Always strive to know more!
- Don' be afraid to ask questions. It shows you have a genuine interest.
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