Office administrators are an integral part of a business’s operations, responsible for providing administrative and clerical support to ensure the smooth running of day-to-day activities. For those looking to advance their career in this role, there are certain skills they should possess to be successful. This article outlines five skills every office administrator should have for a successful career. These are the specific skills employers look for when they hire someone as an office administrator.
Organization and Time Management Skills
Being able to organize paperwork, prioritize tasks, and keep track of deadlines is one of the most important qualities an office administrator can possess. Having strong organizational and time management skills will ensure that work is completed in a timely manner with minimal errors.
Tools like Outlook and Microsoft Teams/360 can make it easy to set up appointments and share calendars among colleagues. Salesforce, the ubiquitous CRM, integrated with the Slack message board system in 2022 to make intraoffice communication, scheduling and project planning more efficient, for example.
Make sure you have a basic understanding of the main messaging and scheduling system your employer uses.
Communication Skills in Office Administration
Office administrators must be able to communicate effectively both verbally and written. They should be able to effectively convey instructions, answer questions, and collaborate with coworkers.
Communication/project management tools such as Jira, Slack, Monday or Trello, etc. are used heavily these days. With the rise in remote work, these platforms have gained importance across industries. Make sure you're familiar with how to use these. The good news is their interfaces are all very similar. So, if you are comfortable with using one of these apps, the others are relatively easy to learn.
Communication, in general, has become more focused on written messaging, so solid, clear written communication skills are also a must. If you lean on AI such as Jasper.AI or ChatGPT to craft messages, make sure you read the output thoroughly before sending. These tools can write clean, authoritative copy, but you must be careful that copy conveys the message you wish to send.
Office administrators must be comfortable working with computers. Basic knowledge of software such as word processing, spreadsheets, databases, and presentation programs is essential. Having an understanding of how technology works can help office administrators save time and complete tasks more efficiently.
Knowing the basics of Microsoft Excel and the rest of the MS Office suite, QuickBooks, SharePoint, Google Docs and drive, etc. will help you effectively administer almost any office.
Familiarity with AI models is a growing component of nearly all office work. Using AI to streamline processes and automate tasks is in its infancy, but employers will demand more and more of these skills as the buisness AI sector matures. You don't have to have coding or technical machine learning skills to experiment with consumer-facing automation engines like Zapier, or test out ChatGPT and Bard's skills coming up with novel Excel formulas.
Problem Solving Skills for Office Administrators
Being able to think quickly on one’s feet and come up with creative solutions to problems is an important skill for any office administrator. The ability to stay calm under pressure is also critical in these situations.
Make sure you're well versed in the latest search strategies for Google and Bing, as well as trade publications for your particular industry. Practicing queries with AI tools like ChatGPT can also help you be ready to find solutions to any problems that arise.
Be careful using AI tools to generate solutions to problems; these large language models can be prone to errors in the details of their responses, but their delivery often reads as authoritative. You should always check info from AI sources against your own research, especially when business revenue or expense may be at stake.
Attention to Detail is Crucial for Office Administrators
Being detail-oriented is essential when it comes to managing paperwork and ensuring accuracy in documents. Office administrators should be able to pay close attention to details and pick up on errors quickly.
A background in copy editing is helpful, as is some knowledge of accounting and budgeting practices.
Having these skills can make a resume stand out from the competition and open up more opportunities for growth in an office administrator career. While some of these skills may come naturally, others can be learned through relevant education or training programs. With the right combination of experience, knowledge and soft skills, office administrators have the potential for a successful career.
It’s important that office administrators stay up-to-date with new technology as well as industry trends to ensure their success in this role. Knowing what resources are available at their fingertips is also key, such as government sources or trade journals providing insight into best practices and strategies that can be used in the workplace in your particular industry. With knowledge of these resources, office administrators will be better equipped to solve problems and make informed decisions that benefit the business.
By having strong organizational skills, computer knowledge, problem-solving abilities, attention to detail and communication skills, office administrators can set themselves up for success in their career. Staying current with industry trends and having access to reliable resources is also essential for any office administrator looking to advance their career. With the right mix of experience and skill sets, an office administrator has potential for growth within their role.