Image of an office worker at her desk with a laptop and paperwork.

How to turn your office job into an office career

Did you know that with an office career you are in one of the best industries for future career potential? No really, you are! Just because you may see your role as an Administrator or a Receptionist as a small time job that doesn’t mean it has to be true. You are in fact a very important part of a much bigger system, one that without you would cease to function effectively.

In your admin role you are responsible for keeping on top of no end of tasks. Without you, scores of emails and phone calls would go unanswered, letters and documents would be left unsent or processed not to mention all of the compliance failings that could occur without you keeping on top of important policies, files and dates.

When you start out in your temporary office job you may not have thought about where it could lead in much detail, it’s quite likely that you have simply looked at the opportunities for promotion within that company alone but the world of office work is so much bigger.

Temporary office jobs could help you to find out what parts of office work you really like, what you are good at and what you are not all that keen on, so when it comes to selecting a more permanent position you can quickly work out what permanent position you want to be settling into and where you would like it to take you in your office career.

Where can a temporary office job take you? That is the question right! Whatever office role you start out in you have plenty of options for progression. Let’s look at the Personal or Executive Assistant role as an example. To be a good Personal Assistant you need to be pretty tech savvy, extremely organised, proactive and an effective problem solver. The very best Personal Assistants can effortlessly multitask, retain a heap of information and important dates all while having a knack for anticipating the needs of whomever they are working for and getting things done, ideally before their boss even thinks to ask for something.

In most administrative roles you will learn the IT and office based skills you need to be a Personal or Executive Assistant, from data entry through to scheduling, word processing to perfecting your telephone manner. What’s more, being in the office environment in any position will also help you to check out what is going on around you, what people do and importantly what they need. So, when it comes to progressing into a more ‘one on one’ role, you have all of the basics nailed down and you can start to anticipate what may be required.

When you are looking to move on from working as a Personal Assistant in an office setting, you could progress into a position as a Personal Assistant in a slightly more glamourous setting. You could find yourself working in the movie and film industry as a PA to the stars, or perhaps as a Personal Aide to a politician or even as the right hand guy or gal to a high flying CEO earning anywhere up to a six figure salary with all of the perks of travel, exotic destinations, private parties and closed door events.

If becoming a Personal Assistant isn’t your thing then have you considered one of the many other office based careers you could set your sights on if you have a bit of office experience?

Customer Service

If you have a passion for helping people, a way with words and a good ear for listening then perhaps Customer Service is where your future lies. Customer Service Advisor positions are plentiful, and the career path can lead you through to Customer Relations, Consumer Analyst or Consultation positions and beyond.

Data Entry

Is typing and processing information with precision and speed what you are good at? If so then data entry might be a great way to put your unique and highly sought after skills to work in a role that could see you entering anything from personal information through to share prices into software.

Accounts & Finance

Can you see the patterns in the numbers, analyse the reports, set budgets and predict financial trends? If so then taking your office career into the world of finance could be a great choice for you. A strong head for numbers, great data entry skills and good analysis abilities are the skills to build on if you decide that a career in accounts and finance is for you.

Recruitment

Can you see the potential in someone, draw out their confidence and inspire them to strive for more? If so then the recruitment industry needs you. A personable nature, administrative skills, confidence and a positive outlook are what you will need to thrive in recruitment.

Sales & Outreach

If you have the gift of the gab and the ability to sell, sales and outreach could be your dream position. Spend your days working with structure, shooting for your targets and accomplishing a sense of achievement as you land that next big contract.

Marketing

If you have a knack for coming up with good strategies, seeing trends and anticipating people’s needs then marketing could be a great choice for you. From social media to print advertising, writing to websites, in this industry your role would be extremely collaborative, varied and fun. 

Researching

Tracking down information, connecting the dots and knowing your way around both print and digital archives could mean that you are destined for a researching career. Whether you are finding answers to questions, searching for secrets or truths or following the digital breadcrumbs spread through the world wide web to find your goal; researching can be an extremely interesting and rewarding career choice.    

Emergency Services Call Handling

Can you cope under pressure, keep your composure in check and strategise an action plan when everyone else is in a state of chaos? This sounds just like office working right! Put everything you have learned from previous office jobs into a high pressure environment as an Emergency Services Call Handler and start yourself on an enjoyable and rewarding career path.

PR & Fundraising

Getting the message out, drumming up support and rallying for a cause all starts with good office skills. If you have built up a good cross section of administrative skills and you have an outgoing nature, then fundraising and public relations could be a great fit for you.

Software & Coding

If you prefer to be behind the scenes, figuring out how software works, what the building blocks are and how they fit together then stepping into a career in software or coding is a great choice for anyone with office experience. From your office positions you will already have learned how to use multiple types of software, what their short comings are and what could be done to make them more effective so who is better to take on the challenge than you? 

Writing & Media

You will be amazed at how much you write when you are in an office job. From notes to emails, reports to letters, memos to sticky notes. Writing is a big part of any administrative role and so why not put your wordsmith skills to good use and pursue a career in writing and media. Blogs, tag lines, adverts or slogans, if you have a way with words then this is the job for you. 

Legal & Medical

Processing and understanding technical and complex information is a sought after skill that can be gained from some of the most unlikely temporary office jobs. Admin assistant, Research Assistant, Data Entry Clerk and even Customer Relations could all see you sifting through and processing complex information. Couple that experience with discretion, a keen eye for detail and a proactive outlook and you could find that taking your office career into the legal or medical industry could be a lucrative choice. 

 

5 ways to turn your temporary office job into a great permanent office job

By now you have most likely worked out which of the above sounds like something you really want to do as a career so all that is left to do is give you 5 ways that you can get started, turning your temporary office job into one of these great permanent office jobs.

1. Do your research

Don’t just take our word for it, if one of these industries sounds perfect for you then it is important that you spend some time looking into it in more detail. This is after all, your career, so dedicating a bit of time to research is a wise first step.

2. Make a list

What skills do you need for the position you have set your sights on? Do you have them all or do you have a few gaps or areas that could do with a bit more experience? Make a list of skills you might need, the skills you have and the skills you still need to get.

3. Set a plan

Map out a rough idea of what you career path is going to look like, set your goals and key achievement dates to keep you on track. Motivation needs to be routinely re-energised and an action plan is a real asset when you feel like you are lacking a bit of motivation.

4. Get cracking

Hunt for positions that give you the best opportunities to build on your skills, our office job board is a great place to find out what temporary office jobs or permanent office jobs are available right now. If you already have a permanent job then you can look for a new job that propels you onto your path

5. Go over and above

Build on your skills in your own time using platforms such as Udemy or Skillshare. Adult learning grants could be a great way to get the skills you need, check out this post for more information.

If there is a gap in your knowledge or experience, then consider voluntary roles. Many charities would welcome the extra help, lots of people volunteer to help fundraise and organise events but offering to lend a hand and put your office skills to work is a great opportunity to build on your experience that many people don’t think about.

So, do you still think an office job is simply a job to get you by before you make your real career decisions? You can get started turning your office job into an office career by clicking over to our job pages and seeing what jobs we have available.

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