Administrator working at his desk

How to change careers from a Warehouse Operative Job to an Administrator Job

At the beginning of 2020 we wrote a blog about the Future of Work, which looked at the long term prospect of jobs and the best future proof careers. As a Warehouse Operative you will have already acquired skills and experience that can help you transition into a variety of new careers  and here we are going to consider a job change to become an Administrator. 

What is an Administrator?

An Administrator is a vital part of any business, helping to keep things running smoothly. An Administrator job will involve a variety of tasks including taking and making phone calls, data input, compiling and creating reports, managing diaries, sorting post, filing, even bookkeeping… The list can be endless depending on the industry and the size of the company, which is what makes a job in administration an exciting new prospect. Read our interview ‘What working as an Administrator has taught me’ to learn what the job is like from someone who is already in the role.

Where can an Administrator work?

Essential daily, weekly and monthly tasks are necessary in the running of all businesses and organisations and most will require a specific member of staff to take on that work. So Administrator jobs could be in almost any sector you can think of – healthcare, retail, finance, law, charities. Even places like art galleries, museums and zoos will need someone to take on an administrative role.

An Administrator job can be in a small business where you are responsible for running the entire office and will need to take on all admin tasks.  Or you could work in a larger business where you are the Admin Assistant in a specific department; you may be solely responsible for that division or part of an admin team.  

What skills do I need to have for an Administrator job?

  • Organisation
  • Communication
  • Computer competency
  • Time Management
  • Ability to work well within a team

One of the key attributes for an Administrator is to be well organised. You need to be responsible for organising your time and your workload. 

Both written and spoken communication skills are important for corresponding with customers and clients, so good English will be necessary for an Administrator job. Good numeracy skills are also needed as you will likely have data entry tasks to complete. 

Computers will form a central part of your job so you will need to be comfortable with finding your way around the keyboard and with basic word processing and spreadsheet programs such as Word and Excel. 

In an Administrator job you will be expected to have good time management skills. Your boss will expect work to be completed efficiently and on time. 

Whether you work for a small business or large organisation, you will be an important part of a team, working together to keep the business running. 

What if I have no experience?

If you have been in Warehouse Operative job roles, you may not be used to having a desk-based job, but that doesn’t mean you have zero experience. 

Consider these questions:

  • Are you responsible for planning your daily workload?
  • Do you have specific tasks to complete each day?
  • Do you have to email colleagues and/or clients?
  • Do you to need to speak to customers on the phone?
  • Are you required to enter data, update stock sheets and manage inventory?
  • Can you work efficiently?
  • Are you a good team player?

Many Administrator jobs are entry level positions, so employers are not necessarily looking for prior experience as an Administrator. Being able to answer ‘yes’ to the questions above means you have transferable skills which can put you in a good position for making this career change. 

How do I get an Administrator Job?

A good way to gain experience in an admin role is to take on temporary assignments. Contact your local Blue Arrow office to find out how we can help and what jobs might be available in your area. When you apply for an Administrator job be sure to include all relevant experience on your CV.

Consider those transferable skills from your Warehouse Operative job because they are all important in showing where your competency lies. Equally, when you go to the job interview be ready with examples of things you have done and situations you have dealt with. These don’t always have to be work-related so long as they are in some way relevant to the Administrator job you are applying for. 

To begin as an Admin Assistant there are no specific qualifications required, although most employers will expect you to have GCSE English and Maths. If you need to get these, you can find a course through the National Careers Service or enquire at your local college. 

If you need to brush up on your computer or typing skills your local library’s online portal or College can help with information about basic courses in word processing, Excel, and email systems. 

Individual businesses may require you to use their own internal systems or specific programs for certain tasks. They will not necessarily expect you to know how to use these before you begin the job, but if you can show that you are competent in using a computer and are able to take on new challenges then they will train you to use the systems and software needed to fulfil the job role.

What are the future career prospects for an Administrator?

Starting out as an Administrator can be an exciting job change and the beginning of a new career. The range of business sectors you can go into mean there is scope for a wide variety of work whether you stay in an admin role or use this as a stepping-stone to move on to a different job role within the sector of the business you work for. 

If you stay in Administration or want to further your career in business there are a range of NVQs you can work towards which cover various aspects of business and admin. You might also want to consider an apprenticeship so you can study for a qualification while still working and earning. Our post ‘Why do an Apprenticeship?’ explains more about how modern apprenticeships work. 

Making a career change to an Administrator job can lead to many different opportunities. Within administration you could go on to become a Secretary or even Personal Assistant to the boss. With experience under your belt, you can even consider starting your own business as a Virtual Assistant working from home. 

As an Administrator you get to know a lot about the company and the business you work for which puts you in a good position to learn about other job roles within the industry that you could consider transitioning into. For example, if you are an Administrator in an IT company, you may find that IT is where your real interest and expertise lies – it may require some additional study and training, but being in the company already will put you in a good position to make that job change

At Blue Arrow we support many thousands of organisations by finding the best available staff to join their successful talent communities. This includes finding people with the right skills to work for a considerable number of sought-after employers, including household brand names.

When thinking about how to change careers take the time to really consider your options. To learn more about how to become an Administrator read our Career Guide.

For other new career ideas, see some of our posts where we have looked at how to change careers from a Warehouse Operative job to a Call Centre Advisor, a Barista and a Receptionist.

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