A clerical manager or office manager is responsible for organising and supervising all of the administrative activities that ensure the smooth running of an office.
Who can I work for?
Essentially, you could work for any business, in any industry. An office manager is the glue that sticks all of the departments together so there are positions available in all kinds of companies, from manufacturing through to media.
Where and when can I work?
The role is office-based, typically between the hours of 9am – 5.30pm although part time roles and job shares are becoming more common.
What can I earn?
A clerical manager will start on around £17,000 and earn up to £25,000 in the first few years. In larger organisations, and with much more experience and responsibility, an office manager can earn up to £45,000.
What are the benefits?
As the person overseeing the overall operation of the office you will get exposure to all departments and a lot of the staff within it, so it is a very sociable role.
Are there chances of promotion?
There's lots of scope for promotion, from managing more people to organising and leading more training and taking a more senior role in decision-making. Promotion usually involves becoming a member of the management team or head of a department.
What will I be responsible for?
Control of office budgets, supervising and monitoring the work of clerical and secretarial staff, completing payroll paperwork and timesheets, reviewing office performance, organising and leading induction programmes for new joiners plus other ad-hoc administrative duties. If you're keener on the 'management' side then you may be better suited to a larger organisation, where you'll have more support so you can delegate admin work.
Do I need any experience?
Previous experience in an office is really important – even graduates will need a couple of years' office experience before being considered for the role. Temping or taking a full time role as an office administrator is the usual route in.
What attributes are needed?
A can-do attitude and the ability to deal with many people with a lot of requests all at one time are essential. You will need to be tireless, good at multi-tasking, reliable and a confident communicator. Strong IT skills are a must as are written and numerical skills.