• Admin and management

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What does admin and management involve?

So many organisations take on people with admin and management skills that it’s hard to generalise the sorts of areas you could work - The Civil Service, local government and the National Health Service are all big employers but so are legal, export and many other private companies. However, whatever area you are employed in, one thing is for certain - that spending a lot of time dealing with email, telephones, and possibly lots of paperwork (though computers will continue to replace paper-based correspondance) is likely to be the call of the day.

Why should I apply for a career in admin and management?

Every company, no matter how large or small, needs to be able to perform efficiently. This is where administrators and management people come in. Keeping things ticking over in working order makes lives easier for everyone else and it is the responsibility of administrators to make sure things such as pay cheques and correspondance with other companies is carried out effectively and easily. Management on the other hand will see you taking a wider view of the day-to-day work and ensuring people meet dealines and targets. A job in these areas, then, is likely to be very demanding; but keeping things working well is likely to offer a high amount of satisfaction - especially when you're working for a smaller company that you may be personally involved in. Management level is likely to offer great financial rewards too, in addition to the position of authority over other people, that some people may revel in.

Training and Applicants

For quite a few admin jobs in industry, relevant experience is probably more important than academic qualifications - though to get this experience in the first place, you will probably need to do some sort of work placement, training and/or get work-related qualifications (like NVQs or SVQs). Increasingly, employers expect secretaries to have more than a basic secretarial qualification. Some personal assistants (high-level secretaries) have degrees although it’s still not typical for most secretaries. As jobs in human resources are so popular, a degree and/or relevant personnel qualification will probably be required by many well-known employers.

At an administrative level, high computer literacy is likely to be essential; and if performing secretarial roles then a good phone manner and communication skills will also be required. In upper management, the ability to make decisions that will affect everyone in the company, and the ability to do so well under pressure, are both going to be vitally important to the job.

What opportunities are available within the sector?

Opportunities exist at all levels, in many different work areas. Examples of jobs include receptionist (eg in a media company), call centre workers (eg for a bank), administrators (eg arts administrator) and junior manager (eg in the Civil Service). Job losses in the Civil Service, and other non-profit making organisations, are possible, however, and some other companies, such as banks, will probably increasingly move some of their admin/call centre jobs abroad in order to save money. In the last few years, certain jobs have been removed leaving a hole in the job market, partly because some departments within the Civil Service and local government have been ’streamlined’ in order to save money. It’s also partly because many employers expect individual staff to do their own admin and secretarial-type work.

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