What do non-profits, major corporations, and small businesses have in common? Most of them require office and business administration.
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, business degree-holders earn a median wage of $65,000. This may vary by location. But even so, figuring out what business administrators do every day isn’t easy.
Are you thinking about pursuing a career in business office administration? Keep reading to learn more about the ins and outs of pursuing a business administration certificate.
What Is Administration?
In an office context, administration typically comes in two forms:
Office administration and general administration.
When people talk about administration as a whole, they’re referring to the general way things are done in the office. This might look like maintaining office inventory or ensuring that the office has all the water coolers and coffee it needs.
And when folks talk about business administration, they typically talk about the day-to-day functions the organization needs to run smoothly. Common tasks that fall under this category may include payroll processing, file maintenance, and logistics.
What Do Office Administrators Do?
In most organizations, management has certain objectives that it’s looking to fulfill. Office administrators take on the task of making sure that the company or nonprofit can reach its goals. Some of the common tasks that are asked of administrators include:
1. Planning & Coordination
From handling inventory to working on different projects, business administrators are usually responsible for making things happen following the organization’s larger goals. But even after the strategic work has been done, the administrative department may need to execute the plan.
How can resources be sourced efficiently? What can be done to ensure that teams aren’t working in silos?
Whether they’re asked to delegate authority or add structure to projects, these are the questions that business administrators may have to spend their days solving.
2. HR & Recruitment
They say that managing an organization is ultimately about managing people. And in many offices, teams may ask administrators to help them fill openings.
From screening applicants to coordinating vacation schedules, office administration departments are often heavily involved in the candidate selection process and the HR work.
3. Office Leadership
When deadlines are looming, and the photocopier is working overtime, staff members will often look to the administrative department for answers. Business administrators need to be people who can handle stress, answer questions, and calmly manage resources. Your organization’s overall effectiveness may depend on your ability to keep things running smoothly.
4. Continuous Evaluation
Organizations constantly need to do process audits and internal evaluations. It’s a valuable tool in determining the company’s and its staff’s effectiveness. From quality control to managing complaints to checking-ins and processing promotions, administrative teams are often front and center in the performance evaluation process.
It’s clear from the list of tasks we’ve just provided that administrative work is, in many ways, the engine that keeps an organization running.
The Qualities of an Excellent Office Administrator
Office administrators are usually expected to oversee and coordinate to ensure that the organization can function smoothly. To that end, there are a few essential qualities that office administrators will typically develop over time:
● The ability to prioritize
● Strong business communication skills
● Multitasking Experience
● Efficient work habits
● Top-notch organizational skills
● Attention to detail
● Tolerance and patience when dealing with different personalities in the workplace
● The ability to work with and without direct supervision
● Positivity and optimism
● Flexibility when it comes to day-to-day activities
In short, business administrators have to be detail-oriented and focused. But the job also builds up soft skills like communication and organization. If you spend an extended amount of time in an administrative role, you may acquire these characteristics with surprising speed.
What are the Downsides of Working in Office Administration?
Although we’ve talked about the role of working in office administration and the day-to-day duties involved, the job has its downsides. Here are a few of the reasons why people may feel like a career in business administration isn’t suitable for them:
1. Tasks Have a Tendency to Pile Up
Whether you’re tracking records, chasing down emails, or screening appointments, office administrators are often asked to do dozens of different tasks within a single day. And to make matters worse, companies often have multiple projects and files going at once. If you’re the type of person who likes to do things in order, you may have difficulty dealing with the build-up of tasks constantly being left on your desk.
2. You Need Patience
In some lines of work, you never have to wait for anything if you don’t want to. Business administration isn’t one of those roles.
There are often hectic schedules, tech-related glitches, and elements of human error involved with different departments. And overseeing records and dealing with delays across different departments can be stressful.
3. Some Office Administrators May Feel Underpaid
Business administrators earn every dollar they’re paid. But because the workload can be heavy, it’s easy to feel like you’re not being paid enough for your time. Depending on your company culture, you may find yourself job hopping or applying for jobs at companies with more robust internal procedures.
4. You Might Feel Burdened
When everyone expects you to have all the answers, it’s only natural to feel burned out after a while. Administrators are often expected to anticipate and fix problems before they have a chance to come up. When you’ve got a work-life balance to consider and juggling multiple departments’ concerns, staying positive isn’t always easy.
5. You’ll Often Be Asked to Work Independently
Although there’s a lot to like about working by yourself, sometimes the lack of direct supervision can make your job harder than it needs to be. To succeed in this line of work, you may have to quickly learn who you can turn to if you ever need help or fast answers.
6. The Rules and Procedures
Between government regulations, insurance requirements, and internal company processes, business administrators need to be able to follow the rules at all costs. While this might not be a bad thing when your legal department is writing the policy, sometimes staying on top of multiple regulations and processes can be a hassle.
Like most other professions, business administration work has its own pros and cons.
Could Business Office Administration Be Your Next Career?
From budget maintenance to handling office inventory, business office administration is an incredibly versatile job. If you like working in a fast-paced environment that requires you to be on top of everything, this line of work could be for you.
Contact us to see how we can help you get started with your certification journey!