When thinking about the ideal job, it is the one that allows you to use your talent the best way possible, where your virtues can come forward, and peculiarities aren’t considered weaknesses. You’ll know it’s worthwhile if you have the will to get up from your warm and cosy bed on a cold, dark Monday morning.
The office manager position at Inchoo gave me the opportunity to put some of my most prominent characteristics to use and take joy in doing so. Even though this position is not new in business world, many people don’t know what its real purpose is, what are the daily responsibilities, and what the position’s requirements and expectations are.
What gave me the jitters?
When I started working here two and a half years ago, I was fretting about being considered unworthy and not being taken seriously by my colleagues because of my age, lack of experience, and my office manager role. The prejudice of unimportance of that “overhead” company role reinforced that feeling, alongside with a wide range of demands.
So, I set out to work hard and prove my worth – both to myself and the rest of the team. And while hard work is a good thing, it by itself doesn’t guarantee success. In every story there’s always more than meets the eye.
I was always passionate about progress, and sometimes, knowing things could be done better tended to trigger my inner true perfectionist. In the beginning, I was striving to perfection…
What is the real purpose?
Office manager’s key role is not to be perfect at handling administrative tasks. It is, first and foremost, to create and nurture a pleasant work environment by ensuring high level of organizational effectiveness. He/she’s ought to provide organizational and logistical support in all aspects related to the operations, and make sure the office runs smoothly.
Various responsibilities and skills
Responsibilities of an office manager vary depending on the nature of work, the company’s size, culture etc. At Inchoo, a company of 60 employees, the office management team consists of 2 people, and things we do on a daily basis are shared across a diverse range of functions, mostly business administration:
- Business analytics
- Tracking financial productivity
- Budget management
- Accounting procedures
- HR and recruitment
- Logistics support
- Facilities management
- Office equipment and supply management
- Safety and security management
One needs to be skilled to manage various tasks across these functions, and not only do the bare minimum but try to constantly improve and create added value.
Often required skills in an office manager job description are:
- Self-engagement, proactiveness, creativeness, enthusiasm
- Analytical mindset
- Exceptional organisational skills
- Time management skills
- Ability to prioritise tasks and work under pressure
- A problem-solving approach to work
- Flexibility and adaptability
- Attention to details
- Good teamworking skills
- Confidence to lead and motivate a team
- Exceptional written and interpersonal communication skills
- Project management skills.
Some of them are innate, and others can be learned from experience. Luckily, I had the natural affinity towards many required skills, and I gladly undertook the job that involves anticipating the needs and being in service of the environment – both spatial and human.
What is truly important to succeed?
I feel responsible. Responsible for constantly improving in every aspect of my job, whether it’s for something “minor” like making sure there are enough paper towels in the kitchen, or something “major”, like preparing the payroll that’s 100% accurate and on time.
What helped me most in overcoming that feeling of being a “surplus” is giving my best every step of the way, and overcoming my inner perfectionist when she was hindering my progress. We need to remind ourselves that it is important to strive towards progress, not perfection.
When you feel the responsibility and care about the working collective, people around you will surely recognize and appreciate that.