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There are four skill sets usually required to become an administrative officer: communication, computer software, organizational, and interpersonal. An administrative officer has a range of responsibilities, typically focused on the operations of the business or organization. This type of position is found in large organizations, with multiple layers of administrative and management. People who report the greatest satisfaction working as an administrative officer typically enjoy working with people and managing multiple tasks.
Most people complete a degree or diploma in business administration or management in order to become an administrative officer. These programs are available at both the community college and university level. Community college programs usually are one to two years in length, and a university degree is three to four years in length. The primary benefit to a college program is the focus on developing practical skills, while a university training program usually is more theoretical in nature.
Communication skills are essential for anyone who wants to get a job as an administrative officer. Candidates usually must be able to write for a range of different audiences, providing clear instructions and guidelines for others. Oral communication skills are a large part of any business relationship, and the administrative officer is an essential part of the communication strategy.
Office productivity software programs typically are required for almost every task that an administrative officer performs. He or she must have expert-level skills in the tools used by the organization. It can be very important to keep these skills up-to-date by taking upgrade courses when a new version of the software is released. Typing and other technological skills can be obtained through a self-training program, but most people learn these skills in a college training program.
Once you become an administrative officer, organizational skills become very important. In most organizations, the administrative officer is involved in some aspect of every major project or initiative. Working with conflicting priorities and completing tasks for a range of different projects is essential. In most firms, the administrative officer is central to providing organizational services to senior management as well.
Interpersonal skills necessary to become an administrative officer include conflict management, assertiveness, and personal discipline. The ability to work with people in a range of different positions usually is very important. In addition, this position often has a confidentiality requirement due to the nature of the materials that the administrative officer must review. Personal discretion and tact is very important for anyone in this position.
Has anyone had experience working as an administrative officer or as something similar?
I am curious about this career but wonder how much of a role conflict management and personal discipline have in the job. I enjoy working with people, but wonder if it would be a good idea to take some courses in handling problematic situations at work. Do most administrative officer courses already offer training to deal with in office conflict?
I would love to learn more about handling difficult situations in the workplace in order to be more effective at managing people. I can imagine this would not only help me as an administrative officer but in most other jobs as well.
If you are interested in becoming an administrative officer it is a good idea to choose a program that offers an internship option or some sort of in office experience. Many administrative office positions are found via word of mouth and the contacts you make during your internship can be invaluable to your success in the field.
If you're school doesn't off an internship option, being proactive and calling the kinds of businesses you would like to work at and asking if they need help can be a great way to get your foot in the door. With job competition the way it is, often getting a position comes down to who you know.
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