Inside Administrative Manager Careers

Things you need to know, but nobody tells you

Biggest Surprises

"I Use More Managerial Skills Than Actual Administrative Skills...
I was surprised about how much paperwork was involved. Almost all of my day is organizing paperwork to send to data entry clerks. I thought I would be doing most of the data entry work, but I mostly delegated the work to lower level employees." (Office Administrator; 2013)

Career: 2 years of experience, currently based in West Virginia, female
School: Studied Business Administration at Huntington Junior College in West Virginia; completed Associate degree in 2011

"Politics And Constant Change Encompass The Job...
Most people who enter the field of Administrator are surprised by the level of politics that is involved. When you are a public administrator, you not only manage the employees of a government agency, you also deal with the media and elected officials which result in Administrators having to deal with the politics of it all. One other thing that may surprise many is that when you are a public administrator it is a constant learning process. You are constantly learning new skills and technology to make the job better." (Public Administrator; 2014)

Career: 5 years of experience, currently based in Arizona, female
School: Studied Criminal Justice Administration at Northern Arizona University in Arizona; completed Bachelor degree in 2010

"I Was Surprised By The Detail And Need Of Further Knowledge Of HR...
I have been surprised by the sheer volume of Human Resource Laws in California. Unlike many other states, California has a very extensive book on Human Resource Laws." (Administrative HR; 2014)

Career: 4 years of experience, currently based in California, male
School: Studied Production Administration at Tufts University in Massachusetts; completed Bachelor degree in 1994

"Endless Possibilities...
I was most surprised by the unlimited number of industries that I was able to work in. Every company in the world has a need for business professionals to run the company, so the possibilities are endless for the type of environment that I could work in." (Business Administrator; 2013)

Career: 5 years of experience, currently based in Pennsylvania, male
School: Studied Business Marketing at Robert Morris University in Pennsylvania; completed Bachelor degree in 2008

"College Degree Does Not Factor Into My Job, Computer Savvy Does...
Most people are surprised to find out that I was never an executive assistant before this job. Also, they are surprised to find out the there is an Architecture firm that exclusively builds Healthcare Facilities." (Executive Assistant; 2014)

Career: 3 years of experience, currently based in Georgia, female
School: Studied Fine Art at Georgia State University in Georgia; completed Associate degree in 2000

"I was surprised to find the lack of professionalism. I was thinking that people in this industry would be more educated and have business savvy. Most are bumbling through just having a job." (Title Officer; 2012)

Career: 10 years of experience, currently based in Michigan, male
School: Studied Business Administration at University Of Detroit in Michigan

Best & Worst Things About This Career

Administrator: "The best part of my career would have to be learning about the different types of hazardous materials and how to identify them. In a matter of time, you may realize that you have these hazards in your own home. You also gain the respect of top officials when you know all the rules and regulations and can plan how to handle a job site without ever seeing it. The worst part is when your hard work is not recognized. You can learn everything, prepare all the paperwork necessary, and arrange for materials to be delivered, but you're still seen as a plain old secretary. Nobody acknowledges that if you didn't prepare all the paperwork, the work would never be approved." (2011)

Archivist: "I'm a very practical, detail-oriented person so I enjoy being responsible for making sure Archives are organized in such a way that information can be quickly and easily accessed, no matter how many years have passed since a project's end. On the other hand, I'm also able to step back and look at the big picture since Archives are kept, in a way, forever. Because this is technically a "support" position, one must always maintain a friendly "customer service" attitude." (2011)

Career Background

Administrative Manager

  Job Tasks
  Work Environment
  How to Prepare for the Job
  Job Outlook

Career Video

Career Tips

"How Well Prepared For The New Job You Are Applying For Are You...
Explore fully options and what a job entails before applying. Even if you feel you have all the skills available, checking to make sure a refresher course could help would be very beneficial." (Administrative HR; 2014)

"Start Small To Grow Big...
If you want to be a successful public administrator, I suggest you start at the local government level, such as City Council, first in order to build a resume and portfolio that will make you attractive to larger government entities. Starting at the local city level will also help you gain contacts and support in order to eventually become a public administrator at the county level." (Public Administrator; 2014)

"Focus On Technology And Networking, Not A Degree...
If you want a job as an executive assistant, network, be organized and be as computer savvy as possible." (Executive Assistant; 2014)

"Gain As Much As You Can While Still In School...
If you want to stand out from the pack, make sure that you gain as much real life experience while in school as possible. The fact that I acted as the treasurer in my college fraternity, helped me land the job that I now love, as the employer recognized my experience and understanding of finance." (Business Administrator; 2013)

"Take More Leadership Classes...
Take more leadership or management classes. Learning management skills will increase your chances of promotion." (Office Administrator; 2013)

"If You Want To Work In The Environment Field...
I would advise anyone pursuing a career in the environmental field to become certified as a worker, even if you do not intend to actually work on a job site. Try to attend classes where the rules and regulations of hazardous materials are discussed. Always keep in mind that you may be asked to perform tasks outside of your field, but embrace them and learn as much as you can about them. Become familiar with the people in charge at the city and State agencies because if it doesn't work out where you are working, they make great references." (Administrator; 2011)

"Think Logically And Know Your Company...
More so than taking a particular course or area of study, the most important asset for an Archivist is the ability to think logically and break problems down into their simplest components. You must know your company and your coworkers well enough to anticipate what they will want before even they know, and interpret what they're telling you in order to find the information they're really looking for. That means being analytical, but also knowing how people work on a day-to-day basis in order to assist them with even small tasks." (Archivist; 2011)