Inside Office Manager Careers

Things you need to know, but nobody tells you

Biggest Surprises

"The Importance Of Business Skills Is Not Limited To Just One Area...
I was very surprised at how many options in the business world that are available with a business degree. For example, someone with a business degree can work in areas such as HR, accounting, administration, or marketing." (Office Manager; 2014)

Career: 7 years of experience, currently based in Pennsylvania, female
School: Studied International Business at Arcadia University in Pennsylvania; completed Bachelor degree in 2007

"Wide Range Of Tasks...
The wide variety of work that I see come across my desk is astounding. Working for the University and in Intercollegiate Athletics there are many hurdles and things to work around." (Office Associate; 2014)

Career: 4 years of experience, currently based in Wyoming, female
School: Studied Agricultural Business at University Of Wyoming in Wyoming; completed Bachelor degree in 2010

"Office Managers Are Not Valued At The Appropriate Monetary Rates...
One would be surprised at how little Office Managers are compensated when they wear so many hats. Bookkeeping, HR duties, management etc don't really amount to a lot in most employers eyes, when in reality this position should be viewed as most valuable." (Office Manager/Bookkeeper; 2014)

Career: 3 years of experience, currently based in New York, female
School: Studied American Studies at The College Of Saint Rose in New Mexico; completed Bachelor degree in 2008

Best & Worst Things About This Career

Supervisor Of Administrative Staff Of A Medical Office: "I absolutely love my job. I enjoy working at a physicians office because I get to see and interact with a variety of interesting people. I am always where the action is without having to get my "hands dirty" (for example nurses and doctors sometimes have to deal with body fluids and open wounds. I am very squeamish and would not like that). Of course another thing a like about my job is that I am a supervisor, therefore my opinion is highly regarded and I am well respected amongst my coworkers. As much as I enjoy my career there are some things I dislike. But these are few in number. Being a supervisor means that I have to deal with all serious issues within the clinic. This includes staff problems as well as complaints and concerns amongst our patients. This can be very stressful at times." (2011)

Office Manager: "The best part of my job is being able to work with the public. It is really nice to be able to help customers through a problem and nothing is more satisfying then having a customer call in who is all upset and stressed out to be able to turn the entire situation around and have at least relieved some stress from the customer. The worst part of my job is having to go through the hiring process. This is something new that I have taken on and maybe I am just not comfortable with the process." (2011)

Office Manager For A Behavioral Health Counselor: "The best part of my job is helping the patients navigate the insurance and seeing them get the help they need. It's very rewarding to have people tell my boos that just by my answering the phone it made them feel better - a lot of small offices don't have anyone answering the phones and you have to leave a message. For someone who is finding it hard to make the call in the first place getting an answering machine can cause them to give up." (2011)

Office Manager: "I feel a bit overqualified for the job, despite being well-paid (more than my classmates). I am excited at the prospect of moving up within the company, as it is a major global corporation that is within the field that I studied for my undergraduate degree. I am pleased, however, that I am able to work in an industry that I know so much about. At this point, being an office manager is only the entry-level part of my career. I hope to move on from this position very quickly." (2011)

Office Manager: "The best part of my job is actually having the ability and responsibility to see how something can be improved upon. It's also nice to be responsible for the day to day smooth running of the office, ensuring that everyone is doing their part. The worst part of the job is trying to figure out the best way to deal with the other employees. It's very important that you find out what motivates each person, even though it's different for every one. You need to mindful of peoples feelings; and have to approach each unique situation keeping in mind that your words and actions affect their feelings." (2011)

Office Manager: "Best and worst parts of the job Best part of the job working with people. We have met and worked with many wonderful, inspiring, uplifting people who want to make a positive difference in life. This has been a pleasure! Worst part of the job working with people. Then, there are those people who do not have the right attitude, and can make your life miserable!" (2011)

Occupational Health Office Manager: "The best part of my job is the experience I am getting: dealing with all kinds of people, seeing how some do not come back for their appointments and you have to hunt them down. It makes the day go fast if you are busy and there is always something to do. The nurse is always showing me new things and allowing me to try different tasks which I really enjoy. All and all it is about dealing with people and I do enjoy people." (2010)

Office Manager: "I like learning new things every day. I have gained a vast amount of knowledge about cars which I never had before. When a customer calls who is frantic because his car has broken down, I enjoy being about to ease his fears. The worst part of the job is telling someone that his car needs a large repair. We have had many of our customers for years and I know them. They have shared with me what is going on in their lives: both the good and the bad. It is hard to call someone to tell them they need a large repair done when I know that they or their spouse just got laid off." (2010)

Senior Center Manager: "The best part of my job is that it is different every day. It's not a cubical job. You are on the go all day, every day. Our business is a "last minute" so our customers expect us to jump through hoops every day. This is what I love about my job: creating a team that lives that vision and loves doing it. The worst part of my job is that it is very stressful and sometimes you just want to walk away. You must be the type of person who likes to be pushed to the next level. It's a very rewarding job at the end of the day." (2010)

Office Manager: "The best part of my job is that I really enjoy the people that I work with. That makes a huge difference. I'm on the phone all day with my co-workers and with agents from other companies. I like the fast pace of answering the calls and scheduling appointments. The downside is dealing with people who are rude. I am pretty much the "middle man" when it comes to scheduling appointments and agents who can't get into properties sometimes take their frustrations out on me." (2010)

Accountant: "The best part of my job is the variety of things I am involved with. Accounting is known as "the rounded profession" because you need to learn the business you work for. The worst part is the repetition of weekly, monthly, quarterly and year-end tasks. And in addition to that, I can also include the preparation of payroll tax returns which are affected by a lot of state and Federal requirements related to reporting of certain fringe benefits such as retirement savings and health insurance plans which affect the tax both employees and employers have to pay. Accounting is detail-intensive and tax returns are even more so. They also have legal implications so the stress level is high." (2010)

Director, Provider Operations: "The best parts are the constant buzz and excitement of a fast-paced environment ; helping solve problems for people and feeling like you helped someone ; and learning about new technology and the healthcare market. The worst parts are the long commute into Boston (on a train) each day and working with people, sometimes, who don't care about their work and don't try hard enough." (2010)

Office Manager: "The best part of my job is that I learn something new every day because healthcare is always changing. It makes it challenging and rewarding because I never get bored. The worst part is that I have to do a lot of paperwork and make sure that each claim (the bill I send to the insurance company) is perfect. I cannot make any mistakes or the doctor won't be reimbursed. Insurance companies are real sticklers that way." (2010)

Career Background

  Office Manager Salaries

Career Tips

"Always Take On Extra Responsibility And Additional Training...
In order to become successful as an Office Manager, you must always go above and beyond your job description and be comfortable wearing many hats. Always continue your education and training and take on extra responsibility." (Office Manager/Bookkeeper; 2014)

"Be Creative And In Line With The Rules...
To be successful in office work in Athletics you have to be very flexible and creative. You must also absorb the rules and apply them to various tasks." (Office Associate; 2014)

"Be Open To All Opportunities That May Be Presented To You...
If you would like to be successful in the business world, learn to be flexible. It will allow to seek out many options in the workforce." (Office Manager; 2014)

"Be Prepared For A Dynamic Environment...
Some advice I would offer a person thinking about a career as a team leader/supervisor of an administrative staff in a medical setting would include the following: - Make sure you are a people person and enjoy working with the public as well as in a team environment. - You need to enjoy a fast paced and constantly changing environment. - Finally, you would need to possess leadership skills as well as some basic human resource skills." (Supervisor Of Administrative Staff Of A Medical Office; 2011)

"Be Self Sufficient...
Definitely get any work experience that you can. Always be willing to try new things and go that extra mile. I have noticed with some employees you try to show someone how to do something and then they say "I will just ask you next time." It is nice to have an employee that wants to learn to be able to be self-sufficient instead of depending on someone else all the time. Also keep up with computer courses. You never know when you are going to need to use Work or Excel or Power Point so it is good to have some knowledge." (Office Manager; 2011)

"Build An Understanding Of Patients...
Do as much reading as you can to understand the basics of mental illness, it helps to to deal with difficult patients when you know they are in serious mental pain. Learn about things like bio-feedback that are used in the field and try them out if possible - it helps a patient if they know you have experienced the process and can give them a brief explanation. You must be outgoing and enjoy working with people." (Office Manager For A Behavioral Health Counselor; 2011)

"Choose Your Company Well...
Be picky with the company you work for in this position. Look for opportunities for jobs within the company once you have your foot in the door. Do not be discouraged by the long job hunt. Be sure to make the most of your resume-- do not only list the tasks you executed, but also mention briefly how they were beneficial to your firm." (Office Manager; 2011)

"Learn To Work Well With People...
First and foremost you need to like to work with people. In preparing for office manager, in all of your activities, study people. This will give you the ability to read them and intuitively find out where they're coming from and what makes them tick. In everything you do, including school work, interactions with others or in your job, try and find a more efficient way to do something or achieve a desired result." (Office Manager; 2011)

"No Gossiping...
1. Maintain a positive attitude! 2. Do not gossip and talk negatively about other people. Talk about ideas and how you can help instead. 3. Remember: There are always two sides to a story. 4. When something negative does happen, take the "high road", and move forward in a positive manner!" (Office Manager; 2011)

"Capitalize On Learning While Young...
If I were to give advice it would be, go to school when you are young. Then you can be what you want to be. I am just now seeing what I would like to do. I am in my fifties and it is tough to work a full-time job and a part-time job and go to school part-time. When you are young your brain is like a sponge. When you are old it is harder to remember. I do enjoy my job but I also want to be a nurse." (Occupational Health Office Manager; 2010)

"Customer Is King...
Never forget that you work for the customer. I've been in customer service for over 20 years and I'm still learning how to be better at it. If there is an interaction with a customer that I'm not happy with, I learn from it and figure out how to improve my skills." (Office Manager; 2010)

"Don't Pigeon Hole Yourself...
Don't get stuck thinking you can only take a job you went to school for. If you stuck out college and can be taught, you can do anything. Most of my duties I learned while on the job. I had people who knew I would work hard and was smart, and they would keep throwing things at me. Always listen to that voice in the back of your head. It's probably right and it will never lead you astray." (Senior Center Manager; 2010)

"Good Stepping Stone...
The real estate market will turn around in the next couple of years, inevitably, and there's always a need for someone to be running the office and dealing with the day-to-day issues, so this is a stepping stone (if you'd like to further yourself) to other areas of real estate. You could learn the basics and put the experience to use eventually selling properties yourself. You have to be comfortable on the phone and dealing with issues that arise. Learn the basics as far as computer and phone skills. They take up the bulk of your day." (Office Manager; 2010)

"Shadow Professional Accountants...
First, make sure you know how a day goes for an accountant. Office work is not necessarily for everyone so keep the environment in mind. If possible, visit an office where there is an accountant willing to show you how his or her day goes. Find out what type of accounting you would like to do. There are many types of accountants with specialties in areas like taxation, cost (in manufacturing particularly), general accounting, etc. College will give you a taste of each but there is nothing like getting the inside scoop from a professional." (Accountant; 2010)

"Some Tips For Office Managers...
1. Have have to have a strong attention to details. 2. Be very organized with your thoughts and work. Be prepared. 3. Be able to communicate verbally and in writing. 4. You must have the ability to get along well with others and build relationships so you can help your co-workers and, just as importantly, get help when you need it. 5. Get as much education as you can through internal classes or find ways to take classes (toward an advanced degree) that your company will pay for. It helps separate you from others and doesn't cost you anything but time." (Director, Provider Operations; 2010)

"Sweat The Little Stuff...
I have all my holidays and weekends off. I also have set my home computer up so I can work from home sometimes. My job would be for someone who likes to read, who's organized and who wants to learn something new every day. The great part about my job is that it taught me to sweat all the little details. Trust me: they make a difference. I think women do very well in this career." (Office Manager; 2010)