Jul 6th 2021
Shattering stereotypes: Spotlight on Leah and her experience working in admin
What do you want to do as a career? This is always a tough question to answer – and particularly if you haven’t really had much experience in the working world to know. Traditionally people would answer “work in finance” or “be a lawyer”. But these career routes are not the be-all and end-all. Fancy a job where you get diversity and opportunity instead? Then working in admin might just be perfect for you.
An admin role has breadth and will teach you a whole host of skills. This was something that one candidate, Leah, discovered when she fell into it by landing a role through Tempo. So we sat down with her to hear all about her experience and why you should consider it as a career.
Hi, to start can you tell us a bit about yourself?
I graduated from university after having studied English. My plan at this point was to go into further study, but I wanted to take a gap placement year before I did this. I wanted to use the year to get some work experience and take a bit of time out from studying so I could go in fresh.
Were you initially interested in going into admin?
No, it hadn’t really crossed my mind. I was focused on my masters in September and so wasn’t really thinking about exactly what I was going to do as a career. I was mainly looking for short-term roles during my gap year, but then I got my admin role and I decided to turn it into a whole year. This has allowed me to really get stuck in.
What convinced you to take the role?
It was my work coach that convinced me to go into this. He explained the benefits of the role and how it would give me great experience working in a professional environment. Plus the role came across differently from how I would typically have imagined an admin role. I will hold my hands up and say I was one of those that, despite not actually having experienced it first-hand, already had my preconceptions of an admin job. But the combination of this particular role and my work coach pushed me into going for it – and I’m so glad I did.
What was the biggest learning curve since starting your admin role?
When it comes to admin, there are so many moving parts and tasks that you are responsible for, so it’s important to not be too much of a perfectionist. By focusing too much on one task you will end up with a massive backlog of other work to do. This leads nicely into being able to prioritise. It’s a sort of juggling act working in admin as it’s so multi-faceted. I find that I spend one day on social media and another day sourcing – it’s all about training to wear a lot of different hats.
Now you’ve been working in admin, was it what you expected it to be like?
No, and I mean that in the best way. I thought I would be sat at a desk doing run-of-the-mill paperwork and filing. But it’s so much broader and varied that I can’t help looking forward to my day ahead and all the new things I am going to experience.
“No day is the same with an admin role. Every day I go into work excited, knowing that I will get to experience and learn a whole host of new things.”
Would you recommend admin to others as a good place to start your career?
I would definitely consider an admin role as a great place to start your career. If you’re like me and you’re not skilled practically in one thing then it’s perfect. It’s a role that requires you to apply a range of soft skills, such as organisation or multitasking. This means if you’re more of an all-rounder then it’s a great career choice. It’s a job that offers experiences that can be applied to whatever role you do next.
What are the skills you have learnt working in admin that will be useful later in your career?
For starters, seeing as the role can be so broad and cover so many different aspects of the business, the range of skills is not only vast but can also vary from company to company. The biggest takeaway for me, personally, is that on the technical side of things I have been learning social media, proofreading, and copywriting – all greatly enhancing my written communication. These are all very useful skills for any future career move I decide to take, especially if I want to go into a marketing career. This is on top of the soft skills I previously mentioned, set up nicely to climb the career ladder.
Do you have any tips for those looking to go into admin?
Be prepared to be flexible. You can’t expect to only do particular tasks and not be willing to get stuck in elsewhere.
You could end up doing any number of things and it’s important to always get involved in all aspects of the business. This will show commitment to the role and the company as well as being the best way for you to learn as much as you can.
Admin is that role that everyone knows about but no one thinks about doing. But it’s time to stop pushing it to the wayside as just a role that involves menial tasks. It’s what helps keep a company running smoothly and working in admin will open many doors by giving you a taste of all aspects of the business. So before you believe the typical stereotype, why not think of it as a career that gives you breadth, experience, and countless skills.
At Tempo, we specialise in admin roles and have a world of opportunities for you at some of the UK’s most exciting companies. Hit the button below to see for yourself.