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Home  > Article

Taking a Cue from Office Managers

By Tory Johnson, CEO of Women for Hire

As a rule, office managers don't have the luxury of saying, "That's not my job." Instead, because of the over-arching job descriptions, such workers have to adapt and handle a myriad of tasks and chores as they come up.

More than 8,000 office managers took part in a recent Staples MY REAL JOB survey about how they spend their time on the clock each week. From their answers Salary.com determined that some could be doing the work of a $90,000 a year job based on all of their multiple functions. That's a whopping sixty-five percent increase from the industry average of $54,500. This symbolic figure represents just how valuable office managers are to the small businesses for which they work.

More than half of the office managers surveyed said they perform the job functions of at least 10 different office workers in one week including but not limited to: customer service, purchasing, information technology and more. In addition more than half of the office managers surveyed describe themselves as the Chief Operating Officer of their company. More than seventy percent said they act as a psychologist and almost seventy-five percent act as their offices Human Resource manager.

As a rule, office managers don't have the luxury of saying, "That's not my job." Instead, because of the over-arching job descriptions, such workers have to adapt and handle myriad of tasks and chores as they come up.

There aren't too many other positions in which workers would be able to wear so many hats effectively. It takes a particularly talented and capable bunch to figure out how to fulfill all of those roles, often simultaneously.

That's why it's a good practice--whether you are an office manager or in any other position--to keep tabs on all of the work you do and how your days are divided. You--and perhaps your boss--might be surprised to learn just how much you do and how valuable each of those functions is. Try journaling a typical week at work to track how you spend your time. Be honest with yourself about everything you do, including personal time too.

That detailed accounting of your time may be a meaningful document when it comes time to talking about your annual review and salary increase and is also a handy record to consult when you are updating your resume. It may also point to areas of waste where you wonder how office managers are able to wear so many hats, but you're unable to get through a simple to do list each day. If that's the case, befriend an office manager to ask for his or her secrets to time-management success.

Tory Johnson is the CEO of Women For Hire and the Workplace Contributor on ABC's Good Morning America. Connect with her at www.womenforhire.com







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