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What the fook is 'admin'?

Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
I work in retail, which isn't exactly the best place to be right now. So many people seem to find it easy to get jobs in 'admin', but what exactly are these jobs? Who are all the people who teem out of offices at 5pm in their smart suits and shiny shoes, and what do they do all day?

I try putting 'admin' into the search engines of these job sites, and it just seems to bring up either 'purchase ledger' (for which you seem to need dozens of years experience or a degree) or 'secretarial' or 'receptionist', well I'm never gonna be able to be either of them, despite the legistlation, I still think that companies want pretty girls on reception or as secretaries not an ugly goon like me, even if I know what I'm doing.

What are the types of 'admin' you can easily get into from a retail background, and what are the best job sites to find these jobs?

Comments

  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Admin covers a wide range from basic filing crap to more intense stuff. As for where to look. Probably the job centre.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Hey there :wave:

    Tweety is right. ‘Admin’ is a really general term that covers a massive range of skills and possible responsibilities. A lot of what secretaries and receptionists do is classed as admin. For example, day to day paperwork, filing, photocopying, answering phones, writing letters and emails, organising the running of an office – so things like ordering stationery and booking travel for other members of staff.

    You don’t need a specific background to start an admin job. Being polite and friendly with people, if you’re on reception for example, would be a skill you can transfer from retail in to an office admin job. Computer skills are almost always essential for admin roles so you’d need to be confident with programmes like Word & Excel.

    There’s no single place to look for admin jobs, they come up in all kinds of industries so you could find yourself in a lawyer’s office or working for a magazine. If you’re not sure what job you want to do in the long run, admin roles are a great starting point in any workplace which can then lead to other things.

    Popular job websites such as Monster or Fish4jobs will have ‘admin’ or ‘clerical’ as an option in their search engines but it sounds like the results you’re getting are really broad. Try the advanced search options where you can choose particular job sectors such as Catering, Media, Charity, Legal etc. and then find admin roles within those areas.

    I hope that helps and you certainly don’t have to be an attractive female to be a receptionist, just well presented, organised and professional :D
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Thanks for that Jo7. :wave:

    You hit on something that I'm finding a big stumbling block, namely Excel. I really don't get it, it does my head in. I have tried learning from books and online, but my problem is that I've never used it in a work setting, so don't know how that jumble of cells, boxes and numbers fits into doing a particular job. It's not that I'm PC illiterate, I work in community radio so can use lots of editing software like Cool Edit and Soundforge, but that is because I know the final result I am supposed to achieve, as well as how to get there. Not knowing how Excel is used day-to-day in offices means that a lot of what is said about it sails over my head.

    I'd love to attend a one-day crash course in using Excel, but I looked online, and those local to me can cost as much as £400! :shocking:

    But I'm not good at learning out of books without someone I can ask questions to etc. I think I will have to get a grip on Excel, because it seems to be a basic requirement of all admin jobs. No problems on Word.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Excel can be used for all kinds of different functions but I think what you're referring to is when it is used for finances. Formulas are entered in to the cells so that the spreadsheet acts like a calculator. As you fill out numbers it will automatically add up a total at the bottom for example.

    Excel is also used just for storing information like a list of contacts and all their info.

    Perhpas you could ask around, maybe one of your friends or family has had experience with it or even a manager where you work who might be willing to show you the basics :)

    For reception roles you wont need an expert understanding and as long as you can show you're adaptable and used to working with other programmes they may well be able to show you what you need to know on the job :thumb:
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    there are some really good online tutorials for excel

    google it hun, there's one thats really good but i canne for the life of me remember with one x
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    What are the types of 'admin' you can easily get into from a retail background, and what are the best job sites to find these jobs?

    Not really admin but a retail background helps for customer service/call centre type jobs (speaking from experience). Although tbh a call centre might not always be a big improvement on retail... Good luck.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Not really admin but a retail background helps for customer service/call centre type jobs (speaking from experience). Although tbh a call centre might not always be a big improvement on retail... Good luck.

    Thanks.

    I think the problem with sales as a job is that too much of it depends on luck. I can do an eight hour day and just spend all that day with a load of timewasters who have no intention of buying anything, while someone else can have one customer who knows exactly what they want, and do thousands of pounds of sales without any effort at all.

    I'm not sure whether a call centre would be a great improvement, there's still to much of an element of luck in what calls you get.

    At least with admin, it's entirely in my hands whether I administrate well or badly, and I don't get grief for 'poor performance' which, all too often, is the bad luck of being stuck with a timewaster or someone spending very little money when a big spending customer walks in.
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