The role of the office assistant in a company is general in nature, providing a number of different tasks in order to support all of the departments in an office. An office assistant may specialize in certain areas of a company, such as, finance, marketing and human resources. However, most office assistants will be able to fill the need in any area of a business.
Some of the functions of an office assistant could be: responding to and sending out all company mail, by regular post and electronically, data entry, inventory of all company and office supplies, answering telephone calls and routing to the proper department, maintaining all company files and office equipment and general receptionist duties as needed. Office assistants usually will have knowledge in all office software and may be available for setting up meetings and taking minutes.
Office assistants will normally work a 35 - 40 hour work week from Monday through Friday but will fit their schedule into whatever the needs of the company are. Many times a company will hire an office assistant on a part time or as needed basis. Many times there is room for promotion in the company based on experience.
Even though there are opportunities to work from home in this field, it is not usually done since most companys will need someone to be available at a desk to greet visitors and general computer work.
Salary and benefits vary widely in this field since it is based on number of hours worked, part time or full time, experience and the area of the country where the business is located.
Benefits may be paid to part time and full time employees, but, most temporary or "as needed" employees will not be offered benefits.
Salary and benefits depend on a number of different things and you will need to find the right fit for your needs.
Office assistants are normally the first person a visitor may see at a company and should therefore be outgoing, have good communication skills and in general enjoy working with people.
Some of the more specialized skills a good office assistant should have are: the ability to work independently, able to meet deadlines and prioritize work loads, adapt to changing environments and be flexible and have the ability to pay attention to the smallest details.
Office assistants should be team players and work well with all other office staff. Since they will be most likely switching from department to department, it is important that they maintain good relationships with the entire company.
While most office assistants will be trained on the job, it is important that they have an overall education in general office work. Good computer skills are a must as well as having knowledge of many office software programs.
Attending courses in business will help the office assistant to perform their job professionally and will allow them the opportunity for advancement within a company. While this is not mandatory for an office assistant position, it is beneficial.
There are many opportunities for an office assistant position. Since this position is general in nature, there is a demand for good, experienced people in every aspect of business. If you are working independently as an as needed employee, you may hold different office assistant positions at a number of companys. You will find that while the work is generally the same at each company, the specific details are different.
If you were to do a search of your local area online, you will find that there are a number of job opportunites available. You may also use an employment agency in order to help you find the job you are looking for. These agencies normally will not charge you for their service and they will pre-screen you to make sure you are a good match for the company looking for an office assistant.