It goes without saying that this last year has changed the face of job hunting. With fewer roles available, and competition fiercer than ever before, searching for a job can feel like going around in circles.
In order to help with this seemingly never-ending task, we’ve devised a job-hunting hack to help you broaden your horizons when it comes to trawling the job boards, and therefore increase your chance of getting those elusive interviews and offers. Undoubtedly, each office support role is unique and crucial in its responsibilities and impact. However, as with other occupations and professions, many of the skills required in one position can be transferred to another. Here, we explore those avenues.
Personal Assistant – Executive Assistant – Private PA
Although there are differences between these three key support roles, at their core there are a number of similar responsibilities. Typically, PAs, EAs and Private PAs will all be responsible for diary management, travel arrangement, administration, minute taking and inbox/call management.
If you are a Business PA or EA looking to move into the Private sphere, look at which skills and experiences from your business responsibilities you can transfer. Perhaps the rigid structure of the business working day has left you with even more enhanced time management skills, with your deadlines affecting numerous people in a chain. Perhaps you have gained experience liaising with clients across time-zones and cultures, demonstrating your adaptable communication skills, which could be invaluable dependent on the nature of your new principal’s work.
Similarly, experience as a Private PA may have seen you work intensely with one person, leaving you with an attention to detail that is unparalleled. The unpredictable hours you may have worked highlight your dedication and hard-working nature – qualities every employer seeks.
It is also exciting to think about the possibilities of this new position. Working in a private capacity will give you unparalleled insight into someone else’s world. Working at an Executive level will see you dealing with the cream of the crop of the business world. As a Personal Assistant to more than one principal, you will gain a greater understanding of an organisation, closely learning how different key players make up the team.
Search PA, EA or Private PA roles
Office Manager – Team Assistant – Team Administrator
Each of these roles has one key common denominator – a team. Within these positions, you will be working in support of more than just one principal, be that a team of 5 in a start-up, or a larger team of 30 in an established corporate firm. You will get to know how that team works – what makes them tick, how they communicate, how to get the best out of certain members.
As a Team Assistant, the responsibilities that make up the core of your role – managing diaries and inboxes, arranging travel, administration and liaising across the team – are similar to that of a Team Administrator. If you are an Administrator who loves the personal organisation side of your role, the Assistant position could be an exciting move. Likewise, if you are an Assistant looking to get more involved in projects and document management, taking a look into Team Administrator roles could be a great way to open up that avenue.
As an Office Manager, your multi-tasking skills, with the ability to manage multiple competing priorities and communicate across an office, will be of incredibly high value to employers looking to add a top-class Team Assistant or Administrator to their team. Moving into one of these latter roles could be an exciting opportunity to take a step deeper into the mechanics of the team itself. If you’re a Team Assistant or Administrator looking for a role with more front of house and technical responsibilities, whilst still remaining integral to a team, a move to an Office Manager position could be a fulfilling one.
Search Office Manager, Team Assistant or Team Administrator roles
Recruitment Consultant – Sales Executive – Customer Services
Although there are differences between these roles, they all have one thing in common: they are entirely people focussed.
As a Recruitment Consultant, you likely spend much of your time on the phone to candidates. As a Sales Executive, you may be speaking to clients and potential customers throughout the day. A Customer Services position will see you talking to people throughout the day. Whilst Recruitment Consultant and Sales Executive roles are often more incentive driven, with sales targets set and commission to be earned, the problem solving, methodical approach of a Customer Service role would be an invaluable asset to any recruitment or sales employer.
Within a Recruitment Consultant role, you are aiming to solve a problem for your candidates and clients: finding the former a role, and the latter someone to fill their role. As a Sales Executive, you are offering your product as a solution to any issue a potential client may have. There are manifold other similarities – the targets to be met, the ability to communicate easily with new people throughout the day, prioritising workloads, and more.
If you are a Recruitment Consultant or Sales Executive getting tired of having to hit certain numbers but still wanting to work with people, it may be worth looking into Customer Service roles. On the other hand, if you’re looking for a chance to be rewarded according to the work you put in and are looking for a more target-driven environment, perhaps a move to a Recruitment or Sales role could be an excellent opportunity.
Search Recruitment Consultant, Sales Executive or Customer Services roles
Another simple and effective way to broaden your job search is to look beyond the industry you are currently working in.
For example, if you currently work in the banking sector, a move to consultancy or legal could provide a similar corporate environment, whilst opening up a far greater pool of roles. If you are currently in a media company, looking to marketing, advertising or publishing could ensure you stay in the creative sector. Likewise, moving between the design, fashion or creative sectors will reveal a host of potential new positions within the arts world.
We hope that this article has provided you with some interesting ideas on how to broaden your job hunt in 2021, potentially opening up new avenues of opportunity. It’s important to remember that, whatever your professional background, you have gained a number of vital skills that will be valuable to employers seeking office support. Although the face of job hunting in this new 2021 market may seem daunting, the right role is out there waiting to be filled.