To become an Office Manager, you will require a good academic background, including strong GCSE and A level grades.
A degree can make a difference to your application, particularly when you’re applying for Executive Office Manager roles. Degree subjects such as Business, Management, Marketing or Computing are especially useful.
Apprenticeships and NVQs in areas such as business and administration are useful for those not enrolled in higher education.
Some employers may ask for a management qualification as an additional requirement. The Institute of Administrative Management (IAM) offer qualifications designed specifically for existing and prospective Office Managers. Membership of the IAM is a great way to stay updated with industry news, discounted training offers and networking opportunities in the office management community.
Skills & Experience
Whilst qualifications can really add value to your application, relevant office experience and management skills are the key things employers look for. Office Manager roles are not typically entry level positions and the application process is often competitive. Therefore, previous experience in an office based, secretarial or managerial position is highly beneficial. Experience within the sector specific to the organisation might also be a requirement.
In addition to permanent employment, relevant experience can be gained via temporary agency work, or ‘temping.’ You should also include any volunteering / team-oriented experiences or extra-curricular activities on your CV. This will give you an edge whilst being relevant to the role.
When it comes to skills, Cat Mangan, winner of Office Manager of the Year at the PA of the Year Awards 2019, says that “a high degree of emotional intelligence” is key for an office management career. She explains that in her role at Murphy Philipps Architects, she deals with a variety of people across the business which brings “a lot of different emotions and attitudes” and as a result, can be challenging.
However, if you’re highly organised, enjoy interacting with people and have the ambition and motivation to get things done, then a career as an Office Manager might be for you. See below for a list of key Office Manager competencies.
Office Manager Skills:
• Organisation and time management
• Communication and relationship building
• High level of emotional intelligence
• Confident ability to lead and manage others
• Strong IT skills including proficiency in Microsoft Office
• Ability to work under pressure
• A driven, motivated attitude with the ability to use your own initiative
• Budgeting and numerical skills