Q&A with Rhoda Abbey: Office Manager of the Year Finalist 2019
Are you thinking of nominating yourself or a colleague for the Office Manager of the Year category at this year’s PA of the Year Awards? Find out first-hand what it’s like to be nominated, interviewed and invited to attend our prestigious ceremony from 2019 finalist Rhoda Abbey in this exclusive interview.
Hello, Rhoda. How did you become an Office Manager?
“I was offered the position at Lola’s as an internal promotion. This was after 1 year.”
What’s great about your job at Ometria?
“The people! It’s an intelligent and friendly team committed to hearing new ideas and learning!”
What do you love about being an Office Manager?
“Again, the people! Meeting them, supporting them, being the go-to or office mum!”
What would you say is your greatest achievement in your career so far?
“Being shortlisted for Office Manager of the Year at the PA of the Year Awards! Also, winning Ometrian of the Year and helping improve employee engagement at Ometria through socials, fun activities and incentives. I’m also proud of launching a successful wellbeing strategy at work after researching employee perks.”
What’s your secret to being organised and juggling multiple priorities?
“Lists! They help me see everything that needs to be done. In terms of prioritising, communication is king. As long as I know the context of the request I can effectively plan, I can also communicate to manage expectations. I also understand that urgency varies from each individual, some people are naturally more laid back. Knowing personality types and working styles is essential to providing effective support, and getting to know individuals and how they tick is always lots of fun.”
How did your colleagues react when they found out you’d been shortlisted?
“Everyone was genuinely very happy for me, and said, regardless of not winning, it was well deserved and I should be proud of my achievement.”
How did you find the application and interview process for PA of the Year?
“It was wonderful start to finish. Meeting with Susanna (Tait, judge and Chief Executive of event sponsor Tay Associates) and Sarah (EL-Doori, judge and Marketing Director at SecsintheCity), digging into my employment history and how it’s shaped me professionally and emotionally was eye opening. It also gave me a major confidence boost.”
Tell us about the night itself!
“It was a great night, fabulous food and nice to see those behind the organisation. I would however suggest allowing plus ones to be personal, as you are celebrating career history as opposed to current positions.”
Why do you feel Office Managers are integral to the workplace?
“There’s a lot that we do without broadcasting. We get on with menial, business as usual tasks but to such a high standard that no one ever questions how things keep moving forward. Our presence is felt when we are not there. We listen to gripes and generally always keep our ear to the ground. The tasks we complete are hugely varied. We are problem fixers, which in many cases means rolling up our sleeves to get the job done.”
What piece of advice would you give others for achieving success as an Office Manager?
“You have to love to help people, otherwise it will always feel like a chore. We have to support the business without necessarily expecting to be praised every day - as there is so much to do, the thanks often get overlooked. You need to be ok with that, and not do it for the praise, but do it because you love to.”