Office Support Staff
Office staffs are needed in all kinds of businesses, and the government is no exception. In this chapter, you will learn about administrative and secretarial job opportunities, and you can see if you have “the write stuff” to leave a paper trail throughout the hallowed halls of government. Some of these positions are available without college degrees, which means competition for them can be fierce.
Administrative assistants are the unsung heroes of any organization. They are the women and men who take care of quotidian details so the big bosses can do whatever it is they do behind closed doors in cushy corner offices. While the head guys plot the fate of different factions of the civilized world, someone has to be the foot soldier, transforming those plans into reams of paperwork.
Administrators supervise secretaries and the temp staff. They engage in office management. They schedule the boss’s appointments, change the paper in the printer, and liaison with other departments within the entity. In so many words, the administrator is the jack-of-all-trades who ensures that the office runs like a well-oiled machine.
Administrators must be aware of the strengths and weaknesses of their staffs in order to delegate responsibilities. Diplomacy and people skills are a prerequisite. They must oversee the work of others but strive to resist the temptation to micromanage. Most people do not function well with a supervisor breathing down their necks. Administrators may also participate in performance reviews of people who report to them, play an active role in the hiring of new employees, and take on the occasional uncomfortable and unfortunate duty of firing someone.