Imagine you’re heading out into the job market and looking for your dream role. You hear a receptionist job has come up – but you pass on it, because it doesn’t align with your plans. Does this sound familiar? If so, you may have just missed out on the best first opportunity of your career.
Receptionist jobs have moved on in leaps and bounds in the last few years. Whereas once it might have only meant answering phones and collecting the post, it is now viewed as one of the most important roles in any company. Moreover, it can help you to develop the skills you need to succeed, and can even be a springboard to that dream role of yours.
Here are five brilliant ways to get the most out of your receptionist job:
Learn how a business works
Planning to be CEO of your own company one day? Business schools will teach you the theory, but for complete in-the-field learning, there’s no better place to get your first insight into how a company operates, from the inside out, than on the front desk. Receptionist jobs often involve getting a backstage pass to high-level meetings too. So while you’re taking and typing up notes, take notice of how meetings are run, and how the agenda is set. Find out what drives the senior management team, and learn what their priorities are. Be interested, ask questions, take notes, and absorb.
Fast-track into your field of interest
If you have your eyes on a particular sector, there’s a strong chance you’re not alone. Perhaps you’ve already been knocked back by a competitive application process for a much-coveted position. But there is another way in. Receptionist jobs are often overlooked by jostling candidates, despite being perfect opportunities to improve your familiarity within a sector. Most importantly, it’s common practice for companies to recruit internally – so get your foot in the door, and get yourself noticed.
Gain essential skills
Receptionist jobs often mean juggling a lot of varied tasks. The most valued receptionists are able to locate the information or resource that a colleague needs at the drop of a hat. They are warm and helpful, and they offer the first impression of a company that anyone gets. They interact with people from many different areas of the business from the bottom to the top – as well as external suppliers. They have a handle on meeting needs, organisational calendars and senior management diaries. Essentially, receptionists must be at the top of their game in terms of time management, organisational abilities and communication skills. These are critical in nearly any role you can think of – so it’s a perfect place to develop yourself.
Build your networks
When you’re in a receptionist job, you are a vital point of contact for everyone. This means you can quickly get to know everyone in a company. Take the time to build relationships and make connections. Find out what people do, learn how they got there, and get their guidance on the kinds of skills you should develop in order to do the same. Starting your own business? Perhaps you’ll meet people who can help you to make it possible. You might even discover there’s a great role out there you’d never even heard of, and never realised until now how much you wanted it!
Be the best
Whatever your endgame, the best way to shine in a receptionist job is to truly own it. Take every opportunity to go above and beyond the remit of your role. Think about how you can find innovative solutions to problems. Identify common sticking points that you have the power to change. Resourcefulness is one of most useful and important skills that anybody can demonstrate: it’s essential whether you’re looking to venture out on your own with a small business, whether you want to get noticed within a company, or whether you have your eye on the CEO’s seat. (It can and does happen!)
So next time you see a receptionist job come up, don’t discard the idea. Approach it with a little tenacity, openness and passion, and very soon you’ll be able to build your CV and stun Recruiters – with some truly impressive experience and expertise.