It’s non-stop for Ashleigh, an office manager for a media agency in London. Read on to learn more about her life as an office manager, so that you can get insight into whether this is a career for you.
Tell us a little about your career before your current role
I started my career in Brighton, working as an admin assistant and then a PA, first for an estate agency and then for a marketing company. I moved abroad with my husband and started a family, and during that time did a few short-term admin roles. When we returned to the UK, we moved to London, where I picked up some temporary jobs as a receptionist, PA, and admin officer. I took on a permanent role in a financial services company before moving here as an office manager.
What’s a typical day like?
It’s hard to talk about a typical day as there is quite a lot of variety. However, every day is very busy. I take calls, liaise with suppliers, authorise invoices, arrange repairs, and do everything needed to make sure that office life for everyone else is running smoothly. I walk around the office a lot so I always know what’s going on!
What’s the best part of your job?
Definitely the people I work with! They are brilliant and it’s so great to all be back together again since the pandemic. As an office manager, I really feel that you’ve got to love who you work with, because you’re serving them. They are appreciative of what I do and it makes me feel valued.
What’s the most challenging part of your job?
I think it’s probably prioritising when you’re so busy that really everything needs doing at the same time. It always ends up okay, but sometimes I need two of me!
What’s the best thing about where you work now?
As I said, the people are great. But I guess, overall, it’s the culture of the workplace. It’s a large company and it can be very high-pressured at times. But there’s a real focus on employee wellbeing and ensuring we’re all in it together. We get rewarded really well and often there are treats.
What job would you do if you weren’t an office manager?
There’s a huge range of admin type roles and I expect I’d fall into one of them. I can’t imagine not being an office manager, though. It feels like this role was made for me.
What’s been the highlight of your career so far?
I think probably setting up a satellite office for the company in Toronto, Canada. I got to work there for three months setting up systems and getting the office established and on a par with how we do things in London. It was such an exciting opportunity.
What would you like to do in the next five years?
My work and personal goals are very aligned with the company and their growth, so that is fortunate. I think I will see out my career here. I’m hoping to retire early and then do lots of traveling!
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