Career Story: Office Manager For A Group Of Private Eyes

Office Manager For A Group Of Private Eyes

Job Title: Office Manager Of A Small Business

Type of Company: The company I work for is a small private investigation company. There are three parts to the business. We offer services in private investigations, brain-based lie detection and forensic DNA analysis. I report to the owner of this small business who is a Ph.D. and an expert in DNA.

Education: BA, Marketing Management, UMass-Lowell

Previous Experience: I worked in marketing communications in the high tech industry for over 18 years. I then moved to a small biotechnology company before I switched to the company I work for now. In all my positions I have used my marketing skills.

Job Tasks: My job responsibility as an office manager are numerous. I am responsible for the day-to-day operations within the company. Some of those responsibilities include: accounting functions which include paying our bills and invoicing our customers. I record payments from customers in QuickBooks. Included in the accounting function is payroll. The payroll function involves keeping track of the hours and various pay rates for our private investigators. I work with a payroll company that we hire to manage our payroll. I also manage the president's schedule and make sure he is where he should be.

Other responsibilities include proofing and formatting police reports that we create for our customers, who are mainly attorneys. I am responsible for all of the marketing for the company, which involves answering inquires and writing, formatting and printing all marketing materials. I manage numerous trade shows and speaking engagements. I also create direct mail/email campaigns to promote the business and increase our customer base.

Another function of my job is maintaining our website. Finally, I am responsible for ordering all office supplies and making sure that we all have what we need to perform our jobs.

Best and Worst Parts of the Job: The best part of my job is that the company is very small so I am able to do many different things. I have learned so much beyond the scope of my marketing skills. I am happy to still be doing marketing, but I am glad that it is not the only thing that I do. I take pride in the fact that my background is not in office management, but I have learned and developed skills that make me valuable to the president of the company. In a small company you can't help but be noticed and if you do a good job, you are appreciated -- unlike in a large company where it is difficult to stand out.

Job Tips: Be sure that you are proficient in Microsoft Office. At this stage of the game, you should be! I did not know QuickBooks before I started this position. I told my employer that I did not know the program when I interviewed. I am lucky that he believed in me and had the time and patience to train me. I would recommend a course if you have an interest in managing an office. I have learned it, hands-on, but it would have been less of a struggle had I been familiar with it. Also, bookkeeping is a job that always seems to be in demand!

Additional Thoughts: As you've read my background is not in office management, but I sold myself based on my marketing experience and my willingness to learn new things. The field of private investigation, lie detection and DNA forensics is an exciting one! I have not once regretted taking this position even though I did not have a background in criminal justice. My last piece of advice, be sure you pursue a career that makes you happy!

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