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Career Story: Office Manager For Family Plumbing & Remodeling Business

Office Manager For Family Plumbing & Remodeling Business

Job Title: Office Manager For Family Plumbing & Remodeling Business

Type of Company: We are a family-owned and operated plumbing and remodeling business.

Education: Aviation Electrician, US Navy Trade School

Previous Experience: My first job was with the US Navy as an aviation electrician. After I was honorably discharged from the Navy I got a job as receptionist at an engineering company, taught myself how to type and worked my way up to engineering coordinator. I moved and got a job with an international distributor as an administrative assistant and with a lot of overtime I worked my way up to be Director of Retail Sales and Marketing.

Job Tasks: I make sure that the company operates legally, professionally and efficiently. To do this I need to make sure all of our licenses, permits and insurance are up-to-date. I file "gross receipts" (forms to pay taxes on our total sales) with the counties and cities we work in to get licenses. Once I have these licenses I have to fill out forms to submit to the counties to get permits to allow the plumbers to work specific jobs. I also choose the insurance policies best suited to our company. These policies are for the vehicles (Auto/Truck), the workplace and place the company works (General Liability/Bonds) and for the individuals on our work site (Worker's Compensation). To make sure our company stays in good standing with the Virginia State Corporate Commission (SCC) I retained a lawyer as our "registered agent" who files our company form with the SCC. The lawyer also helps the company with any other legal matters.

Other services I am responsible for obtaining and keeping up-to-date are health insurance, telephone systems, computer hardware and software, banks, credit card and payroll. All services I decide on must be approved by the president of the company before any contract is signed. Another part of the business I operate is the flow of paperwork between the company, customers and vendors. This includes sales receipts (which contain data from jobs), invoices (bills from our vendors) and employee hire forms. By entering this information into our Quickbooks database, I electronically track our customers sales, our vendors costs, our employees and taxes. I also assist with answering the phones and scheduling the jobs.

Best and Worst Parts of the Job: The best part of the job is being able to work from home and spending time with my family. The worst part of the job is that it is a family business so I never really "leave" work.

Job Tips: I never went to college and it took me several years of "on the job training" to learn business operations. I believe a basic college business course would have sped this up. The entry level positions for this career appear to be receptionist and administrative assistant.

Additional Thoughts: The question I ask myself when I make a career choice is, "How content will I be? If I am miserable at a full-time job, then the majority of my life is miserable. Even if I make a lot of money, I am miserable. It is important to me to find a career that I want to do each day and that brings me contentment.

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