Career Story: Office Manager At A Government Agency

Office Manager At A Government Agency

Job Title: Manager

Type of Company: I work for a Federal agency that administers the largest insurance program in the world.

Education: AA, Liberal Arts, Maria College (Albany, NY)

Previous Experience: I started out as a service representative for a federal agency and worked my way up to my current management position: 18 years of progressive promotions through seven levels.

Job Tasks: I manage an office of thirty-one employees. I open the office in the morning, verify that all computer updates were completed overnight. I download new claims, appointments and other computer traffic and distribute it electronically to the appropriate employee for action. I review all time and leave requests and attendance records. Every other week I certify the payroll for the entire staff and the staff of two other offices I oversee.

During the work day I review the work my subordinates produce, assign new projects, receive progress reports from work groups, identify training needs and arrange for them to be met, order supplies, etc. I am ultimately responsible for every aspect of the operation of this office and the service we provide to the public. When needed, I meet with members of the public to address problems or issues. I interview potential employees, hire new employees, and take disciplinary actions for current employees if needed (which is rarely required).

Best and Worst Parts of the Job: The best part of my job is being able to recognize and reward my employees for a job well done. With my management team, we review each employee's performance twice a year, and after each review we can authorize monetary awards for the highest achievers.

The worst part of my job is taking disciplinary actions. We have a very secure computer system and strict rules about the use of our system of information and access to an individuals personal information. A violation of those rules requires an immediate suspension. If I need to suspend someone, his trustworthiness is tarnished and I want to be able to trust my employees.

Job Tips:
1. Be honest on any job applications you complete and in every interview you are given.

2. Know your abilities and your limitations and work to overcome your limitations.

3. Understand the knowledge and skills you need for each position in which you are interested. If you do not currently have all the knowledge and skills required, go out and get them. Skills can often be honed in unpaid positions; volunteering is a great way to improve your marketability.

Additional Thoughts: The most important thing I did along the way was to undertake some self-development. Do not expect your employer to train you for the next move. Be diligent in your current job, learn it thoroughly and perform it impeccably. Do not make excuses for mistakes, we all make them. Acknowledge them and learn from them.

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