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Career Story: Office Manager And Co-Owner Of A Small Consulting Business

Office Manager And Co-Owner Of A Small Consulting Business

Job Title: Office Manager Of A Small Business

Type of Company: An environmental consulting firm that provides surveys and hazardous materials consulting related to lead, asbestos, mold and radon. We also monitor the air at places where these materials are being abated. We work for both residential and commercial customers.

Education: BS, Fashion Merchandising, Northern Illinois University

Previous Experience: I worked as an administrative assistant at a number of different companies including a publishers' representative, a general contractor and a lobbying group.

Job Tasks: I am responsible for insuring that the day-to-day office operations of our company go smoothly.

A typical day for me includes handling all aspects of correspondence by email or regular mail, answering phones and transmitting messages to the appropriate people, ordering supplies, editing and proofreading reports, and making sure those reports are sent to the appropriate people. I also generate payroll for our employees, and I am responsible for paying payroll taxes to both the Federal and state governments and for filing out quarterly returns.

Best and Worst Parts of the Job: Since my husband owns the company, we get to spend a lot of time together and even, on occasion, go out to lunch. And since we work from our home, I've been able to hold a job and raise my children with a minimum of inconvenience.

The worst part of the job is that I can't complain to my husband about my boss. He IS my boss! Also, having a home office makes it hard to get away from our work.

Job Tips:
1.) Keep up with office technology. When I first started out, IBM Selectrics were cutting-edge. Now we have all sorts of computer technology and software to stay current with.

2.) Develop good phone skills. In many cases the only contact you have with a customer is over the phone.

3.) Learn as much as you can about the business you work for. You never know where your job and that knowledge will lead you.

Additional Thoughts: It always surprises people to learn that I work in close proximity with my husband. It's not always easy, and there are people, I suspect, who couldn't handle it.

When I was in high school I always excelled in classes like typewriting, accounting and shorthand. (This was back in the 1970's). I never planned to work in an office, but, hey!... I guess that might've been God's way of telling me something! So take a hint from what you like and what you find you have an aptitude for.

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