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New to being an Office Manager

Hello Everyone, My name is Rhonda and I am currently the Office Manager in a Career Center at an Educational Institution and need your assistance. I manage the calendars for 11 counselors, along with scheduling student appointments, which requires me to check the email and answer the phone and partially managing the office budget. Whew! that was a lot. All of this is done at the front desk, which means that I am the first point of contact and can get very busy. Keep in mind that I am the only person at the front desk, so I am like an Octopus. Do any of you have any suggestions or tips on the best way to manage the front desk? Manage time, prioritizing and multi-tasking. What are your secrets? Any books you may be able to recommend. I am desperate. Any and all suggestions are greatly appreciated. Thanks in Advance, Rhonda

Submitted by: Rhonda Peoples-Jones


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Prioritzing your daily tasks is essential. Also, be up front with the persons whom you support regarding what you need to accomplish in a day. When someone makes a request of you, ask him/her when it needs to be done so that you can handle your workload instead of your workload handling you. Learn to use the phone system in such a way that it benefits your work efficiency. Know who you can put on hold and in what cases you can say "I will get back to you later today". You handle the calls so that the calls don't handle you. In my "loner at the front desk" experience, people (faculty and staff members) would walk through the office and just start chatting at me with no real purpose. Be up front with them and explain that you would love to chat with them whenever they walk through the office, but that you have a workload to accomplish each day, just as they do. You would be happy to chat at lunch or during some other free period. This will limit the interruptions so that you are free to focus on your work and on the incoming calls, etc. When you are at work, your attention needs to be directed to the students and others that you serve. Anonymous on 11/25/2013 9:01:54 AM
I think you have to be both professional and helpful. Keep to your work - when someone asks you a question, don't always feel like you to have to "do all and be all". You can say, let me get back to you, or I need to finish this project. I have a lot of hats I wear in my position, and I think you also have to figure out what's important and what can wait. Keep a calendar of items that need done each day, or a to do list. Focus, focus - don't go on line for personal reasons for instance. You do need to communicate with other individuals, as that is part of your job, but you have to practice being brief when you need to be. Remember you are the office manager, so learn to be professional, but also learn that it's okay to say no sometimes. Janice Celedonia on 11/25/2013 6:59:25 AM

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