Reception Work: good career or a dead end job?
When most people consider being a receptionist, they think that the role will offer them little chance of career development or a sense of achievement in the workplace. Receptionist jobs are simply seen as short-term roles or stepping stones to a better career. But, a receptionist is not a dead-end role, and it can be a very rewarding job.
Being a receptionist is not a dead-end job because the role allows you to gain heaps of experience working within a company. From working independently, to logistical skills, receptionists have great qualities they can offer employers. These often allow receptionists to get their foot in the door before moving onto better roles.
The reputation that receptionist is a dead end job usually comes form complacency of the person, not the job. If you want to move up and onwards you have to take that step, but here is why starting as a receptionist can help you get there.
Is receptionist a good career?
If you take pride in being organised and helping an office run smoothly, then a reception job is a good job for you. Being a receptionist can be a demanding job as you balance conflicting priorities as you are often the ‘go to’ person for the team. One minute you might be doing customer care, and the next you might be liasing with the IT contractor, or organising the courier. While ‘wearing so many hats’ can be daunting for some people, it can actually open up a huge number of opportunities for you to learn new skills. And every new skill you learn empowers you in all aspects of life while also making you more employable.
But when it comes down to it, job satisfaction is largely dependent on the individual. If you are ready to get in and have a go, a receptionist role can be very rewarding. If you are the type of person who doesn’t take intiative, and prefers to work on one thing, then you might not like a receptionist role. It is all a personal preference that you need to explore to know which roles will make you the happiest!
What can you do after being a receptionist?
If you treat being a receptionist like a temporary role, then that’s all it will ever be. But, if you love the company you work for and put your all into your job, then career growth within the company is very likely. This can include advancing to roles like office manager which offers a much higher salary than reception work.
Being a receptionist puts you at the centre of a company. You will offer support to all of the departments meaning that your face will be well known across the business. So, if you are a keen worker who goes above and beyond, you will probably be considered when a higher position becomes vacant. Job opportunities for those with receptionist skills are endless including sales, IT work, and bookkeeping.
What do receptionists do all day?
Receptionist work is often said to be boring. Yet, this all depends on which company you work for and the tasks they expect you to perform.
There are a several different receptionist roles to choose from – a reception role can really take you anywhere! From law firms to medical surgeries, almost every business needs a receptionist. This means that you can learn about interesting vocations and niche roles that may be of interest to you in the future. Because each receptionist role will give you insight into a different profession, you will probably learn something new every day.
Receptionists are given different levels of duty depending on which company they work for. Whilst in one company you may answer emails all day, in another you may be tasked with key meetings, organising agendas, or teamwork. If you need a fast-paced role to keep you engaged, then reception work may not be right for you.
Career satisfaction as a receptionist depends on what you want to gain from your job. If your goal in life is to save lives, then being a receptionist is clearly not a good fit for you (although it could help you get to where you want to be in the future).
What skills does being a receptionist give you?
There is a common misunderstanding that receptionists are ‘unskilled’ workers. In truth, receptionists learn many skills in their roles which make them great staff and can make it an exciting career choice. For instance, a receptionist is often expected to be a multi-taskers and work well under pressure to manage several schedules and meetings at once. They are the ones that have the eagle eye over the whole business. They relay messages from management to Executive, they are aware of what the company priorities are at any given time and have to be firm when organising the office. They are the the go-to person, the central point of contact in the office, and know exactly what everyone else is up to.
Receptionists are great with people and have a flair for customer service. As the face of the company, they build connections with clients to make them feel comfortable. They also converse with customers daily in the office.
So, being a receptionist is much more than answering emails or phone calls. The job requires someone who is flexible, computer savvy, organised, and more. This means that you will be very employable and will gain many skills to add to your CV if you ever choose to change careers.
How important is a receptionist to a company?
While people think that receptionists just answer calls, they genuinely make a large impact on an office. Whether that be comforting an applicant waiting for an interview, offering a friendly smile to clients, or helping out your office pals with any issues they’re having, you are always trusted to make external and internal parties have the best experience possible.
This makes you a very likeable part of the office. This allows you to make friends and have a large circle of contacts which could definitely help you out in the future. Often, it’s not ‘what you know, but who you know’, that will boost your career! So, being a receptionist can be a great kick start to your career.
What Pay Can I Expect As A Receptionist?
According to Indeed Australia, receptionist wages average at around $53,331 per year. Although this is below the average Australian wage and leads many people to believe that reception work is a ‘dead-end’ job, your salary depends on where you work. For instance, in Sydney, you can earn around $70,000 as a receptionist. But, in more remote areas you are likely to be paid less.
Want to read more? Learn about What are the Best Entry Level Jobs or perhaps you need a job while you study, check out how our Canberra Labour Hire Agency can help you get a great range of paid work experience.