What it takes to make it: a brief role run down


When you’re considering your next career move, it helps to know a little bit about the different jobs out there, and what it takes to succeed in each of them. With that in mind, we decided to pick our recruitment consultants’ brains (because they know better than anyone what it is that employers are looking for) about the skills and attributes you’ll need to make it in your chosen role, and some of the things you might be responsible for.

Collette Fowler- Branch Manager Office Angels Northampton

The responsibilities of an office manager vary greatly depending on the size of the company and the industry you’re working in. You’ll play a crucial role in organising and facilitating the smooth running of the business, whilst making sure that your team meets deadlines. Your job could involve any of the following, and probably much more:

  • Developing and implementing systems and process
  • Recording and monitoring expenditure and budgets, and producing reports
  • Training, coaching and developing employees to aid staff retention
  • Conducting performance management and reviewing KPI’s to aid development
  • Organising meetings and setting agendas
  • Interpreting and implementing clear business strategies
  • Dealing with suppliers and office maintenance

To do your job well, you’ll need to be able to organise yourself and others, and exercise crystal clear communication skills — along with diplomacy, discretion, and leadership.

Gaynor Hobbs - Branch Manager Office Angels Cambridge

The duties of a finance assistant can range from handling petty cash to dealing with sales and purchase ledgers, credit control and payroll. You’ll usually need four GCSEs (or equivalent), and a finance or accounting qualification. But that’s not all. To do your job well, you’ll also need the following:

  • IT literacy and a working knowledge of Excel
  • A high level of accuracy
  • Advanced problem solving abilities
  • The ability to prioritise tasks and manage your time effectively

If you want to further your career to that of Financial Controller or Accountant, you’ll need to gain an Accountancy qualification (such as an AAT), or a related degree.

Michelle Quinlan- Branch Manager Office Angels Ipswich

The role of a Marketing Executive is extremely diverse. You could be designing campaigns, organising events, handling budgets, and delivering presentations. If you’re strategic and creative, marketing could be the perfect area for you. Most Marketing Executives will have gained a degree in Marketing or a Professional Diploma in Marketing (CIM), but it’s not essential. What’s really important is that you have the following qualities in abundance:

  • The ability to plan and think strategically
  • A clear vision that you can easily communicate with others
  • Strong presentation skills
  • Independent thinking and high levels of creativity
  • Digital expertise and familiarity with a range of digital marketing platforms
  • The ability to conduct in-depth research and analysis
Claire Small - Branch Manager Office Angels Coventry IT

IT is no longer seen as an anti-social professional: there’s an increasing amount of IT jobs that call for social skills — especially customer facing roles, such as IT helpdesk operatives and IT support Technicians, where issue resolution requires excellent communications skills. But what else do you need to make it as an IT worker?

  • Strong IT skills
  • The ability to listen, consider relevant information, and come up with a solution
  • Good communication skills, so you can give instructions
  • Excellent customer service skills
  • The ability to talk without using computer jargon
Carly Glozier - Branch Manager Office Angels Norwich

A career in retail can provide you with a core skill base in customer service, sales, administration, problem solving and basic accounts — giving you tonnes of transferable skills; but what makes a good retail assistant?

  • A confident and positive manner
  • Clear communication skills
  • A drive to sell within a fast-paced environment
  • Strong customer service skills

The opportunities in retail are vast (ranging from cashiers and managers, to buyers and merchandisers), and many larger companies will offer management training schemes, graduate schemes, and opportunities to build on NVQ qualifications.

Jo Blake - Branch Manager Office Angels Oxford

A career in sales can be one of the most rewarding professions there is — and not just because of the financial perks. Most successful sales people can progress through their company faster than in other professions, but to be a great sales person, you’ll need to be:

  • Driven: the best sales people don’t give up
  • Genuine: if you believe in your product or service, you’ll be more successful
  • Confident: people will be more likely to buy from you if they believe in you
  • Organised: you’ll need to be able to juggle a million balls at once
  • Friendly: you need to engage with customers and make them feel relaxed
Alex James - Branch Manager Office Angels Cardiff

Administrators are the life blood of any company — undertaking daily administration tasks to ensure continuity of business, and providing vital support to the rest of the business. Great organisational skills are essential to the role, but what else do you need?

  • Strong PC skills, including Word , Excel and PowerPoint
  • Time management skills and the ability to meet deadlines
  • A methodical and accurate approach to data input
  • The ability to spot errors and see tasks through
  • The ability to concentrate on tasks for long periods of time
Jackie Mills - Branch Manager Office Angels Sollihul

The role of a Customer Service Advisor can include an element of sales and administration, and calls for the ability to remain calm. As a Customer Service Advisor, you’ll need:

  • Good listening skills and the ability to defuse tense situations
  • A willingness to go the extra mile
  • A calm tone of voice and strong communications skills
  • The commitment to see each call through to completion
Gaynor Hobbs - Branch Manager Office Angels Cambridge

In order to succeed as a PA, you’ll need to be organised, efficient, and confident in communicating at all levels. You’ll also need to be able to prioritise workloads, produce accurate and timely documents, and manage expectations. PAs provide an essential link between management and employees, and are often responsible for:

  • Managing diaries and costs
  • Making travel arrangements
  • Dealing with confidential documents
  • Producing presentations and reports
  • Managing employees
Alex James - Branch Manager Office Angels Peterborough

Telesales Executives need the confidence to succeed and the drive to achieve results, but you’ll also need:

  • A positive demeanour
  • Clear communication skills
  • The confidence to undertake outbound calls
  • Great multitasking abilities — inputting data whilst running a call
  • The tenacity to make volume calls
  • The ability to spot buying signals
  • The competitiveness to succeed

If you want to talk to us in more detail about making it in any area, what it takes, and what that involves, please don’t hesitate to get in touch. We always love to hear from you.

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