Post # 1
I’ve been in retail nearly five years. I’ve wanted a new job since day one, but the hours I work prohibit me from doing much else with my life (ie., classes, working a second job), as they are inconsistent. I’ve always thought being a receptionist could be an interesting job, and I know it’s not as good as TV makes it out to be (Pam Halpert from The Office anyone?) but I’ve always been curious. Do you need any specific qualifications to be a receptionist? And is it really as good as it looks?
Post # 3
@tiffanyscanlan: typing skills, attention to detail, and personality are good skills to have. I worked as a massage therapist at a hair salon, and filled in part time at the front desk. I wouldn’t call it glamorous, but it was interesting in that sort of setting at least. You have to juggle a lot of different egos, and keep track of a lot of things happening at the same time.
Post # 4
@ANGELaaimt: I answer the phones at work quite a bit, and according to the people I work with I have people skills. However, I think working in retail has made me dislike a certain type of person over the years.. 😉 It sounds like it’s easy but difficult at the same time. I wouldn’t look into it for another few months to come but still…it’s always an idea. I can’t be in retail forever 😛
Post # 5
You really want it for the hours. They’re also surprisingly hard to get, but great if you can get one!
Post # 6
@BrandNewBride: Monday-Friday 9-5? I used to work every weekend without fail, so if I could score a weekday job eventually, I’d be happy. I’m scared to do something different when this is all I’ve known but eventually I’d love something else.
Post # 7
I worked as a secretary/receptionist for an urgent care office and I absolutely LOVED it. I wouldn’t call it glamourous in any way, it was rather difficult at times, but it was the best job I’d ever had. Phones ringing off the hook, registering patients, dealing with angry patients or parents who don’t understand that once their child is 18 that I can’t tell them anything, doing billing, taking payments, not to mention all of the office work to fax and whatnot. Crazy busy but I absolutely loved it.
You have to be able to multi-task. That is the biggest part. If you can’t do that, it’s going to be a struggle. Dealing with angry people was the hardest part for me- trying to multi-task while you have someone screaming at you isn’t fun
Post # 8
I worked as one right out of college. I eventually got my license and sold insurance. it’s a good way to get your foot in the door in a good company. Some have great benefits and even pay for school. Anything .. .ANYTHING has to be better than retail over the Holidays.
Post # 9
@tiffanyscanlan: Do you have temp companies in your area? I was often an receptionist when I was temping. Which will 1) give you an idea if you would like it and 2) if the company likes you, they could hire you.
How interesting it is depends on the company and what your responsibilities are. Some places are dead, some really busy. Some places only want you to answer the phone and greet people. Other places give you work you can do while sitting at the desk. Also, in some places the desk is central and everyone has to pass by, so you get to know everyone in the office. In other places you are isolated and no one passes your desk, so it can be very lonely.
The one thing I hated about being a receptionist is being chained to the desk. Every time you need to go to the bathroom, you have to call someone to cover you. There is a rotating schedule of people who will cover your desk during lunch. So you are starving and you have to wait for that person to remember to come up. When you call to remind them, they are annoyed at you because you’ve interupted their work.
But it’s an easy job and a great entry into office work, especially if they give you projects to work on.
Post # 10
- Wedding: March 2014 - A castle!
I was a receptionist for a law office when I was in college. It was interesting (divorce attornies). Definitely typing skills, MS Office, professional communication skills (phone/e-mail), know how to scan and upload documents and juggle phone calls. It wasn’t bad at all!
Post # 11
You guys have given me a great insight into what it would be like. I might wait until this week is over, discuss it further with my husband and look into it. the only problem is my 4 week roster looks like this: 38 hours, 23 hours, 37 hours, 30 hours. So it’s hard trying to get a new job 🙁 hopefully something good comes of it soon 🙂
Post # 12
I agree with all the posters above re: attention to detail etc…yep they can be very busy roles.
It’s also important to find a company that will value you with a possible bit of room to grow. Reception roles can be great stepping stones into bigger and better things. So perhaps pop your resume on an email to companies that you are interested in? Might be an idea to ask for a general administration position as well rather than just specifically a Receptionist – because if a company already has a great Receptionist they might have a junior Admin role instead.
Post # 13
I’ve been a family personal assitant and had two different receptionist jobs. It varies by the office you serve really.
The personal assistant I liked best. I could tailor too individuals very well and my family I worked for were great. I pretty much managed day to day things they didn’t have time for.
Next I worked at a behavioral health hospital and did pretty much any job that didn’t legally require a college degree, which reception was one of. It was alright. But since you have no immediate boss you serve, everyone thinks they’re your boss and treated me like the pet dog. The hospital loved me(not enough to give me a raise, but enough to offer me another gig a year after I left) but I ended up hating the place and left for my next job.
Then I was a receptionist and personal assistant in a car dealership. The dealership was slow, I worked part time and nights only. But I had one authority to report to which I prefer, as I notice you get more respect. It was fun but the dealership went under. Otherwise I’d still be working there.
So all that to say, I recommend you get into a place where you have one supervisor you report to or who ‘claims’ you as their normal employee. Otherwise people take advantage of someone to do the more menial or grunt work they don’t want to. Also people skills are a plus, but looking out for your boss is top priority. You have to be good at fielding and screening calls, know when your boss needs something, be intuitive.
And its not glamorous, but if youu enjoy the hospitality/service industry its definitely great. I prefer it to retail myself.
Post # 14
Oh geez, I’d hate to be a receptionist. In no way, shape or form is it glamorous IMO. You have to be “on” all the time, and there’s no hiding from customers/clients. You need an excellent phone manner. If you’re a naturally perky person (like even in the morning) then go for it… but I would suck as a receptionist lol. I was an executive assistant when I first finished university.. so that’s about as close as I came to being one myself. I have worked with quite a few receptionists and I’ve seen many come and go in my office. It isn’t always the most mentally stimulating work. It helps to be super organized as well.
Post # 15
@tiffanyscanlan: one thing to think about is your field of interest. If you like to dress up and are fascinated by the law, look for entry level positions at law firms. If you’re drawn to medicine, apply to be a patient registrar or appointment setter. Once you’ve got your foot in the door it’s just a series of upward moves as you learn the industry and hone your skills.
Post # 16
There is nothing glamorous about receptionist work.