Receptionist Career

Is A Receptionist Career The Right Choice For You?

Although some may assume that a receptionist career is quite simple and only consists of answering phones and offering a smile, that is not at all true.  Since these professionals are typically the first contact either on the phone or in person, it is important that they positively represent the company and make a good first impression.

Individuals entering into a receptionist career are typically expected to have at least a high school diploma however, some employers prefer to hire a candidate that has earned a vocational certificate in office administration.  A post secondary degree is usually not required but those that do hold one of some type generally receive the most lucrative career offers.

Personal Characteristics

A receptionist career is actually a very important position to fill in most, if not all companies.  They are expected to maintain a professional, calm and courteous demeanor, regardless of how the visitor is behaving.  Since they are the first person that is seen, it is essential that they are neat, well-groomed and dressed appropriately.

Individuals in these positions need to be attentive, polite, mature and dependable.  Receptionists must be loyal, have a positive attitude and have respect for discretion and confidentiality.  Their jobs can be stressful at times having to multitask and deal with different types of people with a variety of personalities

Job Responsibilities

A receptionist career consists of a broad range of duties.  They are typically expected to know a great deal about the company that they are working for since people in person and on the phone may ask them for information.  It also does not hurt to be familiar with directions for people calling and traveling from various locations.

Receptionists often direct visitors where they need to go, keep the lobby tidy and serve coffee, tea or water to waiting guests.  A big part of their job is answering phones and juggling several phone lines at a time without missing important calls.  They are also responsible for sorting mail and handing it out as well as performing general office tasks such as filing, data entry, emailing, faxing, record keeping, bookkeeping and cashier types of duties.

Another important role that someone in a receptionist career may play is acting as a level of security guard.  They may be required to control access by checking employee identification credentials, issuing guest passes and always being on the look out of suspicious behavior that needs reporting.

Low-Ranking Job Or Great Opportunity?

Some people think of a receptionist career and assume that it is a dead end job however, it can also be perceived as a fabulous opportunity to network with other professionals to prepare them for upward mobility, either with their current business or another one.  This is a position that can be used to become familiar with office work or other positions within a corporation.  It is also an ideal job for those that need to earn a paycheck while they are furthering their education.

Some individuals are content and choose to remain in this position for their entire career while others will use it as a stepping stone to some type of customer service job such as dispatcher, representative, secretary, personal assistant, production assistant or even executive assistant.  In many smaller businesses with fewer personnel, the receptionist is often the office manager as well.

Receptionists who have strong office skills and are courteous and tactful are considered assets to nearly any type of business and are in high demand.  Some business owners now even have the need to hire live remote receptionists who assist their business by not only answering calls but to also forward them, schedule appointments, complete fax and email services, customize greetings, take orders and deliver messages.