There are many professions that fall in the office job category. They are also sometimes referred to as “desk jobs” – but how does one get such an office job?
If you are somebody who has primarily worked through manual labor, then naturally you might want to transition to a job that does not tax your body as much.
As someone who has been working in an office environment for more than 10 years now, I can outright tell you that you are making the right choice if what you seek is a comfortable work environment with numerous advantages.
Besides, it’s not only about the career opportunities office jobs present. Being around like-minded people, collaborating on various projects, networking, and forming new friendships are just some of the exciting new experiences that await you.
And if you think that getting an office job is hard, with this article, I am going to convince you otherwise. But first, let’s start with the basics.
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What is an office job?
An office job is a type of occupation that typically involves working in a professional setting, such as an office or administrative building, performing various tasks related to the organization and management of information, resources, and personnel.
The majority of office jobs require employees to use computers, phones, various software and hardware, and other technological tools to perform their work.
Some examples of office jobs include:
- administrative assistants
- data entry clerks and analysts
- customer service and sales representatives
- human resources of office managers
- accountants and bookkeepers
- marketing and IT specialists
Is it easy to get an office job?
With millions of office job openings across the USA every year, finding and getting an office job is relatively easy as long as you have the necessary skill set or required professional qualifications for a particular job role at an office of a company or an organization.
For example, if you have good persuasion skills, you could start a career in sales or marketing. If you are organized and can work with numbers, consider bookkeeping. You have numerous options and the freedom of choice.
What office job is the easiest?
Assistant-type roles are among the easiest because they require little-to-no experience to start. Moreover, you will be mentored by the person whom you are going to assist, and you will have fewer responsibilities overall.
With time, of course, you will acquire the knowledge and experience necessary to get promoted from an assistant to a specialist. But for now, let’s take a look at the most common requirements to land an office job.
What skills and qualifications do you need to work in an office?
Some of the basic skills that you need to have in order to start an office job and perform routine tasks include:
1. Ability to work with a computer and use the Internet
Beginner to intermediate knowledge of an office suite may increase your chances of being hired significantly.
Most companies use Microsoft Office or Google Workspace daily to keep track of company data, information about inventory and customers, tasks, targets, time, performance reports, and much more.
2. Organizational and time-management skills
Have you ever heard the phrase “work smart, not hard?” Well, being well organized, minimizing distractions, and using your time strategically will help you achieve just that.
Office jobs involve working with and managing large volumes of information, resources, and tasks.
A standard office workday is 8 hours long, and these skills are essential for employees who need to complete their assignments on time. Otherwise, tasks start to pile up, and the risks of missing deadlines increase.
3. Verbal and written communication skills
The ability to communicate clearly and effectively, both verbally and in writing, is crucial for success in any office job.
Part of your duties will be to collaborate with coworkers on different tasks and projects and/or to communicate with clients on the phone or via email. This is why it is important to stay positive and act professionally at all times.
4. Absorbing information and learning quickly
In the beginning, your manager will help you to hit the ground running as quickly as possible. Normally, you will be given some orientation days to study the company, and a few weeks or months of initial training, depending on your job’s complexity.
With time, you will slowly start receiving simple tasks which you will have to complete on your own and check your progress.
Finally, once your manager believes that you have settled well and have become less dependent on them for supervision, you will start having real responsibilities. Who knows, you may even get a monetary reward for completing the training.
5. Attention to detail
Office work requires a high level of concentration and attention to detail. Employees who possess these skills are able to execute tasks efficiently and minimize mistakes.
A rule of thumb here is to always double-check your work for errors, especially typos when writing since those are very easy to miss.
6. Problem-solving and decision-making
There will be times when unpredictable events happen, and something has to change quickly and for the better. This is where the brilliant minds of critical thinkers and problem solvers shine.
Work on your analytics skills, participate in brainstorming sessions more, and introduce some out-of-the-box thinking. The more problems you encounter and try to solve, the better you become.
Even if your input on a particular topic is not required, just listen to discussions and absorb information.
7. Collaboration and teamwork
In a company, everyone is a team working towards a common goal. For example, if a company goal is to increase sales by 10% in the next 3 months, every department will have a role in achieving it.
So, in addition to communication skills, one should have the ability to resolve conflicts and disagreements efficiently and find solutions that will work for everyone involved.
These are the 7 core soft skills that every office worker should have. If this is not your very first job, then chances are you already cover at least half of these requirements.
How to get an office job with no experience
Whether you are looking for an entry-level office job with no experience or you’re a seasoned office worker looking to switch jobs, here is a step-by-step guide to finding a suitable role:
1. Choose the right career path for you
Now that you know the ins and outs of an office job, as well as a few examples of common positions, it’s time to make a choice.
Ideally, you should look for entry-level positions that provide growth opportunities in the long run. The goal here is to secure your future from the start rather than job hopping. Here’s a typical career progression timeline:
- Trainee – from 0 to 3 months, mainly learning and being mentored
- Junior/Assistant – from 3 to 12 months, still being mentored, but can perform certain tasks on their own
- Specialist – 1 year and above, mostly independent
- Senior specialist – 2+ years, fully independent and involved in decision making
- Team leader/Manager – 2+ years, decision maker, sets targets, and manages a team
- Head of department/Director – 3+ years, responsible for an entire department
Speaking from experience, I can recommend a career in marketing because you can easily start from zero as an assistant or a trainy and slowly climb your way up to a managerial position. And there are so many areas in marketing to specialize in later on.
2. Evaluate your current skills
Consider your skills, qualifications, interests, and what is available in your chosen industry or area. At this point, you can start browning some job postings online to gain an understanding of what is required for the different roles. If you find that your skillset is missing some vital components, then…
3. Learn new skills
If your desired job requires specific knowledge and operations, consider signing up for free or paid online courses.
This is a quick and efficient way of learning new soft and hard skills and earning certifications at the same time.
4. Update your resume
Always ensure that your resume is neat and up-to-date. Upload a professional headshot, cite relevant job experience if you have any, as well as university degrees or certifications earned from courses.
Attach examples of previous work if applicable. Include at least 3 references, as recruiters love those too. Finish off by giving a few hobby examples, as they can often hint at what kind of person you are.
This is a summary of the main components that build a solid resume.
5. Submit applications online
Once you are convinced that your resume will stand out, start browsing jobs online and submit applications. I advise submitting at least 10 job applications per day until you start getting noticed by companies.
The most popular websites to apply for office jobs are:
Again, I’d like to emphasize the importance of researching the companies that post job ads online because you will want to invest your time and energy only in those who offer career progression options.
Check out our detailed strategy on the number of jobs you should apply for until you get hired.
6. Create a LinkedIn profile
Assuming you don’t have one, creating a LinkedIn profile will definitely boost your chances of landing an office job.
The process is very straightforward, it takes 10 minutes, and the website will guide you on the steps to complete your profile page.
Recruiters spend most of their time on LinkedIn because it provides a more personal approach to hiring and job hunting. Direct communication via chat also saves them time in finding more suitable candidates faster.
It can save you time as well because there are always companies hiring there, and you can contact them directly to understand who they are, what they do, and schedule an interview.
Don’t forget to mark your profile as #OpenToWork.
7. Prepare for job interviews
If you keep applying for jobs, sooner or later, you’ll start getting interview invitations. There are a few crucial things to do in order to be well prepared.
Research the company to gain a thorough understanding of what they do. The easiest way to inspect a company is to check its social media channels and website.
After that, you can practice answering some common interview questions. Prioritize the ones that aim to determine what value you can bring to the company.
And make sure to check our complete guide on how to prepare for a job interview to get hired!
8. Look for internships or seasonal jobs
Internships are a type of temporary job or work experience program that allows employees to gain hands-on experience in a particular field or industry while also learning valuable skills and knowledge that can be applied to their future careers.
They’re not only ideal for gaining practical job experience but also for gaining insight into a particular career path to determine if it would be the right choice.
9. Ask your network and friends
It’s a good idea to ask your network, friends, and family too if they are aware of some job openings. You never know when something good may come up.
Job openings can arise at any time, and by staying connected to your network, you will be informed about opportunities that may be a good fit for you.
10. Attend job fairs
Attending job fairs is another way to discover relevant job opportunities, connect with potential employers, and network with other professionals in your chosen field.
Job fairs typically bring together a wide range of companies and organizations looking to recruit new talent, so it’s a convenient way to learn about multiple job openings in one location.
11. Sign up for volunteer work
If your current situation allows it and you would like to gain some experience before applying for a long-term office job, then volunteering is definitely something to consider.
It’s a good way to acquire some of the soft skills mentioned earlier while making a positive impact in your community or causes that you care about.
And in case you’re wondering, volunteering can indeed be counted as work experience.
What are some common entry-level jobs you can apply for?
All the information I have provided so far may seem overwhelming, so to make things easier, here are 10 of the most common entry-level jobs you can start with no experience, as well as their job responsibilities in brief:
- Administrative Assistant – performs various clerical tasks such as scheduling appointments, answering phones, organizing files, and preparing documents, providing administrative support to executives and managers.
- Data Entry Clerk – responsible for inputting information into databases, spreadsheets, or other computer programs, ensuring the accuracy and completeness of data entry.
- Customer Service Representative – interacts with customers over the phone, email, or chat to address their questions or concerns and resolve issues related to products or services.
- Receptionist – greets visitors, answers incoming calls, maintains a professional and welcoming office environment, and assists in scheduling appointments.
- Office Assistant – provides support to different departments within an organization and performs various administrative tasks such as photocopying, filing, and sorting mail.
- Bookkeeper – maintains financial records and transactions for a company and records and reconciles financial data, such as accounts payable and accounts receivable.
- Human Resources Assistant – provides administrative support to the human resources department, assists in recruiting, hiring, and training employees, and maintains employee records.
- Marketing Assistant – helps implement marketing strategies and campaigns, assists in creating marketing materials, and tracks campaign performance.
- Accounting Clerk – assists with bookkeeping and accounting tasks such as accounts payable and accounts receivable, prepares financial reports, and reconciles accounts.
- Inventory Clerk – maintains accurate records of inventory levels and orders new supplies as needed, monitors inventory levels, and coordinates with other departments to ensure smooth operations.
Just because you have no previous professional experience, doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t ask for an increase in salary in case it doesn’t meet your financial needs so make sure to check our extensive guide on how to negotiate salary.
How I got my first office job
More than ten years ago, in my early twenties, I worked as a hotel receptionist, but I wasn’t quite happy with my job.
Actually, I loved the job itself because it was challenging and unpredictable, but the pay was not satisfying.
At the same time, I was reading a lot about behavioral psychology and its application in marketing. I had a friend from college who was already in a marketing agency, so I reached out to him to ask if his employer had any job vacancies.
Luckily there was an open spot waiting to be filled, so he quickly referred me. I passed the interview and started my career as a marketing trainee.
Nowadays, I’m a project manager for an international tech company and a marketing consultant, helping businesses around the world increase their sales numbers. And I’m not looking to stop anytime soon.
My advice for everyone who wants to land a good office job is to follow the steps I wrote above and have a bit of patience because it may take a month or 2 before you find one that suits you.
Frequently asked questions about getting a job in an office
Can you get an office job without a degree?
It used to be the case when a university degree was required for most office jobs, but with the rise of online learning, a degree is no longer mandatory. It could, however, still increase your chances. It all depends on the employer and the job role, but nowadays, work experience is more valuable than a degree.
What to look for in an office job?
If you don’t have experience, look for career development opportunities. If you have experience, look for jobs with higher pay, additional benefits, and as low work-related stress as possible.
Where to apply for office jobs?
You can try Indeed, Monster, and Glassdoor, as well as directly reach out to recruiters on LinkedIn.
Can you get an office job at 16?
Most teenagers will have no issues securing an office job as long as they possess some degree of computer, organizational, and communication skills. They will only require training.