How can you get a job where everyone knows your name?
Be the centre of everything. Be unforgettable! Even in a large company, everyone passes by your desk, so they know who you are. And chances are, people say “Good morning!” to you more than anyone else at work.
We spoke to Jacqui Steele - Front of House Team Leader at Ayrshire College. She tells us why working in the office reception is a great place to be and how our Access to Office Reception course could be a great place to start.
You’re the face of the company
“You’re the first point of contact. You’re at the very centre of the business, keeping everything ticking over, so you need to be a people person. You support everyone within that business, whether they’re temporary staff, to the most senior executives. That’s a lot of responsibility – and it makes working as a receptionist a very rewarding job.”
You’ll become incredibly skilled
“It can be extremely busy at times, with your phone ringing constantly, people at the desk, whether that’s a visitor or a member of staff. There are other times when it can be quiet, but there’s a need for your presence at reception to meet and greet and signpost visitors.
You need to be adaptable to be able to liaise effectively with someone who has perhaps never been to the college and isn’t familiar with the surroundings.
Receptionists are often talented multitaskers, able to manage multiple ongoing situations without breaking a sweat. It’s being aware that you need to be a good listener. You should be someone that’s able to use their own initiative, because at reception you have to be flexible and adaptable to the tasks that you do throughout the day, as this can change. You also need to be knowledgeable of the organisation that you’re working for.
For us, we communicate with the departments within the college to try to get as much information as we can. For example, if there was a College event planned, we need to know the events details so that we can answer any enquires and direct visitors to the correct place. It could also be where a student is coming for an interview, so we’d need to know who the interviewer is for that person, and where they have to wait for their interview.
This provides a professional image for visitors to the college and an excellent first impression. It’s about good internal communication.”
It’s not simply answering calls
“As well as reception, we also process all incoming and outgoing mail and this can be thousands of letters from departments such as Marketing, Finance or Student Services that need to meet the daily Royal Mail collection.
We also do reprographics, which involves photocopying, changing an online document into an A5 booklet, binding, laminating, for example, teaching packs for curriculum or presentation information.
We also stock-take to make sure we have enough supplies such as paper, things that are necessary to deliver a good service.”
It’s a very rewarding job
“I think making a difference to someone’s day is what makes it rewarding. In the college a first-time student coming for an interview might ask for help, then the next time you see them is when they actually start their course following the interview, so that’s great to see.
Receiving appreciation from internal staff is rewarding too - when you see a project through for other College staff and get a positive outcome at the end.
As we’re the first point of contact, we always like to be as helpful as we can to visitors and staff.
In the College, you’re part of a team, and always have the support of colleagues. There’s a lot of camaraderie between the team, it’s like a wee community.”
Progression may be available
“It can be a good stepping stone, if perhaps you’re looking to work part-time or get back into the job market or as a school leaver looking for experience. It’s a good place to start as you get to know so much about the organisation. If an opportunity for development come along, then you are in a good place to progress.”
If this sounds like the career for you then apply for Access to Office Reception now and start your career with us.