Six Skills Required of the Office Professional


Office professionals are the heart of a given business. Indeed, schools, hospitals, employment agencies and other organizations depend on their office staff for the smooth running of their business. The median annual salaries of these professionals run between $29,000 to the mid-$40,000s, depending on the workplace. By 2018 these positions are expected to grow 11 percent, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Certain skills are necessary for these positions.

Computer Skills

  • The office professional must be computer literate. According to the International Association of Administrative Professionals website, computer skills are the number-one qualification that employers seek in a prospective employee. The article cites desktop publishing, graphics and word processing among the skills that people who wish to work in an office setting should master.

Customer Service

  • An office professional should have strong customer service skills. As someone who works in an office, you will work directly with the public--be it the customer who calls and complains about a product or a service, a patient who calls into a medical office or an angry parent who calls into a school. You must be able to address each of those people with tact, regardless of how rudely they may treat you.

Time Management

  • You must be able to make productive use of your time, respecting your employer's deadlines. Thus you must learn to manage your time efficiently, so as to ensure the completion of all that he is asking of you. As the Oxford Management Centre website indicates, you must be able to decide which tasks are urgent and which are merely important, and work on them accordingly. At times, you will even need to multitask.

Work Independently

  • As an office professional, you must be able to work independently. You must be self-motivated. You cannot show yourself to be an individual that management feels it must constantly watch, or that you will waste time, play on the computer and not complete any work assignments.

Verbal/Nonverbal Communication Skills

  • According to the Oxford Management Centre website, you must be able to speak to the public, as well as your boss or your fellow employees, clearly. You must also exude confidence, develop eye contact and give a firm handshake. As an office professional, your manner of dress should show professionalism.

Written Communication Skills

  • The Oxford Management Centre website mentions writing clearly as one of the requisite skills for the office professional. If you work in an office, you must be able to express ideas concisely on paper, using proper grammar and punctuation. You must be able to write well from brief writing instructions, or prompts. Your supervisor will ask you to write letters on many occasions, be it to customers, to employees or to potential advertisers.

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