Why being a receptionist can be a great stepping stone to a better job

Do you know someone is currently a receptionist that is “actively seeking better employment”? An informal study conducted on LinkedIn showed those who hold the job title of “receptionist” are 1.5X more likely to be looking for job than the average employed worker. This may be explained by the fact many of these positions are entry level jobs.

Although the position of ‘receptionist’ may often be an entry level job, for many companies they are critically important roles. When receptionists do their jobs well their employers see it in the bottom line. When receptionists are ‘checked out’ and disengaged they can negatively impact on the entire organization.

Among other impressive credentials, Pat Mulroy sits on the board of Wynn Resorts and is senior fellow at the Boyd School of Law. She got her first ‘break’ in business performing receptionist duties.

Starting your career as a receptionist, regardless of your age, can often times provide the experience needed for bigger opportunities. One of the real world examples of someone who began their career as a secretary with little business experience is Patricia Mulroy. Pat leveraged her initial job answering the phone into eventually becoming the longest tenured CEO at the Southern Nevada Water District, one of the most influential positions in the entire state of Nevada.

Here are four career tips to becoming a better receptionists that can lead to an even better job. Whether you are looking to get promoted by your current employer or want a position somewhere new, apply the four tips below and watch your career take off!

  1. Learn how to really listen
  2. Be present
  3. Make the effort to learn what your organization does, not just what you are supposed to do
  4. Network!

Why effective listening is essential

Have you ever called a business introduced yourself and then asked for the person you need to speak with only to have the receptionist as you “what is your name?”. Guess what I know about this organization right away from this brief interaction? Well for starters, many prospective new clients or potential new business partners may assume this business doesn’t care about them. Even if you didn’t catch the entire name, at least acknowledge that you heard them introduce themselves by asking something like, “I didn’t quite catch your name, could you tell me again.”

Being present at work is not only about physically there

You can be at work, but if you regularly text or review your social media feeds while working, you aren’t “present”. Receptionists who are not engaged in their work and are interested in fulfilling requests from a client, patient or potential new business partner, won’t have a future.