The insider truth about being a start-up’s office manager

When we think about jobs within start-ups, the first roles that come to mind are probably CEO, developers and designers, maybe even account managers but the office manager is unlikely to surface. Office managers are the unsung heroes of the start-up world.


office-manager-hero-imageThere is strong competition for limited number of high-level positions

While office management can be an exciting career, it is also one that can stagnate quickly. There are only so many places you can go to as an office manager and those positions are highly coveted.

Your mistakes are obvious

Office managers must deal face to face with employees and clients, which means that often times their mistakes cannot be hidden as easily as the mistakes of others.

office managerThere are unforeseen responsibilities

The job of an office manager is at the best of times unpredictable. You always try to tell the future, but sometimes it’s just impossible to foresee when a piece of equipment will fail or someone might quit and you have to start a recruitment process from scratch.

The long work hours

The many responsibilities of the role sometimes make it difficult to get everything done when you want to, forcing you to work extra hours to catch up with the tasks.

officeEvery day can be different

Unlike other more ‘routine’ jobs where tasks start at point ‘A’ and take you to point ‘C’, going through ‘B’, the responsibilities of an office manager look more like a tree that branches out in organic ways rather than a map.

This means that more often than not, you’ll be dealing with very different-looking schedules each time. One day you may be recruiting a new team member, while the next you’re ordering a new laptop and the other you’re handling payroll.

office manager1It’s a balancing act

Or a juggling act, depending on whom you ask. According to Marc, the key is finding the balance between ‘timing and provisioning’. Which as you may guess, it’s not always so easy.

Your calendar can be your worst enemy

Since it’s a job that must answer to many and has to respond ASAP, following a schedule can be a bit of a hassle for an office manager.

You’re the focus of attention

When something goes wrong, you’re usually the first person both customers and employees address. While some people are glad that communicating with others is part of their everyday job, even the chattiest of employees will find it overwhelming if they become the go-to person for complaints.