Anyone who has ever worked in any kind of office knows that they don’t simply run themselves. An office manager is the unsung hero of the workplace, ensuring all workflows operate as smoothly as possible and the daily tasks needed to ensure day-to-day operations are accomplished. They may also be the ones keeping the coffee pot fresh, the birthday surprises planned, and the holiday decorations around the office updated.
Information managers generally do many of the same tasks as office managers except within information systems. They keep any kind of information — content, data, and so on — tidy and accessible for whomever in the workplace may need it. Although it’s worth noting that information managers may not take as much responsibility for workplace ambiance as an office manager.
These two career paths can be found in just about every industry: tech, healthcare, financial management, education, etc. Because of this, learning the skills associated with either path can help you find employment in any field you’re passionate about. Here are three lesser-known careers in information and office management for you to consider.
If you’re passionate about healthcare with a love of organization and facilitation, then a career in healthcare administration may be for you. A healthcare administrator helps to manage the daily processes a hospital needs in order to function successfully: how people move through a space, how HR handles conflicts, and what regulations and permissions need to be managed. This includes daily operations as well as accommodating trends and needs in the current healthcare climate.
For example, a hospital administrator may work in a public or private hospital in either a specialized or general capacity. This means they may either work to facilitate frictionless workflow in the entire hospital or they may specialize in a department like policy, finance or marketing. Hospital administration, in particular, is a growing field, which can be exciting for someone who enjoys change and challenge in their work as new advancements occur every day.
Healthcare administration, in general, is also a field that tends to have a very livable salary range. If you’re the type of person who prefers stable work that will cover your bills and your living costs, then a career in administration may be suitable. You should remember, however, that working solely for money may burn you out in the long run and you can always pursue an administrative path in a different industry you’re more passionate about.
A specific career path in information management is digital asset management. This is the management of digital assets such as images, video, text, PDFs, blueprints, and more. Much like a librarian maintains shelving systems and check-out materials, a digital asset manager ensures that digital files are kept orderly and easily searchable by everyone who uses them.
However, unlike a librarian, digital asset managers (DAM) work frequently with internal teams of co-workers rather than on their own. It’s usually the DAM’s job to work closely with the project manager to determine the asset management needs of the team and then to help fulfill those needs in whatever way they’re able. This can range anywhere from helping a film crew maintain their logs and video clips after a long day of shooting to simply curating digital research assets from an internal backlog.
Finally, a DAM also works to keep permissions and copyrights up to date. If you’re working for a company that has media materials that others would like to use under their copyright, then you’ll be in charge of making sure the right permissions are requested and granted. If your team needs to request permissions to use another company’s assets, then you would coordinate that as well.
If digital asset managers are like librarians, then data managers are like archivists. A career in data management means specifically maintaining and keeping data stored for however long a company may need it. Sometimes that means archiving legacy data from old projects or versions of projects; sometimes that means creating an entire database from scratch.
In some cases, a data manager may work with old technology, like cassette or VHS tapes. It may be the data manager’s responsibility to find a way to restore the information archived on that tape to a more long-term storage solution. In some cases, this could mean simply transferring the data, and in others it could mean some serious time-intensive problem-solving.
Finally, a data manager will also help a company to create their own database for storing their history and research materials as needed. In this way, data managers may also work with project managers and digital asset managers to create the best possible storage system. If a company already has a database, then a data manager may work to help fix any problems and keep it running smoothly.
Regardless of which industry you decide to apply your management skills in, you’re sure to find a niche that feels right for you. Getting your degree or certificate in office or information management can help you to facilitate great work wherever you go. Management skills are the type of hard and soft skills that never go out of demand.
For example, you may work with a team of designers and writers who are all incredibly talented at what they do. Their designs are clean and crisp, and their copy is easy to read and attention-grabbing. However, in order to focus on what they’re best at, they need to not worry about how the office around them is functioning — which is where a manager comes in.
Office and information managers are a crucial part of any work environment and should be treated as valuable members of the team. In some cases, there are entire modes of production that couldn’t happen without solid managers. As such, you should know that your position in a company or an ecosystem is critical, and you should feel proud to be working in your role.