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I lack experience for the jobs I'm looking at - should I still apply?

(11 Posts)
TomHiddlestonsDignity Wed 06-Jul-16 13:24:47

I want to get back to work after maternity leave, but not returning to what I did before.

So I've been looking at part-time admin/secretarial roles. But several say "at least two year's worth of admin/secretarial work" as required criteria. I haven't got that, is it still worth applying? I previously freelanced at one point so had to do all my own admin then. Would that count a little bit?

Sorry if that's a stupid question, I just want to broaden the pool of jobs I can apply for but don't know if it's possible.

Stillunexpected Wed 06-Jul-16 15:52:29

If we ask for two years of previous experience in an admin role it is because the role requires it, not because we just fancy getting more highly-qualified applicants for the position. You should probably be able to work out from the job description whether a job will really require previous experience (PA to the CEO - probably - part-time receptionist at a local accountancy office - probably not so much). If you think a job is worth applying for, you have nothing to lose by going for it. However, and it is a big however, admin roles are competitive because not only do you have applicants who have solid experience but also applicants who are transferring from other areas and utilising admin skills they have picked up in other fields so the applicant pool tends to be large. Part-time work is even more competitive so add the two together and you can expect it to be difficult!

Personally, I wouldn't count doing your own admin while freelancing as experience. These days, with life so complicated and fast-moving, aren't we all our own admin persons?

TomHiddlestonsDignity Wed 06-Jul-16 20:48:17

Thanks for your fair and comprehensive reply still. That helps me get an idea of when to take notice and when to disregard slightly, thanks.

BrandNewAndImproved Wed 06-Jul-16 20:50:29

I don't know about administration jobs but every job I've applied for (and gotten) I've been punching above my weight. Qualifications and experience wise. Just read the job description throughly and talk up the points they want in the interview. If there is something you're not trained for but they like you they might take you on and train you up.

TomHiddlestonsDignity Wed 06-Jul-16 21:27:02

That's good to hear brand.

BeatricePotter Thu 07-Jul-16 23:17:49

I agree you need to be punching above your weight. The person who gets the job will probably have at least five years experience and have done a 'proper' PA job full time.

I wouldn't go the admin route personally. Have been a PA for about 15 years and it is getting harder and harder. Admin staff have been culled so there is much much more work to do and PAs are seen as a luxury. You are probably pitching yourself against hundreds of candidates who are much better qualified than you.

BeatricePotter Thu 07-Jul-16 23:20:18

Also, do not assume a 'little admin job' will be a doddle. They can be bloody stressful and hard work especially if you are supporting several people.

TomHiddlestonsDignity Fri 08-Jul-16 13:33:22

Thanks for advice beatrice. Not meaning to patronise/diminish admin work, just going for it as it's more 9-5 than my previous role. Might reconsider though.

BeatricePotter Fri 08-Jul-16 14:34:39

No, of course. In theory, it should be a 9 to 5 role but depending on where you work it might not be! I think a lot of the problem is that you are often supporting people who have never done the role and assume every task can be done within two minutes. If you are doing work on behalf of multiple people and volume is high it can be stressful. No comparison to doing your own admin as a freelancer as a lot of it is about managing other people's expectations/not being treated as a doormat/dumping ground of stuff that people don't want to do themselves.

NoTractorsAtTheTable Fri 08-Jul-16 14:46:07

OP, have you considered joining a temp agency? That could be a way to boost your administrative skills and let you consider what type of environment you like. We often take on our temps as permanent employees if they are good too.

TomHiddlestonsDignity Fri 08-Jul-16 18:14:50

I hadn't actually, that's a thought tractors.

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