Lessons from the Front Desk
I’ve been in the workforce for a mere 6 years, but spending all of that time in receptionist-type roles has provided me with some insights to share. These are some lessons I’ve learned on the front desk:
Leave your ‘Bad Days’ at home
There’s nothing worse than walking into a business and feeling like you’re inconveniencing the receptionist purely by being there! Never underestimate the importance of putting on a smile and greeting people warmly, your attitude can influence how people view the entire organisation. We’ve all had an experience with a bad salesperson/waiter/receptionist that has made you reconsider giving the company your business in future…
Don’t take negativity personally
People will be rude. Of course the majority of people will be perfectly pleasant to deal with but don’t be taken back by those few bad interactions. Be understanding of each person’s perspective and priorities. I previously worked in the healthcare industry which saw me interacting daily with people who were unwell, stressed and (rightfully) not feeling terribly patient when it came to sitting in the waiting room for 45 minutes. In my current role at People @ Work I have close contact with people who may be long-term unemployed, stressed about a lack of income and disillusioned with the cycle of fruitless job-searching. I understand that sometimes people will get frustrated and possibly take some of that out on me, and I accept that it’s not the result of something I have personally done to them.
One of the aspects that I love about my job is the variety of tasks that I do. Having flexibility to take on last minute projects keeps things fresh, and it can be quite rewarding to provide admin support to the rest of the team when you know they’re suddenly swamped with their workload and need help getting the little things done. Being a receptionist doesn’t just mean being shackled to the front desk and answering the phone, your role is crucial in keeping the whole ship afloat!