Working in the civil service: Employee case study
Katy Lisova describes her job as a senior administration officer at a borough council.
What is your role?
I am a team leader for Administration Shared Service at the borough. We provide admin services to the Children and Enterprise Directorate, which involves covering two reception areas.
I organise the staff rotas to make sure all duties are covered and that the reception areas are not left unstaffed.
What do you like about your job?
I like the variety and the challenge. When the phone rings, I never know who will be calling or what the query will be. The contact centre handles calls direct from the public. But they put calls through to us if it’s about one of our departments.
I feel as though I’m always learning.
When I started in this job, we’d never had a reception desk here before so I am pleased with the way we’ve been able to set that up and make it work.
I enjoy managing staff, motivating and supporting them. We all work together. I take my turn on the rota doing all the tasks. I wouldn’t ask my staff to do something without being willing to do it myself. It also means that we can all perform all the tasks so we can cover for absences.
What’s not so great about it?
Part of my role is taking minutes at meetings. I need to get more experience of this. I feel this is an area in which I need more training and coaching.
How did you get to where you are?
I left school after GCSEs. My highest mark was B in drama. I spent five years as a group leader, working with children on activity holidays in France.
When I came back to England, I applied for a temporary job through an employment agency. It was a six-month contract in the finance department at my local borough council. I was inputting data into spreadsheets.
After six months I was made permanent.
I applied for promotion into an admin assistant job with the local Education Business Partnership where I supported enterprise activities in schools.
Two years ago, I applied for this admin office team leader role.
What do you want to do next?
I would like to stay with the council. It’s a place where I feel I can build a career. When I have more experience and a management qualification, I will apply for more senior posts.
I want to continue with my training. I have already done NVQ Levels 2, 3 and 4 in business admin with the borough. I am starting a management course soon, which can lead on to an HNC.
What advice would you give young people thinking of doing your job in the future?
Don’t expect others to do a task you wouldn’t do yourself, and praise your staff.