National Receptionists’ Day was first launched in 1991 in the US to celebrate the role of professional receptionists and in 2012, Rapport, the UK’s leading provider of Reception Services launched it in the UK, and as other countries signed up to support this initiative, International Receptionists’ Day was formed.
At the beginning of my construction career, yes, I was a receptionist. It wasn’t a family history thing of my parents or grandparents being in the construction industry, although my Uncle by marriage is a construction arbitrator.
Three months after I started my employment as a receptionist for a large national construction firm that re-branded in 2000, I was promoted to assistant design co-ordinator assistant. This is where I gained using my initiative and motivation for the job. Everything was new, and back then it was before digital construction plans (drawings) were issued electronically.
Anyway, the receptionist role was to divert calls to the correct site of where the site manager and quantity surveyors were. Along with that, meet and greet clients, make coffee for conference meetings, take messages and make sure the intended recipient received them, and typing purchase orders.
As the front-of-house receptionist to the regional office, I took pride in my appearance and made sure I was always smart and wearing my make-up. Using my initiative was a second-nature thing for me and this has stood me well in my career, albeit somewhat disjointed.
It is an important role as a receptionist. You set the first impression of the company for any visitors that attend your premises. It’s not low-down, bottom-of-the-barrel even if you feel that way. I did to start with, but then appreciated how important the job is. I was bored, I admit it. There were long, slow slack periods for me as a receptionist and I did not like it. I think 20 odd years ago now, that’s why they promoted me. I had ambition, I wanted a job with a future career ahead of me and in construction I found it.
So, being a receptionist can be the start of a wonderful career if you’re interested in the industry. If you’re happy with being a receptionist, (I wish I had stayed in that role!) then it’s varied. Just make sure your employer understands its importance and gives you respect!