Back room or front line?
A lot of people prefer to work with ‘things’ rather than directly with people. Many archives and records roles are mainly ‘back room’ jobs. However, some of these jobs, such as Research Officer, can actually involve a lot of public contact. Librarians, too, might also have a lot of public contact, even to the extent of having to discipline unruly library customers!
NOTE! REFER TO THIS KEY TO SEE WHAT EMPLOYERS ARE LOOKING FOR IN ARCHIVE AND RECORDS EMPLOYEES
A. An interest in the preservation and accurate management of records
B. Able to undertake highly detailed work
C. Aptitude for using computers
D. Able to work independently
E. Good organisational skills
F. Good oral communication skills
G. Good written communication skills
H. Able to accept responsibility
I. Good liaison and negotiation skills
J. Patience with the capacity for fine manual work
K. Aptitude for science
L. Interested in the arts
M. Able to analyse information
N. Able to manage workload to meet deadlines
O. Proactive (ie, able to work on your own initiative and without direct guidance)
Responsible for the safekeeping of records and valuable documents. For example, a university will retain the details of students, their studies, their results and any degrees or diplomas awarded. A museum might store a scientist’s personal papers and manuscripts.
Conservator A-H, I-L
Responsible for maintaining collections of physical objects, for example, exhibits in a museum or gallery. Repairing, restoring and maintain exhibits, which requires a knowledge of how they deteriorate over time.
Health information manager C-L, K, M-O
Responsible for looking after the information necessary to meet the medical, ethical, legal and administrative requirements of the health care system.
Librarian A-I, M
Library collections include books, magazines, computer games, software, photographs, journals, maps, microfilms, CDs, e-books and other sources of information. Librarians manage these materials so that they can be of use to members of the public.
Library Assistant A-H
Responsible for sorting and classifying material in a library. Ensuring that borrowed items have been returned.
Library shelf stacking or filing clerk B, D, E, H
‘Shelf stacking’ or returning books to their right place on the shelves a vital job in a library which requires a person who can work with meticulous accuracy. While some people might find it boring, people who like ‘a place for everything and everything in its place’ might find the job ideal.
The same goes for filing clerk jobs that involve attaching loose papers or retrieving or returning paper files to shelves in a company, a court or a government department. The advent of computers means that there are far fewer filing clerks these days, but good ones are hard to come by.
Neither of these jobs are handsomely paid, but both provide an opportunity to get a career start.
Records Officer A-H, N
Responsible for keeping a company’s files, for tracking the movements of files when not in storage, and for attaching new papers, letters etc. to files. You might call them ‘keepers of the corporate memory.’ A records officer will need to be aware of legal requirements for retaining or disposing of records.
Research Officer B-L, M-O
Responsible for collecting information, by conducting surveys (including telephone surveys, focus groups etc) and analysing the data gathered. Statisticians examine and draw conclusions from research data that can assist with company or government decision making.