AN INSIGHT INTO A SECRETARIAL CAREER
A secretary plays a very important role in a company. He or she is part of the central administrative support system for the entire company. If you are interested in this role, read on to find out more.
A secretary provides administrative support to one or several individuals of high ranking in the company as well as to the company as a whole. Typically, a secretary’s duties involve preparing documents or presentations for meetings and trainings, arranging meetings and appointments, and booking flights and accommodation. Secretaries also often take on additional duties such as attending to clients or meetings on behalf of managers, supervising support staff, answering calls, replying emails and updating database or client records. In some cases, secretaries are equivalent to personal assistants and will need to accompany their bosses on business trips which can take place beyond office hours.
An entry-level position of a secretary may not require a college degree, but it is recommended that you pursue at least a certificate or diploma or some form of professional training as it will prepare you for some of the challenges of the job. Secretaries should have good typing skills and strong managerial and interpersonal skills. As the world enters the digital age where almost everything requires the use of a computer, secretaries should also be proficient in using the necessary software to assist them in their work.
Good communication skills are also important as secretaries have to correspond with individuals of various positions to get tasks done. As you advance in your career as a secretary, you should develop good judgment, strong organisation abilities, and the capability to work independently
What it takes to be one
Being a secretary requires you to multitask – therefore you need a multitude of soft skills in addition to technical ones. For instance, it is important for a secretary to be well-organised and to have good time management skills as he or she needs to keep track of important dates and events and prepare the necessary materials. A secretary should also be flexible and adaptable as there are many things that may not take place according to plan which will require him or her to come up with creative solutions that ensure things go on smoothly. In your career as a secretary, it is recommended that you attend trainings, workshops or enrol yourself in online programmes to help you keep up with the ever-evolving office technologies.
Typically, secretaries work in corporate environments but there is also a need for secretaries in the medical and legal fields. Prospective job titles include being an administrative assistant, executive assistant, legal secretary and medical secretary. It is advisable that you find out which industry you want to be in as the training for each position is different. For example, medical secretaries should know basic medical terminology by taking courses on transcription, deductibles and health insurance. Legal secretaries on the other hand, should understand fundamental legal terms and correctly apply them to the specific branches of law in which they work.
Before embarking on a secretarial career, search for part-time secretarial jobs for some experience of what it means to be a secretary. This will help you understand the role and expectations of being a secretary.