The Role of a Secretary and Office Professional



The secretarial role is interesting, challenging and undergoing many changes...and the changes have made the secretarial profession even more appealing.


The biggest change of all has been to the name, 'Secretary'. Did you know that Secretaries are now becoming more known as 'Office Professionals'?
Of course as the title indicates, a Secretary's role can now be expected to include some managerial duties. This could include supervising other office secretaries or administration staff or even training staff.


So just what role DOES the Secretary and Office Professional play within an organization? Do you possess the qualities to become a secretary or office professional if the role is changing? These are the questions we will give you some guidance with. You also might like to have a look at the following selection which gives you an insight into the role and some training you needright from the start of your career.

You will know exactly what to expect before you take the plunge! If you do not already have the qualities to fulfill the role of a secretary now, we will guide you on how you can acquire them.


Major Role
The major role of a Secretary or Office Professional is to provide assistance to a Manager or Managers.

As the new generation of Managers are doing more and more of their own typing, a Secretary's role can expect to be more of an organizer, supervisor and trainer rather than the bulk of the duties being typing. But of course this can and does differ from company to company.


Tasks of the Secretary
Tasks can include many varied duties - research, typing, producing flyers, filing, dictaphone transcription, screening telephone calls, appointments, liaising with clients (and sometimes this includes handling difficult situations) and other staff members, attending meetings, minute taking, composing letters, making travel bookings, supervising, training staff (including your boss), ordering flowers and gifts, and of course there will be menial tasks included too.


Form a good working relationship with your Boss
To be a competent secretary, you will need to learn how your boss works, what his/her role and objectives are within the company, what correspondence, telephone and personal enquiries he/she would like you to refer to him/her, or whether he/she prefers to take his/her calls at certain times of the day. Knowing these sorts of things will make your job easier too. The idea is to save your Manager time with the daily routine matters and be as helpful as you possibly can. Books are available on this exact subject - forming a working relationship with your boss.


As you learn more about the way your company operates and the role of other company personnel, you will find you will be answering more and more of the routine enquiries and confidently referring enquiries to the correct officer without having to bother anyone else, particularly your boss.


Familiarize yourself with company policies so that you know how to deal with certain issues should the occasion arise in your role as Secretary. For instance should personnel complaints be put in writing, or will your boss deal with them verbally. You need to know these things so you don't waste the time of your boss by putting unnecessary calls through to him/her. You'll be able to deal with them expediently yourself because the policy will give you guidelines on how the company wishes you to handle them.


Also many companies have procedural books and/or staff handbooks. Ask if there is one and read it and re-read it. If one doesn't exist, develop one as you learn the job. Take the initiative. You will find it so handy when you need to train other staff you supervise.


Now you know some of the types of duties you'll be expected to carry out in your role, see how you rate in the desired qualities a secretary should have.

PERSONAL QUALITIES FOR THE ROLE OF A SECRETARY AND OFFICE PROFESSIONAL

If you want to be a successful secretary, you must have personal qualities and skills or have the ability to acquire them.

These are some key qualities :
helpful
trustworthy
reliable
honest
confidential
organizational skills
immaculate appearance
good communication skills
good telephone etiquette
ability to take instructions and carry them out
ability to type speedily and accurately