Secretarial options

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Becoming a good company secretary could be a rewarding and fulfilling stepping stone to achieving financial success. “For candidates in their twenties and early thirties, who are ambitious and motivated, willing to put in the extra effort to succeed, secretarial work might be a good career option” says branch manager Ashley Gregory.

Getting the job 

An entry point into this job sector, without any prior training, tertiary education or experience, would be as a receptionist or office administrator – a “girl Friday” in old terminology. According to Gregory, “experience takes preference, and after about eighteen months an employee could step into a secretarial  role, provided she had a good foundation and understanding of the fundamentals of the organisation.” 

Minimum requirements expected from a candidate wanting a position as a secretary would include around two years reception / front line experience, together with administrative experience, and advanced MS Excel / Word and intermediate PowerPoint.

Duties 

A secretary’s responsibilities and duties would be general office correspondence, stationery control, booking of meeting rooms and boardroom, general accounting functions, ordering of office consumables, and re-direction of emails – all tasks that assist the smooth running of the company. Gregory says: “A person with aspirations to be a PA must be willing to start off as a receptionist and move up the ranks, eventually taking over an office administrative role. Further career advancements  for a strong PA who deals well with confidentiality, could be in the HR (Human Resources) department”.

Working Conditions

Working hours are from 8am to 5pm, and can be structured to be as flexible as possible, with either an early start or early departure, and these days there is no official signing in or clock card system. Work on public holidays or weekends is generally not required. 

“Days off for family responsibility are important for young moms, and they are willing to work back the time. Most young women starting off a career are not thinking about medical aids or pensions, and far prefer incentive perks such as petrol allowances, cell phones and laptops” says Gregory. Secretaries in forward-thinking companies can expect management to take this into account.

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