A secretary’s job is traditionally to organize an executive’s schedule and filter phone calls. However, in recent years, the job has evolved a lot and the job description got much longer. Secretaries are now tasked with keeping clear data entries in the system, ensuring a steady stream of office supplies, and generally speaking, taking care of any administrative task.
Thanks to Sri Lanka’s outstanding economic growth, secretaries are in high demand. Not only are new businesses starting, established businesses are growing and need help organizing their administrative processes. Although the internet is a huge commodity in Sri Lanka, not all executives can use a computer, and as a result, will need to rely on skilled secretaries for all computer processes.
The interesting part about a secretary position is that your career prospects are quite bright compared to other jobs in similar requirements. Because you work very closely with top managers in the firm, you can develop essential skills needed to become an executive, and understand the firm’s strategy in a more complete way, compared to others in the organization. If you prove to be reliable, your manager might promote you to executive level and depend more and more on your ability to filter and communicate efficiently only the essential information.
What do secretaries do?
A Secretary’s job description encompasses a wide variety of tasks:
Organizing and storing information. Secretaries are often tasked with keeping information flowing efficiently in the office. That means they have to organize documents and make sure important information is made available to the right people. This particular task requires strong organisational skills, excellent computer skills and experience using office software such as Microsoft Office.
Planning executives’ days and arranging meetings. For managers to be as efficient as possible, they often need the help of secretaries to organize their days so that they can focus on analyzing and discussing the company’s results and objectives. A very important part of that task is prioritization: secretaries have to understand what matters most to their manager’s work and what doesn’t in order to plan their days efficiently. Secretaries therefore often take notes and gather all the information exchanged in important meetings
Filtering and communicating information. One of the main tasks of managers is to analyze information and make decisions based on their understanding of the data they have. Secretaries therefore have to filter the information – phone calls, press releases, mail, and sometimes even e-mail – to maximize their manager’s efficiency.
Further tasks can involve recruiting, training and supervising junior support staff and delegate work if needed, as well as organising events for team-building.
Secretaries also often take care of administrative tasks, such as making copies of official documents, filling in government forms etc. as these activities can be very time consuming for an executive.
Secretaries therefore have a key role in the firm as they have access to a lot of critical information and have a good understanding of their company’s business. This is a great opportunity to learn about management and business without having to go through university.
What do I need to become a secretary?
There is no specific academic requirement, so it is quite easy to get a secretarial job. However, in order to land a job, you’re going to need to be a very organised person. You also need to be communicative and friendly in order to get all the information you need from people across the organisation. For smaller companies, having some knowledge in accounting, law, or any business field would be a huge bonus. Being good with computers is also an advantage – so if you have a chance to practice on office software, go for it, it will go a long way. Using computers effectively can make you much more efficient, and will help your chances for advancement.
As you move up the hierarchy, the list of requirements might get bigger, but the main thing recruiters look at is your experience, communication skills and references. Keep in mind that the more curious you prove to be, and the more initiative you’re willing to take, the easier the job will be.
If you’re considering landing a secretary job, don’t hesitate further, give it a try and create your account now on www.everjobs.cm to get access to the best secretary vacancies in the country, and meet the best recruiters.