A Very Responsible Job: Secretary


Does the job of a secretary entail mere coordination of office work?
It is very responsible work. A secretary must be able to perceive how her boss would react to a given situation. At times, the boss might ask you to send a nasty mail to one individual he is angry with but would ask you the next day if you actually sent it. You should understand the implicit meaning of what he wants you to do.

Will secretaries become redundant one day?
To an extent, they have become redundant (because of the advent of technology). But it also varies from person to person. There are some people who simply can’t do without a secretary while others can manage their affairs without any human assistance.

Does the job pay really well?
The money can be good if you are able to gain the confidence of your boss. A personal assistant draws as much as R40,000 to R50,000 per month but I think money is not everything. There is a fair amount of stability in this job and that counts a lot.

You have been a secretary for more than two decades. Tell us what does it take to become a good assistant.

One should understand the needs of the person you work for. My boss, for example, wants everything to be communicated quickly. He won’t listen to five sentences and wants the message to be given in one sentence flat.

In certain cases, the boss can also be demanding and he looks for perfection. We should adapt according to his requirements. 

You entered the field while you were a fresh graduate. Is this advisable to undergo some course before taking up a job?
Yes. One should. It helps in the long run.