Do you enjoy multiple responsibilities, have customer service savvy and
welcome computer work? Consider a secretarial career! You'll be the office
information center and be responsible for coordinating office functions, typing
important documents and making travel arrangements.
Secretaries (also known as administrative assistants) coordinate crucial
office functions. You'll answer phones, schedule appointments, create documents,
provide assistance to clients and co-workers, and maintain computer and paper
files. Secretaries also provide assistance with desktop publishing and database
needs, so familiarity with common business software is a must!
"The computer technology related to word processing, presentation materials
and financial management requires learned skills. It would be necessary for
anyone to know these basic programs before entering the field," advises Terri
Lowe, an executive assistant.
Industries crave secretaries with precise experience and training. Legal
secretaries work for busy attorneys who need someone with industry-specific
knowledge. These secretaries assist with legal research, prepare legal documents
and coordinate client appointments.
Technical secretaries work with engineers, scientists and researchers.
They maintain technical journal libraries, greet clients, submit papers to
technical journals and compile information.
"Secretaries come in all flavors and from all levels. If you want to be
a good one, you have to hone in on the particular company's needs," advises
Jeannine Robinson, a medical secretary.
Secretaries can work by themselves or as part of a secretarial team. Some
secretaries prefer to work for an entire department and provide valuable administrative
support for many team members. You'll work with industry professionals who
crave your crucial clerical skills.
Most secretarial duties are done at your desk, meaning long stretches of
sitting and typing. Eye strain and wrist strain are common, although ergonomic
chairs and computer equipment will help prevent serious injury.
"As with any job that requires lots of typing, carpal tunnel syndrome could
be a problem. To prevent this, we use wrist pads with our keyboards," shares
Ted Ellicott, an administrative assistant.
A secretarial background gives you fantastic career opportunities. You
can be promoted to office manager, specialize in bookkeeping or become an
executive secretary and supervise a crew.
Want a quick overview of what
this career is about? Check out
Just the Facts for simple lists
Handle clerical and customer service functions
Watch a one-minute video showing what it's like to work in this career or related careers
Secretaries, Except Legal, Medical, and Executive
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