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WHAT YOU SHOULD KNOW AS A PROFESSIONAL SECRETARY
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WHAT YOU SHOULD KNOW AS A PROFESSIONAL SECRETARY

There is no specific definition of a secretary, nor is it possible to specify the work or function performed by a secretary. However, as a result of technological progress leading to innovations, which has led to the current globalisation of business, administrative duties have become more extensive, challenging, and varied. One of these responsibilities is the secretary as:

It is the responsibility of the secretary to maintain the security of all office records; the evolution of electronic records has made the secretary’s role as record manager from the point of creation to the time of ultimate disposal more difficult. In the past, secretaries kept records on paper and in file cabinets. Today, however, the computer with its catalogue of accessories must be manipulated to both create and keep records.

Administrative Officer: A secretary with years of experience serves as an organization’s administrative officer.

A secretary who has reached a certain level serves as administrative officer, is authorised to sign contracts on behalf of the employer, attends important meetings, and makes decisions when the supervisor is absent. Current globalisation of business and the resulting pressure on managers have prompted a reevaluation of the secretarial function, resulting in the delegation of more responsibilities and authorities to secretaries. Therefore, the importance of the secretary’s duties cannot be overstated, as they act on behalf of their boss and assume responsibilities, as the organisational document is in the secretary’s possession to either process or dispatch and store, which is not performed by any other executive in the organisation.

Information officer is one of the most fundamental positions or responsibilities of a secretary in an organisation.

Processing modern officers does not rely on the conventional method of accumulating, processing, disseminating, and organising information.

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Today, secretaries are known as information administrators. Secretaries, as information processing managers, not only type documents and print out processed copies, but also process raw data into a readable format in accordance with organisational procedures. This distinguishes a secretary from a computer operator, who is not trained in communication, interpersonal, conceptual, or technical skills, but must be able to type.

Manager of Reprography Resources: Reprography is the discipline of duplicating documents, bulletins, and reports for the use of anyone requiring a photocopy. As the manager of all reprographic resources within the organisation, an effective reprographic system is of utmost importance to the secretary. Secretary should be familiar with the distinctive characteristics of each variety of reprographic machine, as well as its advantages and disadvantages, production speed, and costs. In addition, the secretary should be familiar with the general characteristics of contemporary copies, including collating and stapling devices, automatic folding, book duplicating, online binding, and colour promotion.

The duties of a secretary include typing, filling, receiving, and making and receiving phone calls. Planning, coverage, and follow-up for meetings, conferences, and more. Public relations responsibilities through error-free, well-formatted correspondence, attire, communication skills, and positive dispositions. Managing personnel in terms of recruiting, orienting, and evaluating subordinates. Discussing the invention of control over assets such as typewriters, photocopiers, and duplicators, as well as human relations with the executive, coworkers, and subordinates for a diverse working environment.

Secretary was responsible for producing preliminary data of executive response to communication. Reading, signing, and sending out some executive correspondence, composing speeches, memos, or reports for the executive to edit, composing articles for publications, consulting reference sources to obtain information requested by the executive, editing copies and typed by others, and selecting/recommending office equipment and supplies to be purchased by the organisation.

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According to the above definition, the professional secretary, who is sometimes referred to as an executive assistant, administrative assistant, or associate, has advanced administrative duties, which were traditionally primarily related to correspondence, such as letter typing. The advent of word processing has drastically reduced the amount of time required for such responsibilities, and as a result, the secretary may have been tasked with this new responsibility.

These may include budget management and bookkeeping, website maintenance, and travel arrangements. Oftentimes, executives will ask their assistants to take meeting minutes and prepare meeting documents and arrangements for review. This may also include knowledge of clients, subordinates, and the management plan. They may also be responsible for personal paperwork that is typically associated with human relations.

One of the secretaries’ primary responsibilities is to organise and schedule meetings in accordance with the company’s needs, as well as to inform the board of directors and other stakeholders about the meeting and its agenda. The secretary is responsible for keeping a detailed record of the meeting’s proceedings, which includes documenting the activities and topics discussed during the meeting by taking minutes and maintaining an attendance journal. Once the meeting has concluded, the secretary must submit the meeting minutes for future reference and communicate the meeting’s decision to the other employees.

The secretary is also responsible for publishing the monthly and annual report and account. Aside from this, they may also be responsible for supervising other junior employees in the organisation and training new staff. Moreover, when a company appoints a new director, it is not only the secretary’s responsibility to guide them, but also to organise a training programme for them.

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Secretaries utilise a variety of office equipment, including fax machines, photocopiers, scanners, and video conferencing and telephone systems. In addition, secretaries frequently use compiler to perform tasks that were previously handled by managers and professionals; they create spreadsheets, compose correspondence, manage databases, and develop presentation software and digital graphics.

In addition to negotiating with vendors, maintaining and examining needed equipment, purchasing supplies, managing stock rooms or corporate libraries, and retrieving data from a variety of sources, managers and professionals have assumed many duties formerly performed by secretaries and administrative assistants, such as answering the telephone and typing documents. Now that secretaries perform less dictation and word processing, they have more time to assist more executive staff members. In a number of businesses, secretaries collaborate to exchange ideas and be more adaptable.

Conclusion

The duties of a secretary vary depending on their experience and title. Executive secretaries and administrative assistants provide administrative support at a high level for an office and for the organization’s top executives. In general, they perform fewer administrative tasks. They may be responsible for more complex tasks, such as evaluating incoming memos and report submissions to determine their significance and plan their distribution. In addition to preparing agendas and making arrangements for committee and executive board meetings, administrative assistants may conduct research and compile statistical reports.

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