Earlier, the role of the secretaries was limited to taking notes from their bosses, typing, etc. However, with the advent of technology in companies and offices, these duties have extended to things that were meant for the managerial staff. Nowadays, employers prefer candidates who at least have a college degree. One can also enrol for specialization courses that train people to carry out their duties effectively. Though the role of a secretary differs according to the company, the basic secretarial profile is generally the same in every organization.
Taking Notes ~ a secretary will have to take notes and dictation from the boss for drafting the correspondence or executing the work. She can either record the dictation and transcribe it later or write it down.
Scheduling Meetings ~ she will have to keep a record of appointments and ensure that each one is conducted smoothly and on time. Follow up for attendance, venue booking, arranging notepads, pencils, water bottles; glasses, etc. are also the duties of a secretary.
Communication ~ Many times, she will have to conduct research for the reporting authority and carry out oral and written communication with staff members as well as clients on the behalf of her boss or department.
Troubleshooting ~ handling difficult situations without any assistance is one of the prime duties of a secretary. A secretary might face managerial or administration problems; she has to sort them out on her own without the interference of the senior management.
Arranging Travel and Accommodation ~ one of the prime duties of a secretary is to arrange for the travel and boarding requirements of the boss or staff. This needs to be done flawlessly and meticulously especially when foreign travel and hotel bookings are involved. A minute-to-minute itinerary should be prepared for the convenience of the travellers.
Organizing Office Activities and Events ~ organizing fun employee engagement activities and events for the department is not a secretary's core activity, but it can definitely help in honing her leadership prowess.
Maintaining Archives ~ it is the duty of the secretary to maintain the archives of documents and paperwork regarding foreign delegation visits, customer visits, inaugurations, new product launches, activities, events, etc.
Managing Material ~ a secretary has to ensure timely and accurate delivery, and pick up of important office material. Items to be couriered should be sent on time, tracked and followed up for efficient delivery.
Answering Calls ~ a secretary answers the calls for her boss. She also screens the list of callers and relays the messages to the boss or leaves messages at his desk on the 'While you were out cards'.
Greets Visitors ~ A secretary also undertakes the responsibility of maintaining guest relations. She welcomes the visitors and makes them comfortable by offering refreshments. She might also require to book dinner reservations or accommodation for the guests.
Manage Memberships and Subscriptions ~ It is the duty of the secretary to manage and renew memberships to various business forums, institutes, societies, etc. She will also have to renew the subscriptions of various publications that the reporting authority has subscribed to.
Stock Management ~ Keeps a tab on the available stock of office supplies, stationery, office equipment, etc. and makes arrangement for placing a new order.
Payroll Activities ~ in a small organization, a secretary might also have to undertake payroll related activities.
Maintaining a Diary ~ a secretary has to maintain a diary to follow the time-bound schedule of her boss and enlist his appointments accordingly. At the end of each day, she has to inform the boss about the next day's schedule.
Reporting ~ a secretary will have to act as a liaison between the department and her boss. She will have to give an accurate report of the departmental activities to the boss.
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