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Where Can A Career In Secreterial Take You?

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Secretaries play a crucial role within businesses They support the business through their day-to-day tasks and ensure that everything runs smoothly. The work is very diverse and basically stretches across all sectors that you can think of.

The scope of the role will depend on the size of your team, the size of the company, the sector and your levels of experience. It will likely involve both verbal and written communication.

Some of the duties that you can expect in a secretarial role include:

  • Booking meetings/appointments.

  • Taking minutes in meeting

  • General administration within an office

  • Answering enquiries via phone and email

  • Greeting and hosting guests

You will be depended upon by people within the business. This is especially true if working as a personal assistant (PA) as you’ll be the right-hand person for a specific senior-level employee.

Secretarial work will be almost completely based in the office and opportunities to work from home may be scarce as it’s likely you’ll be required in-person in order to deal with enquiries and deliveries.

Skills & interests required

Secretaries must be highly organised and have impeccable time management skills. Often, other departments and team members will be relying on you so you have to be dependable and able to get tasks done promptly.

Prioritising is a key skill within the secretarial industry, particularly for PAs, who will be deciding on behalf of someone else what meetings to attend, what should be rescheduled and even what emails they need to reply to.

Secretaries with language skills will be beneficial to companies who have offices across the world – it means you will be able to converse comfortably with clients across the globe. However, there are still plenty of roles that you could do without speaking a second (or third) language.

- Attention to detail
- Communication
- Excellent phone manner
- Flexibility
- Organisation
- Patience
- Prioritizing

Typical Career Progression Routes for Graduates in Secreterial

As you progress, you will be able to take on more responsibilities of increasing importance within a company. If you are in a large company that has a secretarial team, you could work up to team leader.

Many people who work in secretarial positions move into a personal assistant role. These roles can be quite specialised and requires high levels of organisation. Your boss will highly depend on you as a PA; you’ll be required to make important decisions about prioritising tasks and meetings so that others can do their work as efficiently as possible.

Tips for getting into the field

Make sure you are proficient on a computer! You will definitely have to use various computer programs (not just email software, but also diary management and invoicing/accounting software packages too), for your day-to-day work and being savvy with a PC will help you massively.

Ensure you can type quickly and accurately. You’ll have to prepare a lot of online communications and you need to be able to get these messages across with no mistakes.

Types of jobs in Secreterial

Earning potential

Salaries can be quite competitive within this industry. You will usually start at around £14,000 and this can rise to £20,000 with experience.

With specialist skills you will earn more as a secretary and get closer to the £25,000 mark.

Qualification requirements & subjects to study

Experience is much more valuable than qualifications in this industry. However, with a degree you are much better positioned to become a specialised secretary in areas such as legal, business, or healthcare. These tend to be the most competitive when it comes to secretarial work.

If you know which industry you would like to move into, taking this subject at degree or A-level will certainly help you. However, it is usually not necessary and most companies will provide you with the specific training that you need.

Industry bodies

Association of University Administrators

Institute of Administration Management (IAM)

Institute of Chartered Secretaries and Administrators

Executive and Personal Assistants Association

Institute of Legal Secretaries and PAs

Global PA Association

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