The secretary plays an essential role in operating a service, a company, an administration, or a law firm. The secretary is the first point of contact for a company, a firm, or an administration. It handles the physical or telephone reception of visitors, customers, and external service providers. Her mission is also administrative since she is often responsible for writing letters, entering documents, and filing.
It is a profession that requires considerable organizational skills and precision to coordinate the many front-office and back-office activities, evaluating and managing the priorities and requirements expressed by superiors and colleagues.
Independent organization of ordinary secretarial activities
Management and transfer of telephone calls and paper and electronic correspondence
Administrative activities and accounting management
Autonomous writing of letters, documents, reports, presentations
Archiving of files, documents, contracts
Welcoming guests and customers
Organization of the calendar of appointments, visits, meetings, and encounters
Business travel planning and travel expense accounting management
Help in organizing office work
The secretary is a “multitasking” employee. Above all, she must be able to intervene on several fronts at the same time while prioritizing.
Despite her overloaded schedule, she must always be available to respond to emergencies imposed by her superiors. A secretary is in constant contact with the employees and managers of his company and outsiders.
A high school diploma or other diplomas, preferably commercial, are generally required to become a secretary. For inexperienced people, there are professional training courses for “secretary officer”, as well as specific training opportunities that can enrich the CV, such as:
Administrative and accounting secretarial course
Corporate secretarial course
Medical office secretarial course
Law Firm Secretarial Course
These courses deal with subjects such as business economics, administration, accounting, documentation management. They also teach basic computer skills, typically for the use of word processing programs and spreadsheets, e-mail, and the most common business software.
In the United States, the average annual salary of secretaries is $40,990. Depending on the level of experience, this may, however, range from $26,880 and $67,510. (BLS, 2020)
Know how to prioritize and also classify documents,
Know how to communicate quickly and effectively,
Organized and methodical, the secretary knows how to manage priorities and also responds courteously to the requests of her various interlocutors.
Her qualities, discretion, sense of anticipation, ability to manage relationships and stress in an emergency make her a particularly sought-after collaborator.
Know and master computers (Word, Excel, Powerpoint), Internet
Know how to take notes
She must have excellent human qualities to always remain courteous and also smiling. Good communicator, she must know how to express herself perfectly.
The profession of a secretary is practiced in multiple structures: SMEs, craftsmen, law firms, notary offices, large international groups, administration, etc.
A secretary’s work is usually done in an office or the front office, under working hours which may be full-time or part-time, depending on her contract. She must also have good teamwork and stress management skills, especially in offices where she has many colleagues when working for a busy executive or a firm with a heavy workload.
The profession of secretary is generally accessible to young graduates. However, to get a foothold in the profession, they will often have to go through temp agencies and chain missions. A secretary can specialize in a field (medical, legal, technical, etc.). With a few years of experience and also the level of diploma required, she can become an executive assistant and evolve in increasingly large companies.
The specific functions of the secretary vary depending on the context in which she works. There are indeed different specialized professional profiles, the main ones being the following:
The administrative secretary who mainly deals with:
Administration and accounting
The preparation of material for the drafting of the balance sheet
The archiving of administrative documents and files
Cataloging of invoices and also economic transactions of the company
The commercial secretary who assists the commercial office and deals with:
Entry and transmission of orders
Manages commercial correspondence with customers
Organizes the calendar of the sales force
The executive secretary, who reports directly to the general manager and is also dedicated to:
Planning meetings for an executive ( organizing the calendar of meetings, meetings, lunches, business trips)
Managing relationships, correspondence, and assistance to the manager in his various activities
The secretary of professional offices such as the secretary of medical and dental offices, the legal secretary, accounting firms, etc., who are responsible for:
Planning appointments and also visits
Welcoming clients/patients in the office
Answering the client’s questions
Managing the administrative and accounting aspects of the activity (for example the management of medical or legal documentation)
Consultancies and professional firms
Public bodies and also public administration offices
Schools and educational institutes,
Agencies such as travel agencies, real estate agencies