In every organization, from small offices to large multinational companies, there is one group of people that can be seen as a vital — those that provide secretarial services. They are often described as the backbone of a company, but they are usually at the front line of the day to day business tasks ensuring the smooth running of the workplace. People who provide these services can take on a number of demanding roles.
The outdated notion of a secretary who takes notes from the employer and does some typing is rare in today's demanding business world. More than likely, the person performing these tasks will have a business degree and will see the secretarial role as a stepping stone in their career to other jobs. Many college students supplement their income working in this type of environment, and they often find it to be an advantage to have these skills listed on their resumes.
The ability to multi-task and be multi-skilled is a job specification required when applying for a secretarial position. The role can involve anything from working as a busy receptionist, answering telephone calls, reading and answering company emails, copy typing, and even helping balance companies accounts. Computer skills are nearly always essential to the role, as most company's records are kept in databases; data entry is also included in these services.
There are many ways of finding a job in this sector. As well as applying for positions in the normal route, such as through newspaper advertisements, there are job agencies and temporary employment agencies dedicated specifically to providing secretarial services. Applicants may have to take a few tests, such as speed typing and computer skills, but once registered, there is a huge demand for people with good secretarial skills.
Many people use their skills as a way of getting their foot in the door of companies they would like to work for. They can then work their way up the ladder using the valuable experience that they gained with the position. It would not be the first time someone has started off in the typing pool only to end up managing the company.
With the advent of the Internet and telecommuting, some secretarial services can be provided from home. Many companies farm out data entry, copy typing, computer jobs, and clerical tasks to individuals who have the relevant skills. It can be an excellent way for individuals to earn extra income. This is a very popular job for stay at home parents or part time workers as it affords flexibility, extra cash, and a way to keep their skills up to date before returning to the workplace, if they so choose.
People who don't think they have any secretarial services skills just need to think of how many times in the past they have typed up letters on their home computer or worked out their home finances on spreadsheets. These types of skills can be more in demand than most people think.