How to Be a Better Secretary

The secretary is the gateway to any organization. I have worked as a secretary and administrative assistant for several years with various companies and have learned a few tricks of the trade in that time. Here are the five best steps how to become an excellent secretary:

Arrive Early.

I cannot stress enough how important it is for your boss to arrive every day and see you already at your desk, ready to work (or already working). This shows dedication, organization, and efficiency; the top traits every employer wants in an employee. Also, if you can make the coffee before everyone arrives, then not only is your cup the freshest, but you become the friend of every caffeine-addict in the office.

Respect confidentiality.

Your office, phone, and desk will be the hub for almost everything that passes through the company. You will hear rumors, gossip, and private information. There is one rule: Keep your mouth shut. Sharing private information could get you fired, and you will lose the respect of your coworkers and superiors. Resist the temptation.

Screen callers.

This is especially true if you work for a company that receives calls from vendors. Always get a name, company name, and check if they are a current vendor with an active account. Give yourself some time, and you will be able to spot the phonies immediately. Until then, screen everyone before you allow them to speak with your boss.

Guard the door.

Your boss is relying on you to filter out unnecessary interruptions and distractions. They will be grateful for allowing him (or her) the time to reply to an email or set up a meeting when they are ready. I currently work for two ministers and they don’t bat an eyelash when I tell a downright lie to a wheedling salesman just to get them out the door.

Do a little extra.

This is encouraged for any employee, but especially the secretary. You will often be the go-to person in the office, so try to put forth a little more effort than required. Offer to organize files that aren’t your responsibility, scan papers for those not technologically-inclined, or update an old database. These are simple skills you already possess, but most people see them as invaluable help.

These are just several tips on how to be a great secretary. There are more, but every company and employer is different, and sometimes it is best to try things out to see what works.

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