Secretaries = Super Heroes!

I believe that the saying “Behind every good man stands a woman” also applies to executives and administrators of all levels running departments and companies. Behind every effective administrator/executive stands a good assistant/secretary.

I have worked for many a boss over the years who had left projects easily maintained, to build into a monumental tasks, weren’t able to compose a professional sounding piece of correspondence, or their spelling was sub-standard. I guess that’s what’s called job security, right? My calling, during my years of being a secretary, has been to identify ways to get people I’m working with better organized. Even when I was a teacher’s assistant, I found areas that could make their lives easier and developed forms to help keep track of tasks and students. There are so many things that transpire that the bosses aren’t even aware of, but they get done in the background if there is a good system in place. If you are an effective assistant, you identify areas that can be improved upon, run it by the boss and get it taken care of. You can only fly by the seat of your pants for so long, before you crash.

Before I quit working and stayed home to raise my 3 children, I worked for the Controller of MeraBank, a large corporate bank that has since gone belly up. Under him was the Asst. Controller, the Chief Financial Officer and 6 department heads and their employees. I was the sole secretary serving the Controller and all of those under him. He had a credenza full of thick financial reports, that he chucked in there to hide them from view on a regular basis. He also had a lot of paperwork coming through his office. So I cleaned out the extra paper in his office, and proceeded to come up with a flow system that would work, whether I was sitting at my desk or away. I created individual inboxes and labeled them according to priority – For Your Signature, Immediate Response Needed, Informational, and so on. Then all of the people who needed to pass something by him could deposit their papers in the appropriate folder and he could come out of his office and grab what he needed to look at according to its importance. So the motto in all of this, is to always make sure that the papers that pass through all of our lives has a flow, is prioritized and is filed so that you can easily put your hands on it again, if need be. How frustrating is it when you know you’ve seen a piece of paper recently, and need to find it, but can’t. Tame your paper pile so it doesn’t stress you! Identify ways you can improve your life with better organization and if you can’t get it done on your own, call on a helper bee like me!

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One response to this post.

  1. That’s exactly what I did as a secretary – coming up with simplifications to make office life easier, reorganising the filing system so it actually made sense, etc. It’s great when things get easier because of something you’ve put in place. 🙂

    Reply

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