Every secretary has their tricks for making their job easier. We have collected some testimonials…
“I have a colleague who was always overwhelmed,” says Lise, a retired business secretary. “I always said to her, ‘When the work they ask you to do takes 2 minutes… Do it right away!’ Otherwise, it accumulates and you forget… “
The big lesson Lise remembers from her 42 years spent as a secretary in different companies, then as administrative assistant in a health agency, is the degree of organization.
“Throughout my career, I always looked for ways to be faster and more efficient. One thing I did for myself was to set reminders for tasks or meetings that repeat periodically. A sort of procedure, to avoid forgetting anything.”
The other lesson comes from the human side.
“As a secretary, you are there to serve the manager, not the other way round. I always considered myself as a good number 2, and I think that’s the key. There are some secretaries who want to impose their views on the boss… That’s not my type. I always tried to adapt myself to each one’s way of doing things.”
Discretion, finally, is a fundamental principle of the secretary’s job.
“When a person tells me some news, I prefer to say I didn’t know,” Lise explains. “Even if sometimes I had heard something… It’s essential to learn to read between the lines. There are things that we can fix by ourselves; there are also customers that the boss would rather not speak to.”
Connected secretary to gain efficiency
Byanca Neveu, who offers virtual administrative assistant services, also believes in the importance of adapting to the customer’s reality. Before undertaking an assignment she has a questionnaire filled out to learn what technologies and systems are already in place.
“For example, if the client uses Skype for teleconferencing, I want to use the same thing.”
That’s how she discovered the Asana Task Manager, a web app used by one of her clients to track projects in her workgroup.
Byanca Neveu is not limited to her clients’ knowledge, however. “If they are looking for me, it’s for my expertise.” So do not be afraid to introduce your manager to new tools that could save time and money.