Now being a secretary isn’t as simple as it is portrayed in movies or tv shows. A secretary doesn’t just sit and wait to be summoned. They have many other responsibilities that will be shared later on in this article. Before that, to be a secretary, one must have a background of studying to be one, like majoring in “sains kesetiausahaan” or secretarial sciences in Malaysia. You must have a lot of self-discipline as well. Remember that this job requires a lot of energy as well to be by the side of anyone above you be it a CEO, a manager or business owner. Even the leader of a country has a secretary. Thus, a secretary would have to be handling a lot of files and keep track of schedules, keep records of meetings and so on. A secretary is also responsible for reminding the person they are working for upcoming events or meetings, including the contents of said meetings.
So in general, a secretary’s responsibilities, in general, is the management of your boss, or the person you are working under, it includes keeping records of meetings, be it a short casual meeting or a professional business meeting. Even managing, like scheduling or postponing your boss’ daily schedule beforehand and reminding them of that schedule. It can sometimes be considered as taking care of your boss.
In terms of preparing for a meeting beforehand, remind your boss of what time the meeting is due at, as well as knowing who the meeting is with and what the meeting is about. It is important to take notes during the meeting as well. This is commonly called meeting minutes, defined as making a record of everything that happens during the minutes of the meeting. It can be long and elaborated, or short and simple as long as it is understandable and explainable. You could pre-plan your notes in sections or if you would want to take a safer route, simply record the meeting on an audio recorder that is available on almost every smartphone. You could even have a separate smartphone just for business meetings.
However, this doesn’t literally mean that you have to take notes of every single minute, simply take note of every single topic discussed as well as the decisions made or conclusions met. These meeting minutes function to remind oneself of the discussions as well as to notify anyone who was not present. And lastly, minutes are usually written in the past tense, like in a passive voice to show that the issue was discussed and decisions have been made or have been put on hold.
Other than taking notes during the meeting, a secretary also has the responsibility of preparing and handing out briefing papers for the meeting. For instance, what the meeting is about or what will be discussed. On the day of the meeting, a secretary would also have to review the venue of the meeting, the place settings as well as prepare extra briefing papers.
A secretary has to also be knowledgable on the business’ current issues, policies as well as have a broad legal understanding. This is so that you don’t seem clueless when dealing with serious business. Being a secretary can be very challenging, especially when you have to consistently ensure that the business is running smoothly and ensure that your boss’ schedule is not clustered. This job is very respectable, though. Secretaries should be given mutual respect as well as proper acknowledgement when their job is done well.