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Secretaries lap up work

THERE are few positions that come with the phrase “everything else” listed in the job description.

But in today’s changing workforce, office staff and secretaries are being asked to do just that, to absorb those tasks which others are too busy to do.

And far from making cups of coffee and answering the telephones, secretaries now have a raft of responsibilities that extend beyond the front desk.

“Forget the days when the secretary made the coffee, ans-wered the phone and handled the boss’ diary, now executive secretaries are just as likely to hold a MBA or marketing qualifications,” said Adecco recruitment agency State manager Cheryl Williams.

“Secretaries do more than simply support executives, they are required to take a project management approach to managing business operations.”

Pharmaceutical company Pfizer office manager Bridget Bond could not agree more.

Ms Bond started with Pfizer two years ago and in that time her role has grown to include handling company mergers, office renovations, warehouse supplies, events and sponsorship and all company equipment.

“Anything that is non-sales related is basically my job,” Ms Bond said.

“The role has definitely changed… there is a push for secretaries to absorb a lot of work, they are now dealing with everything else,” Ms Bond said.

“Secretaries often do work above and beyond what is specified in their job description… they more than others perhaps realise this.

“Secretaries have a very important role to play… and sometimes that does not always become obvious until they are away.”

Ms Bond said it was important that employers recognised their secretaries and office staff whenever the opportunity presented itself.

And this week, Secretary’s Week, was one such opportunity for employers to show their gratitude for their secretary’s hard work.

“It is nice when people show their appreciation and Sec-retary’s Week is good in that it brings us to the forefront,” she said.

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