In a previous post I discussed what a virtual assistant is, today I thought I would take the time to focus on a role, often associated with women, the secretary. Interestingly enough prior to World War I the job title of secretary was generally referring to a man. It is quite rare to come across a male secretary in the office nowadays and I recall when I went to Business College for my secretarial training there was not a man in sight.
Shorthand, a rapid system of handwriting using abbreviations and symbols to write text, is a dying art in the secretarial field altogether. But like the role of secretary, it was also used traditionally by the men. In fact in 1870 Isaac Pitman set up a shorthand school at which only men could attend.
However during the 1880s, changes started occurring to the secretarial role with the invention of the typewriter. Since World War I we saw an about face with the definition and now the position is generally associated with women.
As an experienced Executive Secretary myself, it is well worth acknowledging the hard work and dedication that often is required to fulfil this job. It is a position which is quite often underrated although I am well aware of many secretaries who go above and beyond the call of duty often managing their own role and that of their superior.
Secretary’s Day (also known as Office Professionals Day or Administrative Professionals Day) is a day dedicated to those in the role acknowledging this hard work and commitment.
No longer just general typists or lackeys, a secretary often manages the office, supervising staff, undertaking Internet research, maintaining diaries and booking travel. The role often includes quite complex word processing and graphic design tasks as well as website maintenance.
In the 20 years since I concluded my studies I recall fondly my secretarial training which covered subjects as book keeping, shorthand, typing (on an electronic typewriter) and personal effectiveness. There was not even a computer in sight. Times have changed and with rapid advancement of technologies many changes have been experienced within the last 10 years.
Although alas there is probably less time to sit down and paint our nails like there used to be!!
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