askerian: Serious Karkat in a red long-sleeved shirt (Default)
askerian ([personal profile] askerian) wrote2016-02-15 09:33 pm
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secretary questions!! :O

if you are or have been working as a secretary and you don't mind spending 10-15 minutes on this, i'll be super extra glad. i'm doing a bit of research re: asking the national unemployment office to pay for job training maybe and i have to prove that i know what the job entails first. they don't like to pay for training that's not used afterwards, which is fairly sensible of them really XD;;

i only need four or five people to do this so don't feel obligated if it's hard or tiring for you, i'll be okay. and if you can't answer all the questions that's also cool, this is supposed to be used for physical jobs too so some of that stuff is Does Not Apply, and some of them are redundant or unclear AND some are asking about french-market-specific stuff so heyyy whatev'. this isn't a scientific survey :p

there are 14 questions! :O and the answers can be one-liners or even one-worders, that's cool.

edit: i've got enough replis now! thank you guys, you were awesome. ^^



1. What are your tasks? What happens during a typical day?

2. What is the principal goal/reason for your job?

3. Do you use particular tools or techniques?

4. What are your working conditions?
-hours
-business trips/travels?
-how autonomous are you? (alone/alone with boss/as a team/etc: how supervised)

5. what kinds of interaction do you have and how often: inside the company (boss, colleagues, hierarchy)
with outsiders (public/suppliers/customers/partners)

6. what are the diplomas and/or the experience necessary for this job?

7. if you had to hire someone, what selection criteria would seem essential to you?
-what level of education
-how much experience
-what necessary qualities

8. what are the essential qualities for this job?

9. are there evolving career paths ? toward which other jobs ? how? (job training, experience, etc)

10. what's the usual salary for a beginner?

11. salary at the end of a career?

12. what do you like the most with this job? what satisfies you the most?

13. what do you dislike the most? what are your worst difficulties?

14. are there job openings in this line of business?
what do the companies look for?

Your company:
big/mid-sized/small?
what sector? (medical, educational, construction, etc)
name of your company if you want to provide it ((i prolly won't use it but just in case))
makani: made by me (Okami)

[personal profile] makani 2016-02-15 10:17 pm (UTC)(link)
1. Greeting anyone who came in, Answering the phones, managing updating the website, fulfilling orders from the online stores, doing all the file keeping, taking care of all incoming email questions, keeping the office supplies stocked, making sure all the office equipment was maintenanced, and managing the schedule for the director.

2. Pretty much to keep the whole office running and do everything that didn't have someone to do it.

3. Computers, copiers, postage machines, Microsoft Word, and excel and the website software.

4.
8 hours with an hour for lunch,
I didn't travel for business usually.
I worked mostly alone although because I managed the schedule for the director he was pretty much my boss and worked with me but only sometimes. Usually when I had to book his travel or check his meetings.

5.
I saw everyone in my office pretty much on daily basis. I helped people with the office equipment and supplies. I also worked a lot with outsiders since I answered the phones to direct all the calls and answer questions. I spent most of my time on the phone answering questions.

6.
I had a college degree, which I don't think was required for the job but they wanted me to have it anyway.

7.
I never had to hire someone but if I did I would want at least a High School education with at least one or two years of experience working in a similar potion. They would need to be able to take direction, be able to work with MS office, and also be able to pick up other skills quickly because they would quickly become the "jack of all trades" in the office.

8.
The ability to pick up new skills very quickly.

9.
I don't believe in my potion there were.

10.
40k a year.

11.
Mine didn't go up that much because I worked for a nonprofit.

12.
I enjoyed working with the website and generally helping my colleagues.

13.
I disliked having to answer the phones. I was good at customer service but I didn't' really enjoy it.

14.
I believe that companies usually need front desk workers and companies look for young people with college educations

The business was Small in education.
It was Omicron Delta Kappa, a non profit honor society.

Edit: This is fluffypinkjellyfish from tumblr.
Edited 2016-02-15 22:17 (UTC)

(Anonymous) 2016-02-15 10:31 pm (UTC)(link)
1. At the beginning of the day I check the phones and the e-mails for any messages that came in over the day. Catch up on any tasks, filing that needed to be done. Answer any phone calls that come in. Update my boss on what is going on at the office. Taking diction, typing up documents and e-filing documents. Basic accounting skills, reconciling bank accounts handling accounts payable/receivable.

2. I'm a legal secretary, so a big part of my job is putting distance between my boss and the trust account. I write the checks from the trust account and he signs them. I also do all the things that a normal secretary does, scheduling appointments, answering the phone, and typing up documents.

3. Not any that I can quickly explain.

4. part time, some trips to the next town for training. Pretty autonomous.

5. I talk to my boss every day. and a few times a month I talk to outside suppliers and clients multiple times a day.

6. Ability to be a public notary.

7. at least highschool, willingness to unlearn things that they have picked up from pop culture.

8. being able to fake politeness to clients, ability to say no, a functioning bullshit radar.

9.to office manger, and I'm looking into training as a paralegal.

10. At least minimum wage, I started at $10.00 per hour.

11. Assuming your work for a company five years, $14.00 per hour.

12. I like seeing things get done and knowing the satisfaction of a job well done.

13. The clients who think that they know things about law that they don't.

14. I see ads for some all the time. Experience and the ability to type well.

It's a small company just me and my employer. It's a law office.

answers from Camarilla

(Anonymous) 2016-02-15 11:07 pm (UTC)(link)
Tried to keep my answers as relevant to you and short as I could so if anything is confusing sorry.

1. What are your tasks? What happens during a typical day?

I usually have some papers already sitting on my desk when I get in with a sticky note of what to do with them, sometimes its filing, highlighting/color coding, photocopies, ect. I also help set up the parties and stuff, like washing dishes, watering plants, or running mail to the post office downstairs. It varies day to day and I still get a lot of time to play around on y laptop and answer phone calls with almost always just get transferred to the relevant person.

2. What is the principal goal/reason for your job?
Work study at my school is a part of financial aide but I still had to interview for which job I'd take, since there are LOTS of options. But my role in the office is to generally assist with whatever happening and take messages when people are on lunch break.

3. Do you use particular tools or techniques?
Google docs and mastering the huge monster of a printer are my most useful abilities. I also am a pretty organized person so I helped them create lists of relevant info for people or just retype old documents for the professors.

4. What are your working conditions?
-hours- 8 hours a week
-business trips/travels? they ask for my help with big events the department runs sometimes on weekends. I don't have to travel for this but get extra pay for it.
-how autonomous are you? (alone/alone with boss/as a team/etc: how supervised) Very, as long as I don't leave the office empty or abandon any work directly given to me I have free reign. I play a lot of Flight rising and hang out with the woman in charge of organizing the models since she's the only non department-head in the office.

5. what kinds of interaction do you have and how often: inside the company (boss, colleagues, hierarchy)
I'm on friendly terms with all the different heads of departments that operate through the office, since it's the Fine arts office it covers multiple Majors. But Hierarchy wise I am the lowest down the totem pole.

with outsiders (public/suppliers/customers/partners)
Students with relevant Majors and the Models for the whole school come through this office and I usually just help direct them or take messages or make appointments for them to talk with people.

6. what are the diplomas and/or the experience necessary for this job?
haha for work studies you just go through an approval process as a student.

7. if you had to hire someone, what selection criteria would seem essential to you?
-what level of education
-how much experience
-what necessary qualities

I have helped hire other Desk Assistants for the office just by knowing other classmates with work studies or in need of jobs.

8. what are the essential qualities for this job?
Being able to remember who's in charge of what to point people in the right direction and clear, easy to read and writing.

9. are there evolving career paths ? toward which other jobs ? how? (job training, experience, etc)
Yeah they do actually hire work studies after you post grad if you've really impressed someone so It's a nice safety net since I have been invited back if I ever need it. Building nice connections relevant to art stuffs.

10. what's the usual salary for a beginner? I started at $9.75 and hour and I'm currently getting $10.75. Work studies are always payed JUST above whatever minimum wage is.

11. salary at the end of a career?
N/A

12. what do you like the most with this job? what satisfies you the most?

Social connections with the fine arts world, lost of great recommendations for my resume, getting exposure to the Fine arts world despite being an illustrator. They also let me take home free food from leftovers.

13. what do you dislike the most? what are your worst difficulties?

I hate when they have me run papers across the campus, because its cold out/rains a lot. Also when I help fix the galleries between shows I always get paint on my clothes.

14. are there job openings in this line of business?
what do the companies look for?

In my experience absolutely, even when i go home for the summer and try to find work people appreciate that I have secretary experience.

Your company: college office
big/mid-sized/small?: small selection of some of the smallest departments at the school.
what sector? (medical, educational, construction, etc): educational
name of your company if you want to provide it ((i prolly won't use it but just in case)) Maryland Institute College of Art(MICA)
edenfalling: stylized black-and-white line art of a sunset over water (Default)

[personal profile] edenfalling 2016-02-16 01:31 am (UTC)(link)
I will answer this for the last two receptionist jobs I've worked, since they have certain commonalities with office/secretarial jobs in general. One job was at a specialized outpatient health clinic, and the other at a tax preparation company.

1. Constant tasks include answering the telephone and either handling the clients directly or routing them to the person they want or who can answer their questions; scheduling appointments and making reminder calls; notifying staff that their clients are waiting; and checking/filing all the paperwork that's built up since the previous day. Sometimes there are additional one-off tasks, which usually get delivered either verbally or via sticky-note on a stack of paper.

2. To keep the office running smoothly and provide a friendly first point of contact with clients and potential clients.

3. Various scheduling programs and payment programs. Also Excel spreadsheets and a working knowledge of the alphabet.

4. One was twenty hours a week (five four-hour days, evening shifts), and the other is extremely variable but probably 15-25 hours a week. No trips. Both jobs included a daily checklist of tasks that I had to make sure got done, but I had nearly complete control over how and when I did them. The clinic had three other front office staff doing slightly higher-level tasks, until they went home and I was alone for an hour or three. The tax office only has one receptionist at a time.

5. The clinic was small, and both the counselors and the administrative staff frequently dropped by the front office to chat or discuss certain tasks that needed to get done. The tax office has a local administrator who is usually around for at least part of the day and is not socially separated from the rest of the staff; the company bigwigs only drop by each office a couple times a year. Both my jobs involved a lot of interacting with the public, both in person and over the telephone. I was not involved in the supply chain.

6. A high school diploma. Many employers prefer people with a college degree, but that is not remotely relevant to the actual work.

7. You need the ability to remain calm in the face of clients getting upset at you, the ability to hold coherent conversations over the telephone and record relevant data from those conversations, the ability to alphabetize stuff, basic math (to process payments and write a deposit slip), reasonable typing speed, no fear of computers (you will probably get training in whatever proprietary programs the company uses for scheduling, etc.), and the ability to work with a handful of other people without either killing them or making them want to kill you. Experience is nice since it offers some proof that you've been through this rodeo before, but not strictly necessary.

8. See above.

9. Because I worked as a receptionist for the tax company, I was able to take a tax-preparation training course for free, which was nice. The clinic did occasionally hire temps as full-time workers, but the office staff remained office staff since we didn't have the medical training needed for the other areas of the business.

10. A bit over minimum wage. In my case, $9 to $11 an hour.

11. Some secretarial positions are salaried rather than hourly, and can get you up to about $35,000 a year. Which is not lots, but let's face it: I'd take that in a heartbeat.

12. I like organizing stuff and feeling useful. I also like having a people-facing job, because that satisfies my need for human interaction and I can then go be a hermit on my time off without worrying what I'm doing to my mental health. *wry*

13. Irregular hours and a tendency toward unstable temp contracts. Also clients. Dealing with people and keeping a pleasant customer-service face can be a LOT of work.

14. Almost always, at least on the entry level. Again, most companies want to know that you can use a computer, can organize stuff, can follow directions, and are relatively personable. They'd prefer a degree, but it's not required.

Your company:
The clinic was small and in the medical field
the tax company is freaking huge but each office is small; it's in the financial services field

(Oh! One other thing! The ability to maintain client data confidentiality is really big in both medical and financial services -- this is presumably also true for legal services. And even in other areas, companies will probably want to know that you can keep their own information secure and not spill it to all your friends and family.)

Secretary job :D

(Anonymous) 2016-02-16 02:28 pm (UTC)(link)
1. What are your tasks? What happens during a typical day?
-Answer phone-calls
-Answer the mails i get (usually related to shipments)
-Book hotel rooms/restaurants (get special fees with them)
-Arrange the car (who/where/when should the drivers get/take people)
-Arrange meetings (SOMETIMES. This is, call company, ask for person in charge of the area my boss is interested in, introduce who we are and explain that we want a meeting to introduce ourselves and to see if we can do business together, ask for a date/hour and email contact, send invitation through Outlook, and arrange the car)
-Translate documents to/from English/Japanese (I kinda have a degree for that)
-Make presentations for meetings (sometimes)
-Get market information (from specific websites that were given to me at the start)
-Make reports (again, with the format they gave me and from specific sources... it was easy to make the excel do the work)
-Keep the files organized

2. What is the principal goal/reason for your job?
Money~~~
And to make the company work as a well oiled machine I guess

3. Do you use particular tools or techniques?
Pc, Word, Wordfast, Excel, and the magic Hand of Hell that makes the printer work

4. What are your working conditions?
-hours: 8 hours + 1 hour for lunch (plus extra hours, which are somewhat expected... best way to know, before leaving ask if your boss needs something else. That way they can let you leave knowing you care.)
-business trips/travels? If I was interested, yes (If I had a driver license and experience... driving in the Atacama desert can be kinda dangerous)
-how autonomous are you? (alone/alone with boss/as a team/etc: how supervised) I don't have much supervision, but all reports are checked.

5. what kinds of interaction do you have and how often: inside the company (boss, colleagues, hierarchy) -Not much, but as I arrange the drivers' schedule I have to speak with them.
with outsiders (public/suppliers/customers/partners) -Not much, but my boss is a control freak that doesn't like not taking care of everything himself, so that might have something to do with that.

6. what are the diplomas and/or the experience necessary for this job?
-Computer zkillzz (like... maybe user level, but if you know a bit more, awesome)
-Translator degree (T.T)
-Patience for bullshit

7. if you had to hire someone, what selection criteria would seem essential to you?
-what level of education: mandatory school level
-how much experience: Not necessary
-what necessary qualities: Patience to deal with "difficult" customers (and colleagues). There are also chaotic days, but thankfully those are not so many. Also, willingness to learn and to seek help when needed (and if you make a mistake, to try to solve it and to inform it).

8. what are the essential qualities for this job?
Pretty much the above. Politeness and patience? And computer skills?

9. are there evolving career paths ? toward which other jobs ? how? (job training, experience, etc)
-Towards business. If I train/get training I could get to be manager of the area I work in.

10. what's the usual salary for a beginner?
Uhhhh... here, around 570 USD (+benefits and shit, -taxes and health insurance and pension fund)

11. salary at the end of a career?
No idea, don't want to think about it :C

12. what do you like the most with this job? what satisfies you the most?
That I have time to do the things I like when I go back home. No further responsibilities (I refuse to give my phone number and to get access to the systems from my home)

13. what do you dislike the most? what are your worst difficulties?
My boss unwillingness to accept his mistakes, and that I live AWAY from my workplace... Also that the job is DULLLLLLLLL

14. are there job openings in this line of business? Yes, because they need translators
what do the companies look for? A personable and capable person that can handle the workload (doesn't matter if it is all done on the same day) and that show that they "care" how well they do their work (professionalism)

narue_nara_chan/nara-maru

Receptionist

(Anonymous) 2016-02-16 04:26 pm (UTC)(link)
1. What are your tasks? What happens during a typical day? Answer phones, greet people here for meetings/appointments, make sure the office space is tidy and professional-looking, look up information for people, send emails.

2. What is the principal goal/reason for your job? To make sure things happen the way they're supposed to, to give support to other employees and bosses, and to do little jobs other people are too busy/important for.

3. Do you use particular tools or techniques? Desk phones, email, cell phones, copy/fax machines, coffee maker, occasionally driving company car.

4. What are your working conditions?
-hours Regular US business hours (Mon-Fri 8am-5pm, 1 hour lunch break off the clock, other short breaks if I need them)
-business trips/travels? None for me, but occasionally coordinate other employee's travels, pick them up from airport/hotel, arrange taxis, etc. Don't think most places would want to pay extra travel fees unless really necessary.
-how autonomous are you? (alone/alone with boss/as a team/etc: how supervised) I work alone with projects assigned by bosses, sometimes assisting other teams.

5. what kinds of interaction do you have and how often: inside the company (boss, colleagues, hierarchy) In my experience secretaries act as go-betweens for their bosses and other employees, so it really depends on the boss's job. In my HR job I answered a lot of questions about the way the office worked and where things were kept and employee events that were happening. Everyone was nice and helpful.
with outsiders (public/suppliers/customers/partners) Mostly this involves screening out sales people and making sure phone calls are transferred to the right people and everyone gets to the right meetings on time.

6. what are the diplomas and/or the experience necessary for this job? No diploma, just general office experience (making copies, answering phones/emails, being friendly and helpful), they trained me on the specifics.

7. if you had to hire someone, what selection criteria would seem essential to you?
-what level of education: Basic high school, with an emphasis on decent reading/writing skills
-how much experience: If they learned quickly I'd be okay with less experience
-what necessary qualities: Good office persona/attitude, good communication skills, gets along with other workers

8. what are the essential qualities for this job? Good communication skills

9. are there evolving career paths ? toward which other jobs ? how? (job training, experience, etc) It depends on who you're working for. A low-level team administrator might learn the job from their team enough to transition into a more active role, but an executive secretary is unlikely to take over the executive's job. I could personally move up to a human resources job.

10. what's the usual salary for a beginner? I started at $12/hr for a mid-level company. (For context that's 50% over minimum wage, not sure how that would translate to the French economy.)

11. salary at the end of a career? I got a $1/hr (8%) raise at my one-year employee review. I'm told that's a good percentage but not to expect that level every year.

12. what do you like the most with this job? what satisfies you the most? I like helping people and going at an easy pace. It does get hectic during the busy seasons but other times I can just hang around the office in case anyone needs me.

13. what do you dislike the most? what are your worst difficulties? Since I'm in HR I see people come and go, get hired and fired. It's stressful at times. People expect you to know things, and when you don't you can feel like a failure. It's also fairly easy to find replacements for this kind of job, you never feel indispensable.

14. are there job openings in this line of business? Yes, definitely.
what do the companies look for? People who can pick up the basics quickly while keeping a good attitude/being friendly with the team. It's important for support workers to get along with others and not drag down the office atmosphere. Basically, just be the nicest smoothest cog in the machine to make other people's work easier.

Your company:
big/mid-sized/small? Mid-sized, maybe 500 employees at 3 offices around the country.
what sector? (medical, educational, construction, etc) Educational, we run an online academy and develop curriculum and teaching materials for schools.