Little remains of the secretary assigned to a single person whose main quality was knowing how the boss liked his coffee! Today, even the term “secretary” tends to be referred to as “assistant,” which is more politically correct and especially more in keeping with what the job truly involves.
Nowadays, assistants are in fact the right hand of a team or a manager. For Karin Skirten, an employee of Mark Staffing Solutions. Inc. who specializes in administration: “Employers have taken notice of the importance of the work of administrative staff and pay more attention to how they are treated. If an employer meets its objectives, part of the credit is due to the work of the assistant or administrative personnel. Employers more easily recognize thiskey role, and participation is rewarded accordingly.”
Thanks to computers, assistants devote less of their time to stenography and filing, and more to a broader range of duties including accounting, organizing, logistics, report writing, and even recruiting. With greater taskversatility than before comes greater responsibility. Their central role often has them act as special mediators on a team, with the opportunity to take conflict management training seminars .
The wider range of assistants’ skills goes hand-in-hand with much more advanced training for administrative jobs. Without a high school diploma, the chances of finding a job as an assistant are minimal. Employers increasingly require their assistants to have a beefed-up educational background, from a college diploma specializing in an administration-related field to a bachelor’s degree. In short, assistants are no longer second-class employees who take on tasks that no one else wants to do. They are envied by some and feared by others, given the quantity of sometimes sensitive information that they handle every day.
As proof of this changing mindset, assistants’ salaries are continually increasing, with. 2007 no exception to this rule. According to the International Association of Administration Professionals, senior executive assistants can expect a salary increase of 7.2% while executive assistants can expect 5%.