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Submitted by on Jun 2, 2022

A secretary, administrative professional, or personal assistant’s job include assisting management, particularly executives, through project management, communication, and organizational abilities. This function, however, should not be mistaken with that of an executive secretary, who is not the same as a personal assistant.

A personal assistant’s duties may be performed exclusively to assist one other employee or for the benefit of many employees. A secretary is an officer of a group or organization that handles with communications, admits new members, and organizes formal meetings and activities in other circumstances.

A secretary, often known as a personal assistant (PA) or administrative assistant, may be responsible for a variety of administrative tasks. The term “secretary” is no longer used as frequently as it once was, and roles have changed in reaction to the technology era, necessitating understanding of software such as the Microsoft Office suite. Depending on the type and scale of the firm or organization, responsibilities may include budgeting, bookkeeping, answering phones, greeting guests, updating websites, making travel arrangements, and creating cost reports. Secretaries may also be in charge of all administrative aspects of hosting a high-level conference or meeting, as well as catering for a lunch gathering. Frequently, CEOs will delegate the task of taking minutes at meetings and preparing meeting documentation for review to their assistant. In addition to the minutes, the secretary may be in charge of all of a company’s or organization’s official documents. An “office manager” is someone who works as a secretary.

The phrase comes from the Latin verb secernere, which means “to differentiate” or “to put aside,” with the passive participle (secretum) meaning “having been set apart,” and eventually connoting anything private or confidential, as the English word secret does. As a result, a secretarius was a person who oversaw business in a discreet manner, generally for a powerful figure (a king, pope, etc.). The actual sense of a secretary’s title still holds true because the tasks of a modern secretary typically entail the handling of classified information.

Men involved in the daily communication and operations of the powerful had adopted the title of secretary from the Renaissance until the late nineteenth century.

As with many titles, the term came to be extended to a wider range of activities throughout time, leading to the creation of compound titles to better describe distinct secretarial tasks, such as general secretary or finance secretary. Simply “secretary” was still used as a shorthand where the context was apparent, or for relatively low-level jobs such as administrative assistant to the officer(s) in charge, either individually or as part of a secretariat. As a result of the proliferation of bureaucracies in the public and commercial sectors, less powerful positions grew more feminine and frequent, and new terms were invented to characterize them, such as personal assistant.

Commercial schools arose in the 1840s and 1850s to teach male and female students the skills needed to work in a clerical role. Sir Isaac Pitman established a school in 1870 where students may train to become shorthand writers for “professional and commercial men.” This school was originally reserved for male pupils. There were more than 150 such schools in operation in the United States in 1871, with the number rising to as high as 500 by the 1890s.

With the development of the typewriter in the 1880s, more women entered the sector, and the function of secretary became largely associated with women in the following years, especially during World War I. By the 1930s, there were fewer males working as secretaries.

The National Secretaries Association was founded in 1942 with the goal of promoting professionalism among US secretaries. The International Association of Administrative Professionals is the name of this organization now (IAAP). The Certified Professional Secretaries Examination was designed by the organization as the first standardized test for office personnel (CPS). It was first given out in 1951.

By the mid-twentieth century, secretaries were in high demand, and workplaces and organizations had huge secretarial pools. In some cases, there was a steady demand for young British women to come to the United States and fill temporary or permanent secretarial positions; in particular, there was often a steady demand for young British women to come to the United States and fill temporary or permanent secretarial positions. The Society of International Secretaries and the Association of British Secretaries in America were among the organizations established to help secretaries from other countries.

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