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Old 28-10-2011, 11:12 PM
bellmiko bellmiko is offline
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Originally Posted by Minicks View Post

You seem to be very confused and are conflating administrator, secretary and personal assistant roles together which results in your inability to articulate exactly what you're looking for now. Although these jobs overlap in some aspects, the required experience and competencies are vastly different.

All that sexual insinuation aside, PAs are very experienced, well-groomed and knowledgeable in a multiple areas of work & leisure. In most MNCs where an executive has a PA, theyíre actually pretty senior, comparable to mid or mid-high managers in terms of pay & company grading. It is for this reason that most of them are middle aged ladies with vast experience.

Department secretaries or executive secretaries are a notch lower. They tend to be senior administrators that support one or more manager in matters of administration such as travel arrangements, meeting schedules, presentation materials & event organization. Many secretaries have worked as administrators for >10 years and are usually people who prefer to stay as individual contributors instead of going the managerial route of managing a team as a admin / office manager.

Administrators are the follow standards, file paperwork, pick up calls and fill in forms kind of junior role that you are familiar with.

Some companies especially SME like to inflate titles and anyhow use the term secretary & PA when they actually are just hiring admin, thatís why there is so much confusion. Based on your experience and last drawn pay, you don't stand a chance in a real secretary and PA role.

Your only option is to look for a junior admin role, which brings me to my earlier point. Just make sure the salary is at least comparable & as long as the boss looks like someone you can work with, then go for it. At this stage, itís pointless to talk about things like market positioning, career progression, potential etc. At this level, people come & go all the time, no need to over analyze the whole situation.
Thanks for the very comprehensive reply.

I do not think I am very confused about the whole situation. Companies can give the position whatever title they wan it to be. be it Executive, Secretary, PA etc. But eventually what they are doing is managing senior management's calendar, make travel arrangements, arrange meetings etc.. these are more Secretarial instead of administration.

presently, of course i am not expecting a big organization/MNC to consider me for a PA position because a PA is such an organization is as you said must be mature and well groomed etc.

at this point, i am just looking to start somewhere, dealing with the type of responsibilities i mentioned above, regardless what the company wants to name the position..
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