To all executive secretaries: be smart about your role!

To all executive secretaries: be smart about your role!

01 January


Your role as a managerial secretary, is not an easy one. Secretarial work can be ungrateful work. Many secretaries I speak to find their work undervalued and underestimated. You don’t often get a compliment from your manager. That is also my experience when I was still employed.

And then I think: go ahead, underestimate me. I will show you how stupid it was to underestimate me. And not appreciate my work.

I remember when I worked as an executive secretary at a security company. The company was in dire straits. It was December and I had rented a movie theater for a big personnel meeting. The general manager said during that meeting that it was "all hands on deck" for next year.

And what do you think, dear reader, my colleagues did the next day? Do you think there was stress in the departments? Do you think there was panic?
Not at all! Everyone just went to work as if nothing had happened.
My director thought he was perfectly clear.
But only the MT knew that there would be redundancies if something did not change soon.
All employees had no idea that the company was doing so badly.

So I thought what can I do in my role? It resulted in a meeting with all employees (excluding management). Together we looked at what we could do to turn the tide. All ideas have been presented to management and all ideas have been executed.
If it had been just that “all hands on deck” comment, those ideas would never have been created.

My colleagues were proud; their ideas had been accepted
The management was happy; a proactive attitude by the employees
I was happy because I had used my influence in a positive way

Dear reader, this is not a blog to show how fantastic I am.
As I mentioned, secretarial work can be ungrateful work. And it can also feel a bit lonely at times. Especially if a company is in bad shape. Everything you know, is confidential. You can't just talk to your team about it. Your team members are looking at you with question marks in their eyes, and you can't share anything. That also creates a certain distance with them. And that can feel pretty lonely.

By the way; the fact that your director doesn't value or underestimate you is something that is on him, not you. It doesn't say anything about you. But you can find a constructive way to deal with this behavior.

And if you can pay a little attention and approach it a little smartly, you can mean a lot in your role. After all, you are the ears and eyes of the organization. You are therefore also the right person to translate the vision or policy of the management. For your own team and perhaps the rest of the organization

As a matter of fact, you can exert a lot of influence in a positive way in your role. And of course make sure that your manager has to compliment you.

Actually, I am very curious how you, dear reader, have used your influence for the better at the office. Please let me know below. Maybe other readers can get some inspiration, so they don't feel undervalued.

Deel je ervaringen en lees die van anderen!