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What are the Functions of a Secretary as an Assistant to a Manager?

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Secretary functions can include various clerical duties such as answering phones, typing, filing, opening mail and getting coffee. A secretary that serves as an assistant to a manager has similar functions. However, this kind of secretary reports directly to the manager (as opposed to everyone else in the company) and assists the manager in various ways to make his job easier as well as keeping the office organized.

Communication Functions

As a manager's secretary, you will often be the first person of contact for those trying to reach your boss both within and outside of the company. Unlike a receptionist or general secretary that answers the phone for the entire staff, you may be responsible for answering incoming calls for your manager only. You will have to screen calls to determine if you can help the caller or if your boss is available to take the call. Assisting the manager includes greeting visitors that come into your manager's office and directing them according your manager's instructions. Secretary functions for your manager may also include connecting with other professionals on her behalf via written correspondence, making phone calls and sending emails.

Organization Functions

Managers expect their secretaries to be organized. You will be responsible for ensuring office files are kept orderly and any confidential documents are placed in a secure area. You may have to sort through incoming mail to determine what is given to your manager, filed or discarded. Assisting the manager often includes keeping his or her schedule. He will expect you to keep track of his appointments, schedule meetings and make their travel arrangements when needed. Additional functions can include setting up conference calls and attending meetings as well as providing the agenda and taking minutes.

Managerial Functions

Even though you are the manager's secretary, some of your responsibilities may include management. Assisting the manager can sometimes mean acting as a manager yourself. Your boss may give you the task of overseeing certain projects like managing a database or creating and updating reports. If there are other clerical staff members in the office, you may be responsible for managing them and assigning their daily tasks. They may report directly to you instead of your manager, and you may serve as their immediate supervisor. You could also be called upon to train other employees and even instruct your supervisor on such matters as teaching them how to operate office machines or utilize software packages.


Janise Smith began freelance writing in 2009. She has published poetry, short fiction and various articles, with her works appearing in "Metropolitan Woman" and the "Detroit Free Press." She earned a Bachelor of Arts in written communications with an emphasis on journalism, creative and technical writing from Eastern Michigan University.

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