Before you prepare to be an office secretary, ask yourself first if this is the job that you really want. It is a job that would require you to spend a lot of time in the office, and versatility is required, given the multifarious tasks that could be assigned to you.
You must have the initiative to do more than what is expected of you, because most of the time, your employer will need your help in unexpected situations at the workplace, especially when he or she is busy with other commitments. Being an office secretary would require skills in multitasking and good organization.
- Prepare as early as your high school days. Choose subjects that will improve your communication and writing skills. Join school organizations that will help you develop good interpersonal skills, as being a secretary entails that you deal everyday with all sorts of people. Take advantage of typing classes being offered by your school. Become familiar with the Internet and with Microsoft applications.
- Get a part-time or summer job, or volunteer. Gain experience that will give you a glimpse of how it is to be a secretary. You can apply as a student assistant in your school, or as an assistant in a small office. You can also try out jobs that would instruct you on how to do simple clerical duties. Being a library assistant is an example of a job that will develop your skills in organizing books and documents.
- Graduate from high school. At the minimum, employers look for secretaries who have a high school diploma. Some employers are more selective though, and would ask for a college degree in addition to a high school diploma. If you cannot go to college, then you can opt to take short secretarial courses.
- Know what kind of secretary you want to be. You could enter a generalized secretarial field or one that is more specialized, such as the legal or medical fields, which require legal and medical secretaries. If you want to be a specialized secretary, then it would also entail having knowledge about the particular field involved.
- Read books on office administration and organization. Of course, actual experience is the best teacher, but it helps to have an idea of what's in store for you. Vicarious knowledge will help you assess if you're good at office administration.
- Enhance your memory. Being a secretary calls for a good memory, as you have to remember people's faces and names, as well as office events. Before you sleep at night, try to recall every single thing that you did from waking up until settling down for the day. This is one way of enhancing your memory.
- Make an exhaustive and effective resume. Highlight all the tutorial courses and subjects that you have taken, as well as all your experiences in the field.
- Prepare well for the interview. Acquire enough information about the company you're applying for, what its goals and visions are. Dress appropriately and modestly.
Follow all these tips and you're surely on your way to being an office secretary. Good luck!