3 Essential Abilities of a Successful Secretary

Character Is a Requirement

Have you ever wondered what skills are necessary to be successful in an office? Do you wonder if you have what it takes to “make it?” Here are three vital abilities for any secretary:

1. Reliability

  • Synonym: Dependability
  • Definition from Dictionary.com: that may be relied on; dependable in achievement, accuracy, honesty, etc.:
  • Another definition: able to be trusted to do what is expected or has been promised; likely to be accurate—able to be trusted to be accurate or to provide a correct result.

In 1 Corinthians 15:58, we are commanded: “Therefore, my beloved brethren, be ye stedfast, unmoveable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, forasmuch as ye know that your labour is not in vain in the Lord.”

I can teach a new secretary how to use her phone or the copier, but I can’t make her reliable. Reliability is a character quality that we should develop at a young age.

  • Are you where you say you will be when you say you will be there?
  • When you say you will do something, do you? (tip: write it down before you forget!)
  • Are you on time? (tip: early is on time!)
  • Can others count on you?
  • Do you follow instructions?
  • When you “finish” something, is it done correctly and on time?

If your answer to any of these questions is no, then you are limiting your ability to help in your office. If you aren’t reliable ALL of the time, then you aren’t reliable at all!

I encourage you to determine deep down, that from today forward you will be reliable!

2. Flexibility

Definitions from Dictionary.com

1) capable of being bent, usually without breaking; easily bent;

2) susceptible of modification or adaptation; adaptable

3) willing or disposed to yield; pliable

I find that many people don’t know how to be flexible. When change comes, they emotionally or mentally “flip out.” In the office, we each need the ability to take a deep breath, and then change course with a smile! All the excuses that we want to offer really don’t help get things done, so they are better off kept to ourselves.

Many times, the reason we aren’t willing to be flexible is pride—we simply don’t want to. It is usually not a matter of can or can’t, but will or won’t.

Just because something isn’t in your job description, doesn’t mean you can’t do it! If you are paid to be a help and blessing, then does it really matter what you do?

I encourage you today to be easily bent, adaptable, and pliable!

3. Availability

Definition from Dictionary.com

1) suitable or ready for use; of use or service; at hand;

2) readily obtainable; accessible;

Someone who is available is here. It saddens me when I look for someone, or seek to enlist someone’s help, and she is nowhere to be found. Be visible around the office and in the church. Don’t hide in the corner and hope no one sees you or gives you anything to do. Hang around church after the services and look for ways to be a help. There is joy in serving others!

Someone who is available is approachable. If you are approachable, it will show on your face and in your body language. Are you friendly? Do people want to work with you on project because you are likable? Or do people dread asking you a question or seeking your help because you are disagreeable?

It may seem odd to you that I value these three abilities over office skills like typing, organizing, or generating paper, but if you have these three abilities, then you can learn each of the “hard skills” you will need to succeed in the office!

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