Question about job role - Secretary?

I sometimes feel that I am being dismissed and somehow feel that I am being looked down. I have been working as a secretary for the director of my department. Quite frankly, I don't really have anything crazily stressful to do... 

There have been times that I have offered to assist the Supervisors/Managers in my department... and most of the time I feel that my offer is turned down because "I am not manager". The company I work for is essential... so several months ago my department was hiring 25 new employees. Management was extremely busy at the time... I offered to help in the interviewing process, but at first was turned down because "I am not management" at most help them with printing out the standard interview questions and accommodate the candidates... As the weeks went by and they were interviewing more and more... I was allowed to help and conduct interviews...Recently... the manager that sets the schedule for our employees (there is over 100+ employees in the department) informed us is resigning her position. I offered to do the scheduling because right now the department will only have 1 supervisor who will have to do it all by himself... and again..."I am not manager" 

Finances have been affected and chances are high they won't replace the manager that is leaving. I try to assist and lighten the load, but feel most of the time I am delegated to run errands. Am I overreaching? Are these simple tasks way above my paygrade? 

Thanks, would appreciate your input.

2 Answers

  • Lili
    Lv 7
    1 month ago
    Favorite Answer

    Why don't you have an honest talk with your boss about this situation and get his (her?) opinion? He might be able to offer some advice or even talk to his fellow management employees about expanding your role.

    He might also have some suggestions about what you could do to help yourself move up into a supervisory role.

    Until you try this, you really won't know which way to go.  You need to find out how discouraging (or encouraging) he is, which will let you know how rigid they are or are not about roles and upward mobility.  If they are very rigid, you might consider starting to think about a new job.

    But you need to ask your own boss, because we can't read his mind or those of the other people at your company and tell you exactly what's going on.

    You don't say how long you've been there or what education you have. Both those things could make a difference.

    Edit:  Well, if you don't WANT to move into a supervisory position, and if the managers/supervisors are so jealous of their prerogatives at that company, no matter how simple the task, I'd say that either you should just put up with their attitude or look for a secretarial position that would involve more interesting work.

    One problem you'll have anywhere, though, is that since the advent of computers, secretaries just have a whole lot less to do than they used to. It used to be, for example, that lawyers would dictate their briefs, and secretaries would spend hours typing them up.  Now, lawyers just write them online and print them out.  I don't know what legal secretaries are really doing these days.

    What if your title were changed to something like "executive assistant"? Perhaps you could talk to your boss about that. It might help the supervisors/managers see you as someone who could be more helpful in various situations than they are allowing you to be now.

    You might also ask your boss what his interpretation of the situation is. Does he think these people are insecure and worried about their positions? After all, if a secretary can do what they're doing, what good are they and their higher salaries?  That could be an issue.

  • Anonymous
    1 month ago

    Hi Lili,

    Thanks for answering. For my boss... He was supportive of my suggestion to help out and appreciated it... However, when he talks to the Supervisors/Managers and brings it to them... that is when the objections are raised... which is why it makes me feel like I am being looked down, and I am wondering if these tasks cannot be done by a secretary... I don't see a problem with it... my boss doesn't see a problem with it...  but when she tells the managers/supervisors they have all kinds of objections to me doing things that do not really need a doctorate degree...  I do have a college degree. I don't want to move into a Supervisory Position for many reasons....

    I am just wondering if me assisting in those tasks (which I personally consider to be rather simple) would be me overreaching... I feel bad for not being able to help... but I would also feel bad if by making such suggestions I am inadvertently creating some conflict that I am not aware of. 

    Thanks again.

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