9 Types of Secretaries

types of secretaries

A secretary is a person who performs activities that are confidential in nature. According to the Oxford Dictionary, a secretary is a person employed to conduct correspondence on behalf of a senior executive or a company and also to manage filing, documentation, and administrative functions.

Private Secretary

A secretary who assists an individual with their personal activities is known as a personal or private secretary. High-profile individuals such as ministers, vice-chancellors, managing directors, political leaders, lawyers, and doctors often require a private secretary.

A secretary is appointed by a high-profile individual to assist him/her with confidential or personal matters, particularly related to interviews, meetings, etc. They need to be reliable, maintain the secrecy of all issues concerning their employer, be obedient and prompt, and consistently update their employer as needed.

Qualities of a Private Secretary

A private secretary is tasked with handling the affairs of their employer. To fulfill their duties effectively, they must possess the following qualities:

  • Educational qualifications: Given their interactions with high-ranking officials, they should be adequately educated.
  • Language proficiency: Proficiency in at least two languages, including English, is essential for effective communication.
  • Word processing and shorthand skills: They often need to take dictations in shorthand and transcribe them.
  • Communication skills: Mastery in communication is vital.
  • Meeting-related skills: This includes preparing meeting agendas, organizing meetings, and recording minutes. They should be well-versed in all aspects of meeting organization.
  • Psychological skills: The ability to understand and anticipate the needs and preferences of their employer is crucial.
  • Faithfulness: Given the confidential nature of their work, they must be discreet and trustworthy.
  • Other qualities: They should also be smart, enthusiastic, honest, and sincere.

Necessity of a Private Secretary

Private secretaries manage personal tasks for their employers. This includes scheduling appointments, conducting interviews, answering phone calls, and handling correspondence.

They handle their employer’s confidential matters and act as a spokesperson, managing public relations. They also organize social and official ceremonies, manage accounts, and handle financial transactions.

Ultimately, the private secretary’s role is to lighten the load for their busy employer, acting as an indispensable extension of them. Their efficiency can simplify many processes for executives, emphasizing the universal necessity for private secretaries among top-ranking professionals.

Duties/Functions and Responsibilities of a Private Secretary

Understanding the job of a private secretary requires clarity on their responsibilities:

  • Routine duties: These encompass writing and receiving letters, filing and indexing papers, maintaining records and accounts, and organizing meetings and events for the employer.
  • Meeting-related duties: This includes agenda preparation, issuing notices, arranging venues, and hosting attendees.
  • Public relations: They manage public relations on behalf of their superiors, communicate through various channels like phone or email, and organize interview schedules.
  • Private/social activities: They manage and send various private letters such as thank-you notes, congratulatory messages, sympathy cards, and invitations. They also accompany their superiors to social and religious functions.
  • Account maintenance: In many cases, they handle record-keeping, accounting, tax returns, and banking activities for their employer.
  • Report preparation: They draft reports and notes for their employer, ensuring accuracy and timeliness.

Company Secretary

A company secretary is responsible for the secretarial duties of a joint-stock company. They act under the orders of the Board of Directors.

Secretary of a Co-operative Society

A member from the executive committee of a society may undertake the role of a secretary.

Secretary of a Ministry

Each ministry of a government has a chief executive officer known as a secretary, such as the Foreign Secretary, Home Secretary, Education Secretary, etc. The ministerial secretary operates the government machinery on behalf of the respective minister.

Secretary of a Trade Union

They conduct and control the operational activities of a trade union. They arrange meetings, prepare the minutes of the meetings, and maintain records of the books of accounts.

Secretary of an Embassy

This type of secretary is appointed by the government of their country. They assist the ambassador in conducting operations and work under the authority of the ambassador.

Secretary of a Club

Clubs or associations also need a secretary. Typically, a member of the club performs the role of a secretary without any pay.

Secretary of Local Government

The Union Council, Upazila Council, Municipal Corporation, and District Council all appoint secretaries to supervise their daily operations.

Secretary of a Political Party

Such a secretary may be elected from the party members and holds an important status within the party. They help execute policies, organize meetings, and act as a spokesperson.