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There is a lot to be made here in Portugal regarding this career. The first problem is that being an Assistant is still not seen as a career at all. Executives have a career and assistants have a “small job” which consists of serving executives. The role of assistants inside corporations or public companies only recently started to change but changes are always difficult and slow.
When I started working as an assistant, there was no need for a degree and the number of courses, university and professional, related to being an assistant were scarce. Assistants were not considered a part of the team. They were not included in meetings and would not present suggestions or participate in any matter. They would do the tasks that where given to them.
Since then reality has changed, there is a generation of assistants who now leave University prepared to join the corporate world; professional courses that prepare new assistants and teach the ones that already are in the job but didn’t have any knowledge.
But I still listen to a lot of complaints about the way assistants are seen. For example, they are lesser for being in that position, less intelligent or less ambitious. Out there is a group of assistants who really care, who work as assistants because they want to. They like it and they want to progress and feel they are valued for their work.
We have two Professional Associations: Professional Council Secretariat and Portuguese Association of Secretariat and Assistance
petition was signed so that September 30th is recognized as the
Secretaries National Day.
That was a sign for me that change is coming, but in the end, change has to come first in the mind of the assistants by being professional, enthusiastic, investing in more knowledge and being part of the team.
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Until next time,
Take care - of your clutter!