Secretarial Advice

* Always remember that you and your boss are partners.

* The first necessity is loyalty - never, ever, be heard to criticise your boss to others.

* Always know where you boss is and when he/she will be back in the office. 
  Advise your boss that you expect him or her to keep you informed of his movements at all times.

* Acknowledge that there will be times when you cannot get all your work done within the day. 
   Be prepared to work after hours cheerfully when a specific task requires it.

* Be meticulous about taking and passing on messages.

* Advise your boss in good time when you wish to take a holiday.

* Ring in quickly if you are unable to get to the office.

* Observe conventions if your boss is meeting outside visitors. (Refer to your boss by title, etc.)

* Think about how you use your name. 
   Is it acceptable for you to be referred to just by your first name by people you do not know?

* Be prepared to take an interest outside your immediate sphere.

* Build a network with other secretaries.

* Look for ways of taking on more responsibility.

* Get your boss to delegate more to you, and think of ways of delegating your own work to others.

* Develop your office team.

* Be realistic about costs. 
   It can be more sensible to put mundane work out for someone else rather than for you to do it yourself.

* Prioritise the post.
  Signal clearly if deadlines are looming.

*  If things do go wrong, let your boss know. 
   It can be very embarrassing if an error emerges unexpectedly, but forewarned is forearmed.

* Ask for more information about your institution.

* From time to time try to look at your office as a newcomer would, both in terms of image and of procedure.

* Don't be afraid to take decisions within the limits of your authority.

* Some people will try to insist on talking to your boss when they would be much better off talking to you. 
* Try to get them to talk to you in such cases.

* Remember that you will very often be the first contact that someone has with your department. 
  You have a huge influence on how your department is viewed by other people.

* Be assertive. 
  Don't be afraid to tell your boss what he or she can do to improve your working relationship. 
  (But assertiveness is not the same as aggression.)