A general assistant provides high levels of administrative support to a department, manager or executive. He/she is responsible for clerical, project-based and receptionist work. The main role of general assistants is to communicate the company image by interacting with clients personally, through various mediums (telephone, e-mail, etc). Depending on the industry the general assistant is involved in, assistants may be employed under administrative, medical, IT, retail or practically in any industry.
Duties of a general assistant include answering telephone and transferring phone calls to appropriate staff members, meeting and greeting clients, customers and visitors, as well as creating and filing documents using Microsoft Office. He/she also performs general clerical work such as faxing, mailing, scanning, filing and photocopying, maintains copies of important documents; administers electronic filing systems; signs, accepts and distributes packages; researches and purchases office furniture and supplies. General assistants are also responsible for coordinating and maintaining records of contact numbers, parking slots or office cubicles, company credit cards and office keys, setting up, coordinating and preparing meetings and conferences of a company or manager; and handling weekly schedules of staff. They also provide orientation for new employees; arrange accommodation and entertainment for company guests and visitors; and perform other duties that are necessary and required of him.
Education and Training Requirements
The minimum educational requirement of a general assistant is a high school diploma or equivalent but attaining a bachelor’s degree is preferred. Experience and training can be attained with at least three years of clerical experience as preferred by company employers.
Knowledge and Skills Requirements
To become effective on the job, general assistants must have telephone handling skills, basic reading and arithmetic skills, written communication skills and knowledge of Microsoft office programs. Communication skills should be excellent. General assistants must be able to maintain high levels of accuracy and confidentially when it comes to functional requirements and employee files and documents. They must be attentive to detail and must be able to handle stress in a busy working environment. Most importantly, an assistant must be honest and trustworthy.
A general assistant’s work environment is usually in a clean, pleasant, well-lit and well-ventilated office environment. General assistants may spend long hours sitting and using office equipment and computers. Minimal travel is only necessary when an employer requires of it. Personal assistants are known to follow their employer almost anywhere and everywhere they go which means that working conditions may vary.
A general assistant’s average annual salary is $38,000. The salary will greatly depend on the company, industry it is involved in as well as the location of the industry. Other factors that may appeal to the assistant are the company’s benefits and compensations.