On successful completion of my university course, I was ready for the working world. With a 2:1 and with high marks throughout my time at both primary and secondary schools, I was confident I will be needed by lots of companies in my country. What I did not expect is that there were also hundreds of students in the city with similar or close to similar qualifications as mine. There were also thousands coming into the city from different provinces. They were all after one thing – that much needed job that they all think they can easily find in this city.
|Image courtesy of freedigitalphotos.net and author stuart miles
My parents recommended that I go after a job in a place that would feel secure. I did find that job in government albeit not what I expected. The role was the Administrator’s assistant. I was excited at this first job and thought it will be the ideal step on the ladder to a great career.
On my first day, I discovered that there were many Administrator’s assistants. Everyone had a specific job and they kept to that. Mine was filing! I was not supposed to do anything but filing. The salary was relevant to the job – small; but I was determined not to give up. There were very few positions available so it would have been pointless to resign. Also having 2 months in a job would not look good on my CV so I stayed on and filed.
Job as a PA
After about one year filing, I witnessed a slight accident and rushed to assist. My manager was laden with files and paperwork when she tripped on a loose carpet tile and sent all the files and paper flying. I was quite concerned for her but she was more interested in getting the papers together in some sort of order. As the filing clerk, this was easy for me. I helped her to a chair and she watched as I quickly put everything in order. She then wanted to know why the carpet tile was not reported. I mentioned that I had reported this to the Health and Safety officer three days ago and as nothing was done, I had used cello-tape to keep it in place. Unfortunately the tape came away. She gazed at me for a long time and asked many questions my qualifications and also if I would like to move to a different job. I said, ‘Yes, very much.’ She said, ‘Leave it with me,’ and left.
|Image courtesy of freedigitalphotos.net and author nuchylee
I thought I was going to be the Health and Safety officer’s assistant. Two weeks later, I was summoned to her office. She offered me the job to be her PA. In my head, I was jumping for joy. The PA had a car accident so could not train me but she was at the other end of the phone. My job was managing the diary, arranging meetings and travel. I had my secretary to do any typing I needed. I even had a filing clerk to file for me.
After two years in the job, I was very confident and worked to the best of my ability. My manager was happy with my work but I felt I was not performing to the best of my ability because of my lack of knowledge; the job more or less, evolved.
I was aware there was funding for any training required by the employees. I researched extensively for courses presented by English speaking tutors. I found a PA course in London. I enjoyed the course which also included secretarial practice.
My manager was pleasantly surprised at my performance on my return but I was not happy with my secretary’s work. I have now enrolled her on the same course. When she returns, I am sure we will be the perfect team.