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Old 06-11-2009, 07:52 AM
 
Location: Western North Carolina
3,298 posts, read 4,398,384 times
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I am in retail now but am planning to go back to school in the fall to upgade my computer skills, etc. I don't feel retail is very secure anymore, and am wanting a career change. I can type, speak, and and write well; I was a secretary years ago, but my software skills are just not up-to-date.

Any Administrative Assistants out of work out there? How's the job market?

I notice that many of these threads are stating that office work is hard to find right now. I have seen several Help Wanted Ads myself in our local paper that are seeking candidates with all kinds of experience and computer software knowledge, but still only want to pay $7 or $8 an hour, and many are just part-time!! Is this par-for-the course? Maybe I should stay in retail management. I enjoy it, but just hate the hours.
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Old 06-11-2009, 08:37 AM
 
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Job market is pretty good in the federal government. We hire 3-4 clerks a week at the VA.
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Old 06-11-2009, 08:39 AM
 
Location: Buffalo, NY
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My last job was as an administrative assistant for a non profit agency. I only made $11/hr and I was laid off after five months. It depends who you work for that will determine pay and benefits.
If you are going back to school, there are several things to look at involving administrative support- especially in the medical and legal areas.
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Old 06-11-2009, 09:17 AM
 
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I've found them virtually disappear in the months I have been looking. The 2 I applied for were just part time, one less than 12 hours a week! Maybe in a bigger market you'd have a better shot but I think with the decline of all industries, less office staff jobs are out there. My last job was in admin. and it was $10/hr for a a job load and responsibility of a position that should easily have paid $15/hr.
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Old 06-11-2009, 09:34 AM
 
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They are definitely more difficult. When I lost my job I was looking for either a senior admin/executive assistant position or a marketing position.

There seemed to be a lot of entry level (and pay) reception/admin type jobs, but they were only paying $7-8. Even with all the computer skills in the world, without experience in that line of work, you'll probably need to start at an entry level.

I got twice as many calls for the marketing jobs I applied for than the admin jobs--although I was not applying for the entry level jobs as I have years of executive level admin experience and wasn't looking to type, file, and make coffee for $8/hour.
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Old 06-11-2009, 10:40 AM
 
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I've noticed a lot of clerk jobs and 'do it all for less' office jobs are labeled administrative assistant. (I think the term clerk has pretty much disappeared except in government, right??)
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Old 06-11-2009, 11:17 AM
 
24,068 posts, read 32,521,431 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GypsySoul22 View Post
I've noticed a lot of clerk jobs and 'do it all for less' office jobs are labeled administrative assistant. (I think the term clerk has pretty much disappeared except in government, right??)
Agreed! An actual admin works with moderate supervision and often manages projects. On an executive level that person has a great deal of leeway, works with minimal supervision, manages projects and often other people, has purchasing authority often well into the tens of thousands of dollars, negotiates contracts, etc.

A clerk on the other hand types, files, answers phones, does data entry, sorts mail, and works with full supervision.
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Old 06-11-2009, 05:27 PM
 
Location: Western North Carolina
3,298 posts, read 4,398,384 times
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Gee, when I was doing it 20+ some years ago, we were still "secretaries". I must be really old.

My other idea was to do Business Administration in Marketing. I started a degree in that a couple of years ago, but had to stop due to "life". Maybe I should pursue fininshing that instread.

I have also considered Human Resources, but they probably want experience in that also, which I don't have, directly. I"m just getting "Up There" and don't have time to make any more poor decisions!

Thanks for all the follow-up!
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Old 06-11-2009, 08:33 PM
 
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You may have to start out as receptionist and work your way up. Yes, any job is hard to find these days. There is a lot of demand for part time office help, I found on my most recent unemployment stint. Most want Microsoft Excel expertise. Microsoft word. And any accounting skills, and business writing skills are good too. Medical and legal - legal requires a typing speed of 60wpm. I only tested 59wpm so they wouldn't hire me .
I was also seeing a lot of call for abilities with CRM databases and a program called ACT.

Good luck!
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Old 06-12-2009, 06:15 AM
 
24,068 posts, read 32,521,431 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by montanamom View Post
Gee, when I was doing it 20+ some years ago, we were still "secretaries". I must be really old.

My other idea was to do Business Administration in Marketing. I started a degree in that a couple of years ago, but had to stop due to "life". Maybe I should pursue fininshing that instread.

I have also considered Human Resources, but they probably want experience in that also, which I don't have, directly. I"m just getting "Up There" and don't have time to make any more poor decisions!

Thanks for all the follow-up!
Secreataries and admins are two different things. Admins generally don't do steno, type their bosses letters, or handle a number of other tasks that secretaries do. A senior executive will often have both an executive secretary and an executive assistant, and while there will be some crossover, the admin will be more empowered to make decisions and often have signature authority for contracts and such.
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