In Summary - Bi-lingual / Multi-lingual Secretary
The Work - Bi-lingual / Multi-lingual Secretary
Bilingual Secretaries read and translate letters and other documents, deal with telephone enquiries and visitors, interpret at meetings and conferences, and deal with a wide range of general secretarial duties.
General secretarial duties include dealing with routine enquiries, taking messages, word processing, filing, photocopying and keeping an appointments diary.
The amount of time a secretary spends working in a foreign language depends on the type of company they work for and their position within the company. Junior secretaries may spend much of their time working in their own language.
If international clients or colleagues visit the company, the secretary usually receives them and handles arrangements for their stay, including hotel bookings and travel itineraries. Bilingual secretaries may act as interpreters during their visit.
Depending on the type of organisation they work for, bilingual secretaries may deal with suppliers across Europe or beyond the continent, working closely with factories, transport and recorded dispatch companies, to monitor deliveries and confirm orders.
Some bilingual secretaries perform a Personal Assistant (PA) role, which may involve office management. There would be a lot of contact with people such as clients, suppliers, and representatives of foreign organisations. You may be required to travel around the country or abroad. In this type of work their can be pressure to work quickly and effectively.
Most commonly reported Work Tasks
- Use computers for various applications, such as database management or word processing.
- Answer telephones and give information to callers, take messages, or transfer calls to appropriate individuals.
- Create, maintain, and enter information into databases.
- Set up and manage paper or electronic filing systems, recording information, updating paperwork, or maintaining documents, such as attendance records, correspondence, or other material.
- Operate office equipment, such as fax machines, copiers, or phone systems and arrange for repairs when equipment malfunctions.
- Greet visitors or callers and handle their inquiries or direct them to the appropriate persons according to their needs.
- Maintain scheduling and event calendars.
- Complete forms in accordance with company procedures.
- Schedule and confirm appointments for clients, customers, or supervisors.
- Make copies of correspondence or other printed material.
Most commonly reported Work Activities
- Interacting With Computers Using computers and computer systems (including hardware and software) to program, write software, set up functions, enter data, or process information.
- Getting Information Observing, receiving, and otherwise obtaining information from all relevant sources.
- Performing Administrative Activities Performing day-to-day administrative tasks such as maintaining information files and processing paperwork.
- Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates Providing information to supervisors, co-workers, and subordinates by telephone, in written form, e-mail, or in person.
- Establishing and Maintaining Interpersonal Relationships Developing constructive and cooperative working relationships with others, and maintaining them over time.
- Organizing, Planning, and Prioritizing Work Developing specific goals and plans to prioritize, organize, and accomplish your work.
- Documenting/Recording Information Entering, transcribing, recording, storing, or maintaining information in written or electronic/magnetic form.
- Processing Information Compiling, coding, categorizing, calculating, tabulating, auditing, or verifying information or data.
- Performing for or Working Directly with the Public Performing for people or dealing directly with the public. This includes serving customers in restaurants and stores, and receiving clients or guests.
- Identifying Objects, Actions, and Events Identifying information by categorizing, estimating, recognizing differences or similarities, and detecting changes in circumstances or events.
Interests - Bi-lingual / Multi-lingual Secretary
This occupation is typically suited for people with the following Career Interests:
Administrative people are interested in work that offers security and a sense of being part of a larger process. They may be at their most productive under supervisors who give clear guidelines and while performing routine tasks in a methodical and reliable way.
They tend to enjoy clerical and most forms of office work, where they perform essential administrative duties. They often form the backbone of large and small organisations alike. They may enjoy being in charge of office filing systems, and using computers and other office equipment to keep things running smoothly. They usually like routine work hours and prefer comfortable indoor workplaces.
The Linguistic's interests are usually focused on ideas and information exchange. They tend to like reading a lot, and enjoy discussion about what has been said. Some will want to write about their own ideas and may follow a path towards journalism, story writing or editing. Others will develop skills in other languages, perhaps finding work as a translator or interpreter. Most Linguistic types will enjoy the opportunity to teach or instruct people in a topic they are interested in.
Bilingual Secretaries must have good secretarial skills. However, what is essential to the role of Bilingual Secretary is the command of language. A Bilingual Secretary must be able to type, take shorthand, speak or write in a foreign language. Students are normally trained in taking shorthand in their native language, but not in the foreign language.
Audio typewriting and text processing in the foreign language(s) are two essential skills besides speaking and writing. A Bilingual/Trilingual Secretary must also be able to carry out short translations.
As you will be interpreting for others and speaking different languages you may be expected to have clear speech in order to be understood effectively. A good telephone manner, communication and interpersonal skills are essential.
Secondary skills of a Bilingual Secretary are the understanding of the cultural, political and economic situation of the country where that language is spoken.
Entry Requirements - Bi-lingual / Multi-lingual Secretary
Pay & Salary - Bi-lingual / Multi-lingual Secretary
Salary Range (thousands per year)* 20k - 45k
Last Updated: March, 2017
* The lower figures typically reflect starting salaries. Higher salaries are awarded to those with greater experience and responsibility. Positions in Dublin sometimes command higher salaries.
Labour Market Updates - Bi-lingual / Multi-lingual Secretary
National Skills Bulletin 2018