Monday, June 15, 2009

Join the "Just A Sec" Team this Fall!

Just A Sec is looking for secretaries, administrative assistants, and executive assistants interested in making a part-time, paid contribution to the blog.

How would you like to write articles about issues that affect your career and/or working lifestyle?

Or conduct research among your peers and report on the results?

Or serve as a Reviews Coordinator, gathering information and product samples for trial by our volunteer reviewers?

How would you like to brainstorm with other office workers like you to find ways Just A Sec can contribute to a better quality of life for your fellow desk jockeys?

Would you like to organize or spearhead a special program that unites administrative workers across New York City for a positive purpose?

Introduce yourself to us. We're planning an exciting expansion of our activities this coming autumn, and we'd love you to be a part of it!

In the meantime, the current staff of Just A Sec is going on summer hiatus to be creative consultants for JUST A SEC: The Movie.

Someone will be here to answer your e-mails, so don't hesitate to write!

We'll see ya in September -- and we'll be better than ever!

Violet Newsstead

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Highlight Text without a Mouse in MS Word

When you're working on a document in Microsoft Word, every time you lift your fingers from the keyboard to operate with the mouse, you're losing time.

You might be surprised at some of the things you can perform without touching your mouse, including highlighting text.

This handy website will show you the way.

Free Donuts on Friday @ Dunkin Donuts!

On June 5, 2009, participating Dunkin’ Donuts stores throughout the country will give every customer a free donut of their choice, with the purchase of any beverage, limit one per customer.

National Donut Day, held the first Friday of June each year, was started by the Chicago Salvation Army more than 70 years ago. According to Dunkin’ Donuts’ Brand Marketing Officer Frances Allen, the day holds particular relevance in 2009. “From office meetings to Sunday get-togethers, donuts are one of those foods that lift people's spirits and bring genuine delight to any situation. And now more than ever, Americans are seeking those small moments of happiness," she said. "We hope our free donut offer will create an opportunity for people to celebrate donuts and bring some extra happiness to their day.”

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Is Job-Hunting on the Job a No-No?

Rumors of staff lay-offs are whispering through the hallways of your office. If you were smart, you know you'd start putting a few feelers out for another job now -- maybe send out your resume, search some online job boards.

Maybe you don't have a computer at home, so using the internet to cruise for possibilities is only possible when you're at work. Maybe you don't want to waste any time.

But is it OK to conduct a job search at your desk, during office hours?

Here are two points of view.

Monday, June 1, 2009

Survey Says: Secretaries Want TIME More Than MONEY

A Just A Sec Exclusive!


Just A Sec: The Lifestyle Blog for Busy New York Secretaries recently conducted an informal survey of 300 secretaries, administrative assistants and executive assistants (for the purpose of this article, referred to collectively as "secretaries") working in New York City to find out what might entice them to leave their current job, if another company came a-courting, but did not offer an increase in salary.

Out of 300 secretaries surveyed, a whopping 282 would definitely consider leaving their current job for another -- even if their salary would remain the same. Clearly, this indicates very little loyalty on the part of secretaries to their employers, or even to their immediate bosses.

We asked the 282 who'd consider making a change what would entice them more: a company offering fully-paid medical insurance, or an employer offering four weeks of paid vacation and an additional 16 paid sick/personal days.

91 secretaries were more seduced by the paid medical coverage, leaving a majority of 191 who'd rather receive the benefit of more paid time off.

"I'd rather get a slightly bigger paycheck and know my medical insurance was always there, and not have to worry about it," one secretary commented.

Still others argued in favor of vacation and sick time.

"I'm used to seeing that money come out of my check for insurance premiums," an administrative assistant named Pam told us. "To me, it's more important to know I can stay home when I'm sick and not feel guilty about it, or not go in and work when I feel bad just because I'm afraid of using up all my days before the end of the year."

Jessica said: "Too many people work when they're sick, or come back before they're really ready. And it's not good for the rest of the office, because half the time they're just spreading germs around."

"I think having more paid vacation days is extra health insurance," said Linda. "It's important to take care of yourself. Everyone needs to balance work with time away from work. In the long run, I think people would do a better job when they're at work if they had more time to clear their heads and relax."

Elena, an aspiring artist, made another excellent point about balance and how it's a good thing for employers: "These corporate entities need to stop seeing (employees') outside interests as some kind of threat, or treat(ing) a person's extracurricular activities like they're going to bleed something important away from your efforts at work," she said. "If you have interests outside of work, I think it shows that you're a smart person...Wouldn't (employers) rather have smart, ambitious people working for them? So if you support your employees and their outside interests, and give them more time off to pursue those interests, I think you're going to get better employees all around. It's the ones who are unhappy and never get to do what they love who slack off at work or have a chip on their shoulder. Plus (an employer) can't really expect their entire secretarial staff to be as interested in the company's business as management and the executives. Those people went to school to do (the type of business the company engages in). And it's not like there are huge opportunities for advancement for secretaries. If (the company's business) was your one big interest in life, you probably wouldn't choose becoming a secretary as part of your career path. So (companies) have to accept that their support staff have outside interests. That's a good thing. They should support it!"

Of the 300 secretaries surveyed, only 46 receive four weeks or more of paid vacation (ouch!) Only 118 said they received more than 7 paid sick/personal days.

Most telling of all is the fact that only 12 out of 300 secretaries felt they received enough vacation, sick and personal days to adequately address their needs.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Male Office Workers in Japan are Wearing...BRAS.

Underwear-maker Masayuki Tsuchiya says he had toyed with the idea of making bras for men for about seven years, but there was always one sticking point: What function could they possibly perform?

Relieving on-the-job stress, for starters. Find out what else bras are doing for dudes at Japan Times.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

The Efficient Secretary: 1916 vs. 2009

Richard's Grammar and Composition Blog, by Richard Nordquist, is worthy of your Favorites list. But his latest post is particularly entertaining, as he cracks open a copy of "The Efficient Secretary: Practical Suggestions, Information, Helps to Stenographers and Others Wishing to Become Secretaries, Ideas, Economy, Loyalty, Typing, Filing, Getting a Position" by Ellen Lane Spencer, published in 1916.

The author asserts, among other things, that, "It is but natural and right for a business man to want a good-looking, healthy secretary."

Find out how you're doing by 1916 standards -- read it here.