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Opinions of Business Leaders

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Several business leaders were asked for their opinions concerning vocational opportunities for clerical workers and for suggestions to those considering positions in the field. Through their statements runs a common understanding of the great need for qualified clerical workers with good attitudes.

Mr. Richard Neitlich, assistant vice president of Human Resources at Metropolitan Life Insurance Company, forecasts many career opportunities with excellent salaries for individuals who think of office work as a career rather than just a job:

"Office work offers challenging and meaningful careers to millions of people. There are literally hundreds of types of office careers, requiring a variety of skills and interests. Typing, keypunch, stenographic, analytical, mathematical, and supervisory and management talent are just a few of the skills that are called for in today's office environment."

"Many office positions lead to highly paid, responsible careers. For example, the modern-day secretary is frequently called upon to act as an executive assistant. In addition to taking dictation, filing, and typing, today's secretary is expected to act as a receptionist, organize the boss's work, screen mail, handle routine inquiries and take the initiative on a variety of other matters. Executive secretaries are much in demand, and they earn excellent salaries."

"Training is an ongoing activity in the office of today. Throughout their business careers, most office workers will find themselves learning how to use new equipment, adopting new procedures, or being trained for new positions with added responsibilities. Many seek opportunities to develop themselves through after hour self-study programs. Promotions are usually available to those who are willing to put in the effort that is required."

"In many offices, most supervisors and managers have come up through the ranks from lower-level jobs by demonstrating that they can take direction, learn the work, and cooperate with others to meet the goals of their organizations. They are frequently the ones who have shown that they take pride in their accomplishments and can motivate others to do the same."

"Those who succeed in office work are usually those who think in terms of a career instead of a job. They think of where they would like to be in five or ten years instead of looking for immediate satisfaction. Thinking in these terms, they are more interested in advancement opportunities than in small differences in starting salaries. They are willing to take the time to learn as much as they can about their work and the company for which they work. They strive to do the best job possible, and they accept responsibility for what they do. They respect the abilities of others and are willing to take constructive criticism both from their supervisors and their more experienced associates."

"Because of the interesting variety of assignments, today's business world is an exciting place to be. There is also a great deal of intellectual stimulation for those who seek challenge, and comradeship for those who like working with others."

"In short, office work can be highly rewarding in terms of job satisfaction, personal growth, monetary recognition, and in the opportunities it affords to meet others with similar backgrounds, goals, and interests."

The president of the New York Chamber of Commerce, Mr. Joseph A. Healey, sees a bright future for responsible young people who are interested in clerical vocations and who have the necessary skills, habits, and desire. He states:

"Every day in New York City over 70,000 clerical positions go unfilled. At a time when other fields have too many applicants for too few openings, jobs in the burgeoning field of the information handler go begging for bright, responsible, well-trained personnel."

"No one quite learns the basics of a business like the secretary through whose hands pass the important communications that turn ideas and concepts into action programs. Just as communication in personal relationships keeps those relationships alive and growing, so communication by telephone, letter, memo, and report keeps all departments of a business in close contact with one another."

"The information handler interfaces with every level of a company. But-most important of all-clerical personnel are usually the first company representatives the public contacts. They give that first impression that can spell the beginning of a satisfying relationship for the business and the stranger who comes to the door. The enormous importance of this first impression-another form of communication-can hardly be overestimated. The company's image often depends on that helpful phone conversation, that thoughtful welcome, the kind of question which puts the visitor at ease. "From public relations to processing the most sensitive information, the clerical worker keeps a business running smoothly. Competent, sensitive clerical workers are among the greatest assets they possess. Many companies have recognized that through the equal opportunity programs which they have promoted over the last ten years, the clerical workers of the 70's are quickly filling the managerial openings of the 80's."
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