General assistants perform a variety of administrative duties in the course of a day. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, this growing field requires computer knowledge for best results in the hiring process. Many temporary and part-time general assistant positions are available, making this position ideal for someone who seeks flexibility in her job.
General assistants may work with computers, including hardware and software, depending on the needs of the business. Other activities during the course of a workday include communicating with others via e-mail, mail or telephone, providing miscellaneous information upon request, completing paperwork, filing, processing documents and recording information. Other work activities include communicating with customers or other people outside of the organisation, communicating with people inside the organisation, and planning and organising work for others. The activities of a general assistant are more varied than other positions due to the wide variety of settings that they may be employed in.
Specific general assistant duties depend on their employer. Speak to the organisation about the specific job description for their general assistant position to better understand what is expected, as the work environment and context may vary considerably from one place to another. For example, an assistant in a doctor's office may use specialised medical software, organise medications and process health insurance. This differs from the work of a corporate assistant, who may prepare office presentations, organise meetings and proofread documents. An assistant at a manufacturing company may spend their time maintaining safety regulations, filling merchandise orders, tracking the productivity of line workers, and disciplining and rewarding employees.
A general assistant must behave responsibly in the workplace. Showing up on time, dressing appropriately and maintaining good relationships with supervisors and coworkers are all duties that a general assistant is expected to carry out. The position may require the assistant to work independently and create his own schedule, so good organizational skills are necessary. Responsibilities also may vary depending on the experience of the assistant. An inexperienced assistant in a law firm, for example, may make photocopies, file documents and answer phones. An experienced assistant in this same setting may handle billing, supervise other assistants and aid in the preparation of legal documents.