Anything related to office administrative work, especially the less interesting and mundane jobs like secretarial and filing, is often called, clerical. Coming from the ancient Latin word, clerical, means “clerico,” from which, cleritus connotes a “clerical” person. Thus, to have “a clerical air” implies that one is actually a member of the clergy or an official who works in a position requiring clerical duties. In the United States, clerical personnel are generally those who work in the offices of attorneys, mortgage brokers, insurance agents, and law firms.
While clerical duties are not as demanding as many others, they do require certain skills and knowledge. Clerical assistants need extensive education beyond high school to perform their job duties. A successful clerical assistant needs to know how to perform many office administrative tasks including computer spreadsheets, managing billing and client information, greeting clients, writing letters, making copies, and handling correspondence. A highly competent person will be able to take and enter data, compose letters, draft legal documents, and make important phone calls. One must also be able to write well and understand English.
The majority of clerical assistants start out on a part-time basis, working their way up from being a basic office assistant to the clerks' assistant. Most companies prefer to hire clerks who already have some office management skills and knowledge, since it helps improve their overall employee satisfaction. Part-time workers can develop their own skills by working with supervisors to improve their time management and interpersonal skills. Some of these skills include scheduling, time management, prioritizing, and delegation.
To be a good office clerk, one must have excellent time management skills. This means the individual can organize their schedule and manage their daily responsibilities within a given time frame. When answering phones, a clerk must pay close attention to each caller and respond to every request carefully. If there are multiple calls in a row, it is imperative to be prompt and efficient. This same principle applies when dealing with complex communications, such as when preparing business documents. To effectively complete tasks related to billing and client information, clerical support must have strong typing skills and quick reading skills.
Clerical support must also be organized. By organizing the office, a clerical worker reduces the risk of missing any important emails or telephone calls, since everything is in order. Effective time management also requires the ability to prioritize tasks and complete them as fast as possible. To accomplish this, a person needs good organizational skills, such as managing their time efficiently and completing projects on time. In addition, good organizational skills requirements typing skills and good listening skills.
Although clerical work does not pay very much, the benefits of working in a clerical position far outweigh the disadvantages. Many companies hire clerks for a variety of reasons, from doing administrative duties to handling confidential client information. The main reason companies . . . . . . hire clerks is to reduce their overhead cost by eliminating repetitive, costly tasks. However, if you want to enjoy the benefits of clerical work, you need to know the skills employers are looking for.