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工作难求 男大学生转型文秘
Jobless male graduates turn to secretarial work

[ 2013-10-25 09:46] 来源:中国日报网     字号 [] [] []  
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工作难求 男大学生转型文秘


The position of secretary or personal assistant used to be the preserve of efficient and capable women, loyal foot soldiers with no eye on the boss's job – but now men are muscling their way in. "Hold my calls, Mr Jones" is becoming the new norm.

The change is due partly to the highest rate of graduate unemploymentsince records began, and the growing awareness that salaries for corporate PAs can reach £75,000 a year.

Joshua Watson, 25, has been an executive assistant to a female senior director at Barclays for 18 months, having previously worked as a receptionist and PA. He does not see himself as working in a woman's role.

"I don't feel that I'm treated any differently just because I'm male," he said. "I don't think that is an issue for people from my generation. It's a good job for me because I am passionate about organising. I have good exposure to the top people in the company and I want to climb the ladder."

Recruitment consultants are seeing an ever-increasing number of men interested in PA or secretarial posts. "Out of the 1,000 candidates we've registered in the past 12 months, around 200 are male," said David Morel, managing director of Tiger Recruitment. "It is increasing the whole time. Since 2011, the numbers have been doubling each year, and most of them are ambitious graduates."

Susanna Tait, managing director of Tay Associates, agrees. She said she has seen a "huge" increase in numbers of male applicants. "We have witnessed the role of the PA evolve immeasurably and, with it, the pool of applicants it attracts," she said. "As well as organising and managing commitments, they are required to project-manage schedules and communicate with a vast network of contacts. It's an obvious career choice for ambitious individuals keen to operate at the centre of the business sphere."

Quest Professional, which offers training courses for the corporate sector, said this was the first year that men had enrolled on its executive PA programme and that "more and more" men were doing its administrative course.

Top PAs in the City now earn between £35,000 and £75,000, plus benefits – in some cases even more. Morel thinks this is the primary reason why more men are coming into the market. "In the past, men felt the salaries weren't high enough and there was a stigma attached to administrative, typing-based roles," he said. "The secretarial role has changed massively. Gone are the days of the traditional typist, and there is more of a career path. Guys are seeing that they can get to a stage where they are providing a lot of business support to their boss, and that is reflected in their salary."

Barclays said it was committed to encouraging male applicants for PA and admin roles. "It is important to us that we offer everyone – regardless of their gender – the same opportunities to be successful," said a spokesperson.

At the turn of the 20th century, secretarial jobs were well-paid and well-respected, and predominantly filled by men. However, as women fought to join the ranks of the employed, the profession lost its status, pay decreased and men sought work elsewhere. By the mid-1960s, it was a role primarily associated with women. In 1962, a survey revealed that 28% of companies believed sex appeal was a requirement of the PA's job.

Michael, 27, has been a PA at a top management consultancy for over three years. "When I called clients they used to be really surprised that I wasn't female," he said. "Now, we've got five guys in the PA team, which is about 10%. They've all joined in the past few years and they are all around the same age as me."

Currently, more than one in five graduates are out of work and there are typically 84 applicants for each graduate vacancy in the City. Young people are finding new ways to enter the business world, and working nine-to-five in support roles is one way to get on to the corporate ladder.

"I work with everyone in the company," Michael said, "all the directors, all the partners and all the teams. This is a very difficult world to get into and this is the best route in for me. In a few years, I will take this great experience and go elsewhere."


















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(译者 倪明杰 编辑 丹妮)