An inside look into Girl Friday jobs
Always wanted to know exactly what a Girl Friday is and what the job entails? Today we delve a little deeper into Girl Friday jobs on Job Mail, discussing what these professionals do, their daily responsibilities and the salary these individuals can expect to earn.
What is a Girl Friday?
A Girl Friday is very simply put is involved in everything from admin work to being a personal assistant. These individuals take care of tasks associated with business and office administration, doing everything necessary to get the job done.
These jobs are primarily administrative positions that are great for students, retirees, or anyone with experience in admin jobs.
The term “Girl Friday” originates from the term “man Friday” – used to describe a dedicated male assistant or servant in an office or household. The ‘Friday’ comes from Daniel Defoe’s Robinson Crusoe in which a man found a dedicated assistant in a young man on a Friday.
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The term Girl Friday was popularised by films in the first half of the 20th century.
While the name may be controversial or misleading, Girl Friday jobs are only named so due to the overwhelming majority of women in the field. Despite the name, these jobs are available to anyone and encompass a wide range of important job functions and are an essential part of any office team!
Daily Tasks and Responsibilities of a Girl Friday
Girl Friday positions are disguised under many different names, some of which you may already be familiar with: secretary, office clerk, admin assistant, office worker, personal assistant, office assistant, receptionist, amongst many others.
Girl Friday workers such as secretaries, receptionists, and office assistants are needed in many different industries spanning from finance, government agencies, technology, non-profits – essentially any industry that operates out of an office space. This also can includes those who are self-employed and in need of a personal assistant or someone to assist them even outside of the traditional office setting.
Typical job duties in these office administration positions can include: answering phones, email, or any other type of correspondence, typing documents, filing, taking notes for meetings, hosting visitors, maintaining office cleanliness, making tea and coffee, printing, scanning, sending mail etc.
These types of jobs are great for students or anyone seeking part-time work due to the often flexible hours, and the low chance that your work will ever require after-hours attention. One can often get a great Girl Friday job with decent pay that does not require any extra skills beyond any attained with matric.
Business administration roles, like that seen in Girl Friday positions will give you a bit of power and responsibility. People in these positions often become a valuable source of knowledge in the office for all employees. This is a position that you must own and be confident in!
Thinking of finding admin work? Create your Job Alert on Job Mail and get informed of the latest vacancies in your area!
What types of skills are needed for Girl Friday jobs?
While many of these positions do not require any experience, many of them may also better suit a person with previous experience in admin work.
A general office worker may be required to think quickly, work under pressure, be very knowledgeable about a company and to be very organised. Computer skills are also essential in these types of office administration roles. It is helpful to have a good grasp on Microsoft office suite (Excel, PowerPoint, Word and Access).
Speaking more than one language can be a huge asset depending on the location, the company’s client base and the language/s you speak. If you are in a front desk position, you will often be the first face anyone sees at an organisation or company. This for many visitors makes you the temporary face of the company. This requires you to always look presentable, and to represent the company well and according to company procedures.
Having good decorum and a positive and polite attitude can go a long way in business administration roles such as that of a Girl Friday. Having good phone etiquette is a must, even when you are unsure or under pressure. The manner in which you answer emails and letters will also be a reflection of the company and thus must be up to company standards – this requires good writing skills. Some jobs, for example those in law firms, may require some background or training in the field.
Despite all of these skills, Matric is not always a must, which makes Girl Friday jobs on Job Mail a good option for students and those just starting out. This is one field in which experience may serve you better than formal education.
Career Growth and Girl Friday Salary
Salaries for Girl Friday positions vary greatly depending on the type of job. Temporary, part time and full time positions differ in the growth potential and pay scale. The range of job responsibilities will also vary from company to company and this can also affect pay.
Experience is also an influential factor in the pay received. For example, a post for an admin job, no experience needed may pay around R4000 to R 7000 per month.
An office assistant job looking for someone with 1 or 2 years of experience may pay around R6000 to R8000.
Job postings that require a candidate with 3-5 years of experience can pay R10000 and up. With more experience, the median pay in South Africa for an office assistant type role will pay around R65,158 per year.
Room for promotion and growth is also possible in this field. Starting out as a Girl Friday, you might be able to move on to roles such as office administrator, office manager, personal assistant, executive secretary, client service manager, or executive assistant.
As you progress within a company or in your career, you can attain benefits such as medical aid, dental and vision care, and be eligible for bonuses, and of course more pay!