What’s available?
The good news for job-seekers is the demand for office workers barely ceases. Rebecca Siciliano, who heads the temporary division at Tiger Recruitment in London, says: “We most regularly receive requests for receptionists, team administrators, personal assistants and general office administration staff.”

Property, asset management and finance team secretaries are also in demand. The field can be competitive, but as long as your computer skills are in tip-top shape, a job can be straightforward to find.   “Proven experience in secretarial roles including PA and reception positions is essential, as is having core skills such as a good typing speed, a solid grasp of MS Office packages and the ability to pick up new systems quickly, flexibility and confidence,” she says.

Finally, this is an industry where appearance is important, so don respectable, corporate wear. 

Skills needed
London is brimming with jet-setting bosses, which means travel coordination and diary management are two sought-after skills in applicants. 

In addition, audio transcription skills are still in demand. Companies will also expect you to be able to type a minimum of 45-plus words per minute. If your skills aren’t up to scratch, take an online course to improve speed and proficiency in programs such as Excel or PowerPoint.

How to find work
Signing up with a recruitment agency is probably your best bet. But the field is competitive, so you should also be proactive and make sure you take time to search for jobs on your own. 

Use online resources as well. Websites such as LinkedIn and even Twitter post jobs that you might not find otherwise. 

If you pick up temporary work, maximise the opportunity for networking. You’re in a great position to make contacts.

Temporary vs permanent
Temping: Admin work is often temporary, so a great option for keen travellers who fancy making jaunts in between jobs – and avoiding hiked-up weekend airfares. Recruiter Rebecca Siciliano adds: “It can be a good way to find out about different types of businesses and industries, and exposure to an area that you hadn’t previously considered.” 

Going permanent: Becoming a part of the office furniture as a permanent is great for stability and to ensure there’s a steady stream of income. Temporary roles can, and quite often do lead to permanent placements.

What can you earn?

Executive assistant 

Annually: £35k-£45k

Temping per hour: £16-£18

Office manager

Annually: £30k-£45k

Temping per hour: £15-£18

• Personal assistant 

Annually: £30k-£40k 

Temping per hour: £15-£17

Senior administrator

Annually: £23k-£28k

Temping per hour: £14-£16

Trading floor secretary 

Annually: £35k-£45k 

Temping per hour: £15-£19

Bilingual secretary

Annually: £32k-£40k 

Temping per hour: £15-£17

Project coordinator 

Annually: £28k-£35k 

Temping per hour: £15-£19

• Junior secretary

Annually:  £24k-£28k 

Temping per hour: £12-£14

Junior administrator

Annually: £20k-£25k 

Temping per hour: £10-£12

Data entry operator 

Annually: £18k-£23k 

Temping per hour: £10-£12


Annually: £20k-£26k 

Temping per hour: £10-£12

SOURCE: Robert Walters

See tiger-recruitment.co.uk; secretariesplus.co.uk, rosshumandirections.com