I was recently reading a job description for an Office Junior position which was being advertised, and one thing stuck out to me.

The job description listed all of the normal things for a junior administrative assistant – things such as greeting guests, answering the phone, managing diaries, cover for when their line manager was off, etc.  But it had nothing about learning or development on there. No requirement for them to learn a new skill or get competent at something. No mention of training or willingness to try something new. 

So this led me to go back to them with the question:

Are you hiring an Office Junior because you want to train them up, or because you want someone cheap? 
Of course, I never got a response back. 

Believe it or not, a lot of companies want the latter. They simply hire someone as cheap as they can, under the guise of an administrative assistant, and want them to basically be the office skivvy. The person they end up hiring is often a first jobber, straight from school or uni, full of hope and enthusiasm that they managed to get that first foot in the door. Then they are completely let down and end up leaving after a short while, feeling utterly deflated and often like they have failed. Some even give up on the idea of a career as a PA or EA. 

If you are at the start of your career and are reading this, know that it is your right to ask what training and development you will be given at whatever role you are applying for.

If you are writing a job spec for an office junior role within your company, I urge you to include something around training and learning for your new hire. How valuable is someone to your organisation if they have been left to fend for themselves? 

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