Minute-taking

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Ann in Clarkson, Ontario

90 months ago

I see this in job descriptions more and more. I absolutely abhor minute taking and swore I would never take another job with this task. Does anyone else feel this way? I know I would be so unhappy and just returned from a promising interview that requires minute taking to some degree. Even occasional minute taking doesn't appeal to me.

I would just like to know if anyone would reject a job offer or not even consider a job with a specific task that they dislike so much.

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Sunny Days in Fuquay Varina, North Carolina

90 months ago

Ann said: I know I would be so unhappy and just returned from a promising interview that requires minute taking to some degree. Even occasional minute taking doesn't appeal to me.
I would just like to know if anyone would reject a job offer or not even consider a job with a specific task that they dislike so much.

Not so fast.

Depends on how MUCH this takes out of your week. I had 3 hour weekly meeting. I am like you, I abhor the time and effort taking minutes. However, what I was able to do was do it by speaker phone. Would conference in and mute the phone. Recorded on mini-recorder, then type as they talked. After the meeting, I could fill in the blanks.

NOW, having said that. On a scale of 1-10, 10 being drilled by the dentist, this was a 10. However, I enjoyed the rest of my job so much, I did it as fast as I could to be done.

Depends on the rest of the job. In any job, there are bound to be some things that you don't want to do. You just have to weigh how much angst you put towards this. If it's a small amount of time/effort, go for the job.

If it's something that would keep you up at night and there is no way around it (can you share this or alternate with someone else?) - then you may want to bypass it.

THIRD OPTION: Take the job, suffer through it a couple of times to see if it's bearable, and decide then to stay and tough it or keep looking. I don't know your job market area.

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Ann in Saint-Bruno-de-Montarville, Quebec

90 months ago

Sunny Days said:
If it's something that would keep you up at night and there is no way around it (can you share this or alternate with someone else?) - then you may want to bypass it.
THIRD OPTION: Take the job, suffer through it a couple of times to see if it's bearable, and decide then to stay and tough it or keep looking. I don't know your job market area.

Actually yes, it does keep me up at night. In my previous job, I suffered endlessly. Minute taking every week for 3 hours, plus board meetings several times a year for 4-5 hours. I vowed I would never take another job with any kind of minute taking, but that's my opinion. I just wanted to "see" how others felt.

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Ann in Saint-Bruno-de-Montarville, Quebec

90 months ago

Not sure why the city/state changes each time I reply??

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Ya Gotta Be Kidding Me in Fuquay Varina, North Carolina

90 months ago

Ann said: Not sure why the city/state changes each time I reply??

My "guess" is your replies may be going through a different server. I've noticed that if I'm at a remote WiFi, it could show a state 100's miles away.

I agree with you that this may not seem like a job for you. I'd still try to pin down just how much time taking there is before completely dismissing.

As for the other part of question, I don't see minute taking very often. However, if I see "transcribe" - my red flages go up. My experience has been that this is usually for a substantial bit of time. Transcribing, to me, even worse. That is, usually someone who's on the road who doesn't have time to type OR as I had, someone who just doesn't want to bother typing. When it got to be 4-5 hours/week transcribing for 1-3 mgrs, this was too much. The others were 2-5 hours/month. This guy was a new manager and just didn't like to type, ie, he wanted me to do HIS work. He never caught onto the concept that he wasn't the only person I supported. No, I did not stay there long. In fact, the other admin was laid off 2 months later. Now - who was really at fault here? The office manager for poor management. Sorry got off on a tangent. But, you get my jist - get the facts up front.

I was running VERY FAST from a position that involved supporting two executives (CFO and VP-Sales), and included 3 boards mtgs/yr plus 4-5 sales meeting setups. This job was next to last on my list. The last one was safe gap.

Since the first interview went well and if you dont' have other offers pending quite yet, you may want to keep this one as a safety net. I'm not familiar enough with your employment market to know what possibilities are there.

Hope this helps. The best advice, keep trying with a postive attitude - even, fake it til ya feel it !!

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Ken Hurley in Wolcott, Vermont

90 months ago

So I have been searching the country for prospective jobs and locations of late because i'm going back to school in my 30's.

This is not my field of interest but have noticed that adm. assistants and exc. assistant seem to me to get the least pay for the most work.

Truly I, was shocked. Thought yeah. right! no way.
even in the most expensive cities the salary ranges didn't seem to meet cost of living.

I'm I off on this?

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Still Strong in Fuquay Varina, North Carolina

90 months ago

Ken Hurley said: ... This is not my field of interest but have noticed that adm. assistants and exc. assistant seem to me to get the least pay for the most work.
Truly I, was shocked. ../QUOTE]
No, you're not off of this. I've been in this line over 25 yrs and yes, we get paid less for work done. Guess it's considered non-intellectual, not revenue generating job - HOWEVER, I have never met a successful executive that did NOT have a great assistant OR he's working 70 hrs/wk.

I've had 4 jobs where they replaced me with 2 people - stupid? No, this is constantly considered an expendable position. Hmmphd, let them think that and they'll get what they pay for.
I'm not a mind-reader, don't baby sit managers, but, I can be one heluva right hand that makes sure you have what you need BEFORE you want it.

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Patricia in Ottawa, Ontario

85 months ago

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Linda22 in Palatine, Illinois

84 months ago

Ann in Clarkson, Ontario said: I see this in job descriptions more and more. I absolutely abhor minute taking and swore I would never take another job with this task. Does anyone else feel this way? I know I would be so unhappy and just returned from a promising interview that requires minute taking to some degree. Even occasional minute taking doesn't appeal to me.

I would just like to know if anyone would reject a job offer or not even consider a job with a specific task that they dislike so much.

I am an AA to a V.P. and am required to take minutes. Working for a woman - especially - I find it extremely difficult to try to figure out what she wants. At one point she says I take down too much information and on the other hand she says I don't take down (in HER mind) the important aspects. I am required to take shorthand from people who call in over the phone which is hard because they all have southern drawls and the worse part is, I have a gentleman from Russia and you talk about a thick accent. You try to take down what he's saying and in your mind, convert it to proper English and then try to get it down on paper and this guy is about 4 or 5 sentences ahead of you. My advice is: run and don't look back!

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Small Town near Big Town in Charlotte, North Carolina

84 months ago

Linda22 in Palatine, Illinois said: I am an AA to a V.P. and am required to take minutes. Working for a woman - especially - I find it extremely difficult to try to figure out what she wants. At one point she says I take down too much information and on the other hand she says I don't take down (in HER mind) the important aspects.

First and foremost - didn't dictation go out the window with electric typewriters? I don't know where this trend of taking meeting notes started again. I can for board meetings, but, weekly meetings is just a bit much.
I had similar experience. We met by teleconference and I would dial in from my desk and hit MUTE. My only way to keep my sanity was to record the teleconference meeting, type as I went, and filled in the blanks later (from recorder). I had two managers who I'd call - or scan the draft and help me fill in the blanks. This was every other week event that sometimes would take 2-4 hours just to sit through meeting, type notes, and distribute.
Bottom line: what an absolute waste of time. Some of the managers told me they don't even look at them - they were there during the conversations and didn't need reminders or would "sign off" after they said their piece.
One thing that might help is to come up with a draft that is used for every meeting - with topics and sub-topics (limit to 3 at most), then at the bottom have action items.
If these notes are over 2 pages, I think that time management and communication is the weakness for this particular group.

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Patricia in Ottawa, Ontario

77 months ago

A friend of mine is an Executive Assistant and takes minutes regularly. I interviewed her to write this article on my blog:
secretaryhelpline.blogspot.com/2008/01/art-of-minute-taking.html

I found what she told me was very helpful and broke it down that it seemed not so frightening to take minutes.

Patricia

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Honolulu in Honolulu, Hawaii

73 months ago

Sunny Days in Fuquay Varina, North Carolina said: Not so fast.

Depends on how MUCH this takes out of your week. I had 3 hour weekly meeting. I am like you, I abhor the time and effort taking minutes. However, what I was able to do was do it by speaker phone. Would conference in and mute the phone. Recorded on mini-recorder, then type as they talked. After the meeting, I could fill in the blanks.

NOW, having said that. On a scale of 1-10, 10 being drilled by the dentist, this was a 10. However, I enjoyed the rest of my job so much, I did it as fast as I could to be done.

Depends on the rest of the job. In any job, there are bound to be some things that you don't want to do. You just have to weigh how much angst you put towards this. If it's a small amount of time/effort, go for the job.

If it's something that would keep you up at night and there is no way around it (can you share this or alternate with someone else?) - then you may want to bypass it.

THIRD OPTION: Take the job, suffer through it a couple of times to see if it's bearable, and decide then to stay and tough it or keep looking. I don't know your job market area.

wow three hours huh? well I do 4 meetings every week? I'm thinking I wouldn't take another job like this

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JackieS in Saint Louis, Missouri

73 months ago

Not only are administrative assistants and secretaries overworked and underpaid, but for some reason, the computer software industry thinks these workers can jump through hoops everytime they want to come out with a new program or do continual revisions to old ones. My body hurts from doing so much computer work!! I really don't enjoy computers anymore - at least not like I used to. They have been run into the ground!! I am constantly having to learn computer programs when I could be doing something I really enjoy or learning something I could make more money at. Or, instead of constantly learning new programs, just have more time to enjoy what is already there!

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H in Bozeman, Montana

73 months ago

Hey, JackiS, I agree completely with your comments on not enjoying computers anymore. I was hired as a secretary, which used to mean doing many different duties throughout the day, but my day is spent staring at a computer and typing as fast as I can for 8 hours a day. As a result, I've got tingly fingers, vision problems, and an aching back. And, oh, yeah, I am bored to death. I'd rather be tilling a field--at least my thoughts would be my own! Definitely I/S/O new occupation that at least pays the bills!

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Lynn Arthur in Loudon, New Hampshire

73 months ago

I have worked as an administrative assistant for 20 years actually growing up with computers. I love computers they make my job so much easier and as an administrative assistant I do a lot of different tasks in all the different computer programs as well as off the computer.

If you are typing eight hours a day I am sure you are bored to death. Unfortunately this is not the time to change jobs with so many people out of work. Hang in there this economy will turn around and employers will need the well trained secretaries and administrative assistants again. Did you ever tell your boss that you need a variety of work to stay interested. Maybe he can help.

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H in Bozeman, Montana

73 months ago

Thank you for your support. My job, which was advertised as Admin Assist, turned into transcriptionist but my title is still AA. It's not what I signed up for. But, until I find something else, that is the job I'm stuck with. It's okay, I'm bound and determined to break out of this field because it's just not for me. I'm glad someone enjoys it :) My hat is off to you.

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Ruthie in Woodstock, Maryland

70 months ago

Ann in Clarkson, Ontario said: I see this in job descriptions more and more. I absolutely abhor minute taking and swore I would never take another job with this task. Does anyone else feel this way? I know I would be so unhappy and just returned from a promising interview that requires minute taking to some degree. Even occasional minute taking doesn't appeal to me.

I would just like to know if anyone would reject a job offer or not even consider a job with a specific task that they dislike so much.

I agree with you, I abhor minute too. I would not take a job like that. I want a job that I would look forward to going to. Why take a job you would be miserable with.

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