Career Story: Secretary At A Funeral Home

Secretary At A Funeral Home

Job Title: Secretary

Type of Company: I work for a family funeral home in Connecticut.

Education: BS, Communication, Eastern Connecticut State University

Previous Experience: I worked at a newspaper editing the obituary page and also in the classified sales department working on classified ads. Currently I work for a funeral home in the office doing a little bit of everything: phones, death certificates, paper work, register books and greeting families who are bringing items into the funeral home.

Job Tasks: A typical day for me would be to arrive and answer all phone calls that come in so that a grieving family is able to speak with a live person and not get a machine, and to help them in any way they need. I make sure death certificates are typed in a timely manner so that they can be filed with the state. I also complete register books, prayer cards and bookmarks that a family requests to accompany the service. I assist the funeral director in many ways by submitting obituaries, making phone calls to get information for a family, and greeting families as they arrive. My day can be quite hectic or very quiet. You just never know what kind of a day it will be and need to be ready for anything. I also assist in typical office duties like printing employee timecards and tallying the previous week's.

Best and Worst Parts of the Job: The best part of my day is helping to make a very difficult situation a little bit easier for a family. This may not be done directly so much as behind the scenes. The worst part of my day is hearing of a family going through an unspeakable loss. There are many ups and downs to my day and it can be very emotional. I do my best to be as professional and try to be as helpful as I can to make what they are going through a little less painful.

Job Tips: Take courses that you are truly interested in. Your job will be much more enjoyable if you love what you do. Classes in communications will help you in any direction you go and are valuable for most careers. Build your resume as much as you can; volunteer experiences are priceless and great on a resume. I would strongly recommend public speaking courses. They helped me handle many business situations.

Additional Thoughts: What surprised me most about my career was how good it feels to help others. My career is looked upon as a sad one but working in this field you realize how much your service is needed. Everyone will need your assistance at one point in their life or another.

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