Wednesday, May 23, 2012

What I Don't Like About My Job

We were listening to the radio on the way home and the topic of discussion was what you like and don't like about your job. Listeners were invited to call in and one particular caller was voicing what she didn't like about her job as an assistant company secretary - the misconception of the job scope. And I was like "Amen!"
I have thought about this a lot and have found that my primary grouse about my job is actually the job title itself - Company Secretary. I know it is a superficial matter but it really vexes me when 9 out of 10 people think I am a personal assistant to someone. Honestly, I think I would make a really lousy PA (if ever I was one) - I stink at serving people. Period.

And the funny thing is, even after explaining what I do, people still think I am a PA (this includes family members). I have actually come to a point where I just agree with whatever people think I do - just to save myself from explaining and explaining over and over again (and running the risk of sounding defensive - which I am!). Explanation is on a request basis only.

I'll admit that right until after my STPM, I hadn't a clue that there were such jobs as company secretaries and that EVERY company incorporated has to have at least one company secretary at all times. Otherwise, my dear friend, you would be in contravention of Section 139 of the Companies Act, 1965. (The office of the company secretary must not be vacant for more than a month)

So far, the only people who actually know what company secretaries do are lawyers, auditors, accountants and directors. The rest? *shakes head* Even some people with their own company do not know what company secretaries do!?! Those people - no comment. Hmm... (ok to be fair, I know of at least 1 engineer who knows what a company secretary does...)

So, what do I actually do? A large part of my daily tasks include minutes writing, drafting circular resolutions and board papers for the Board of Directors and any Board Committees, scheduling and coordinating Board and Board Committee meetings, upholding best practices in corporate governance and statutory compliance, ensuring the company's statutory records, registers and minutes books are in order and timely statutory filings with the Companies Commission of Malaysia - including the Annual Return. Basically any significant dealings with the Board of Directors will have to go through our division, as the company secretary is liable if any non-conformance occurs. In my company, we work closely with the Legal team and are the primary provider of information on decisions made by the Board/Board Committees to the other divisions.

For other companies, the job scope may include organising physical AGM/EGM for the shareholders, compliance with the Bursa Listing Requirements (for public listed companies) and handling the Employee Share Option Scheme (ESOS), among other tasks.

So there you go. If you want to know more, go Google. I am, myself, still learning the ropes of this profession. Another 5 more years to go to becoming a licensed company secretary.

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