Not Your Mama’s Business Start-Up

Start Your Own Secretarial Services BusinessHow to Start Your Own Secretarial Services Business at Home

Submitter: This book was found by an intrepid library assistant.  She gave it to the selector with a note stating “This is very, very old”.  Copyright is 1980, but it has circulated a couple of times in the past few years.

Holly: This is Mary’s hot button.  I bet her head turned 360° when she saw this one!  Career and business start-up books are so important in public libraries.  In many areas of the country, unemployment is still at an all-time high.  People are absolutely desperate for a way to make a living.  This book is downright dangerous to have on public library shelves!

  1. I work at home as a call center agent…it is tough to find these jobs if you do not know where to look. This book was useful back in the day, no doubt.

  2. A typewriter and some Liquid Paper and you were all set. Those were the days. Actually the cover picture was dated soon after it was published. Viable home computers and daisy-wheel printers were on the market in the early 80s – I had a Kaypro in 1983. Never tried to earn a living with it, though.

  3. Whenever I see books like this, I inevitably thing of Jean (Judi Densch) in “As Time Goes By.” I’m sure this is how she started her business!

  4. Secretarian? That a cross between Secretarial and Sectarian? Anyway, are you sure this book came fr0m 1980? It looks more like 1970 or even 1965. Wow, I think my dad had that exact model of typewriter back in the day.

  5. Just as a heads-up, since many librarians read this, and they like to hire librarians, I have worked at home for the Butler Hill Group for nearly three years to supplement my part-time library job. It’s a fairly strict schedule and requires 20 hours a week, but it’s been a lifesaver for my family for the past few years. If you’re interested, check out and look under “Join Us.”

  6. What’s almost as scary as the subject is the graphic design of the cover, mixing script font with sans serif. 😮 It’s as if even by 1980 they hadn’t heard of Helvetica!

  7. *Hugs Michael A* Yes, and the color combination is so awful. Also, putting the entire tagline in small font on the ‘page’ coming out of the typewrite just for the sake of a novelty graphic doesn’t make the overall cover aspect look good. You can’t really read the tagline comfortably. Anyway, this amuses me. Me mum still had a typewriter until I was about six years old (1995). Then finally, computers. NOW I’m looking for clerical/secretarial jobs and it’s all MS Office and typing speed and knowledge of OS…

  8. How do you work as a secretary from home?

    Do people call you to make appointments with your boss and then you fax him his schedule? Do they put the meeting on speakerphone so you can take dictation?

    My head hurts.

      1. Cost effective!

        I think I’d do the mail, because even in 1980, I think gas cost more than a stamp.

        Well, today they could fax over their scribblings or even scan them and send it as an attachment… but if they could do that, they could also type it!

  9. Seems like it would hurt quite a lot to turn your head 360º like Linda Blair in The Exorcist.

  10. If you do secretarial work at home, how are you going to meet the girls at the automat for lunch?

  11. I worked in the printing industry in the seventies doing design and pasteup. Lord, how I and my friends hated Optima (the font “Secretarial Services” is in). It was everywhere. You couldn’t escape it. Clients demanded it. It was the Comic Sans of its day (although much more restrained). To bend over backwards and be fair, it may have been a bit of a corporate rebellion against some of the more flowery typography that was popular at the time, but it always looked soulless and ugly to me. It struck me as an example of the same mindset that changed “Esso” to “Exxon;” corporate types just love those hard-edged x’s.

    As for the mixed serif and sans-serif fonts, the cover page screams either (a) self-published, or (b) the kind of client who comes in and knows what he wants and refuses to take advice from the person who, you know, actually knows what he is doing. The customer may always be right, but the client is often dead wrong, to his own disadvantage.

  12. OOOH an IBM Correcting Selectric. I remember I was a clerk at the telephone company and I had pass a typing test. I passed and I had my very own Correction Selectric. We all thought it was the future! I used to go into another room to send and receive info on a Teletype 33.