1950s Secretaries: 11 Rules Women Were Forced To Follow At The Office

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When women began entering the workforce following World War II, there were limited career options available to them.

Personally, I’m thankful to those who fought past the difficult transition outside of household duties. I know I wouldn’t be where I am today without the women waltzed into their offices before me.

For the most part, though, ladies of the past were confined to clerical positions in an office. That isn’t to say their work was easy — on the contrary, they often had to work twice as hard to help their boss look good while they got paid significantly less. Taking a glimpse at a few of the documents supplied to women training for the task sheds plenty of light on how put-upon secretaries really were back in the 1950s, which makes their perseverance all the more admirable.

See some of the more demanding requirements for administrative assistants below, and be sure to let us know if we missed any other strange rules women were meant to follow while at the office.

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[H/T: The National Archives 1, 2, 3]

1. Smile Readily And Naturally 1/11

As the go-to gal for her boss, a secretary was expected to pretty much always be in a chipper mood, even when dealing with a difficult challenge.

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