filingBy Rhonda Couchie
With the advent of computers, the business world envisioned a paperless society, but we have long buried that ancient dream under heaping masses of reports, memo’s and other office keepsakes that take up valuable writing space on your desk right now. You know the one I mean: The pile that is ever growing and the one that you don’t have the time or interest to tackle.

Filing is not for the faint of heart nor is it for the weak. For new hires, and summer students, a request to file by their supervisor may secretly be followed by an internal groan or thoughts of “don’t’ they know I earned my degree and now they have me doing this mindless, grunt work – I am worth more than that!”

Yes, sometimes this assignment can hurt feelings but to change this way of thinking and to tackle that mountain of paper you need to have a mind-set that is Zen with the paper gods to appreciate the task at hand and here’s why:


  • It’s hard to believe, but there is a learning aspect tied to filing where you will gain a better understanding about the program and services that your organization offers
  • You will become familiar with key individuals, and or vendors vital to the work you do
  • You will learn about your organization’s corporate history, and if you are a visionary, ways to shape its future
  • You will learn how to be better organized and create files suited for your own tasks be it alphabetical, numerical or electronic
  • You will learn about the work that has taken place to familiarize yourself with your current project
  • Files can help you find contact or key information that you need today
  • Files will help you understand the inner workings, processes and mechanics of the organization
  • You will take this skill, experience and knowledge with you as grow in your career
  • You even may come up with ideas to improve systems and ways to save finances as a result of review
  • And finally, you will be able to answer the dreaded interview question, “Please tell us what you know about filing systems.”

So when this task comes along, welcome it because it is a chance to be in the know, to teach you something valuable and it just may shape your future.