Are you aiming to work as a call center agent?
Let us face it, working as a call center agent in a BPO company has an inferior reputation in the Philippine setting and it’s not a job that one should be proud of. According to some, it’s easy and you are actually a punching bag for the complaints of the people who use the company’s services. I had a lot of friends who tried working as a call center agent and most of them did not last. Their reasons are because they are unhappy with their job or they just thought there are better opportunities out there.
According to this article, Working in a BPO: The real deal, it stated that working in a BPO or in a call center is the most underrated job and individuals always have the idea that there is no future in answering calls.
The article wanted to change the stereotype of the public about the working for the call center and mastering the English language is not the only essential skill one must possess in order to be successful in this job. Here is the reality of working in the said industry.
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- A Flexible Body Clock
Most of us have that time of the day when our body feels like it really needs to sleep. Working for a BPO company means one should be flexible since shifting schedules is what it demands. The author said that 10% of employees who worked in other industries and tried to work in a BPO quit within the first six months because of not being able to adapt to the changing timelines. Sleeping during the day can become a challenge and they could get sick by being unable to adjust in changing work hours.
Difficult and Competent Training
Unrealistic as it may seem to other people but BPO training is not an easy test and is one of the most difficult training. Aside from a good grammar and an understandable accent, one is required to learn the 51 states in the US if you’re supporting a US client, which includes learning their names, abbreviations, location and time zones. Learning your client’s culture is also a requirement in order to be courteous and avoid any ill-mannered expressions.
Call center agents are made up of different people from different field of study and this is due to the lack of talent pool. The BPO industry in the Philippines is one of the fastest growing sector of business and employees are badly needed. For example, in technical troubleshooting, a person who finished a different degree that’s far from what is needed may not be as knowledgeable as others and would need to study more.
Stress Build up
Customers call because they have a problem and dealing with different people with different attitude in a mediated communication can stress you out especially when they are in a very negative mood. Breaks every 3 hours are only 15 minutes and working late at night on a 20 to 30 story building means you barely have the time to find yourself some good food and most call center agents use their time for smoking.
As individuals who have our different opinions on various subjects, we may label being call centers agents a lousy career path but let us not forget that the BPO industry does not only give a reasonable percentage in the country’s GDP but also produce a lot of jobs to the people hindering them from going abroad just to find a job with a reasonable pay.