Call center jobs: Financially rewarding, Mentally and Emotionally straining?

@enigma13 (372)
Philippines
July 31, 2011 12:12pm CST
I have worked as a call center agent for almost 4 years now. I have to say that it is financially rewarding. However, I together with most of my colleagues, concluded that no matter how financially rewarding a call center job is, it still can't compensate for the mental and emotional stress that comes with the job. What are your insights?
2 people like this
7 responses
@tears08 (161)
31 Jul 11
i totally agree with you, i was working in call center for more than 3 years and yes you will have mental and emotional stress.. whats worst was that supervisors always look for your error only and never appreciate good things which you have done to them. when i was in call center i was like doing multi tasking, since the company was new, before launching our IVR (InterActive Voice Response) i was one of the members who had tested the functionality of this, the voice, grammar. Aside from that all the new product that we will soon launch i will test first the functionality on the 3 syatems that we have.even if it was my off i am working even when i am at home. sometimes my mind was just all jumbled, i am taking calls, later on they will call me for testing the product, after the testing is done i will go back taking calls.. but what did i get from this? hmmm Nothing.. haha.. but i am so happy now we had internal hiring from Finance department and my manager recommended me and luckily i passed the interview i was so happy when i got out from call center.. it was like i got out from prison..haha
@enigma13 (372)
• Philippines
31 Jul 11
Congratulations on the promotion! In a way, being promoted is the best way out so you can avoid the dreaded task of taking calls. Where are you from by the way? I am from the Philippines and BPO jobs are the "best option" for Filipinos who were not able to finish college or those who are looking for a high compensation. Talk about multi-tasking! I think I wouldn't last a month in your account. I always feel drained. And although I am receiving above-average compensation,I still feel it's not worth it. I wish I have a choice.
@tears08 (161)
31 Jul 11
thank you, i have been in that department for more than a year now, it is stressful sometimes but at least no more calls.. haha i am filipino like you :D when i was in philippines i never got the interest of working in cal center though i was doing night shift, i work in IT company as quality assurance personnel in makati. but i accompany my friend before in applying for a call center job in PLDt, it is one day hiring, salary and befits are good. even the facilty, they have their own internet and game room. but i did not pursue. they tried to call me several times i did not answer.. haha but when i got here in dubai, of course i should not be that so picky for choosing a job. i accepted this job, i was one of the pioneer as the company just started that time. at first it was ok, but then as time passed by im starting to lose my patience and started shouting/fighting with the customer as well.. (bad agent huh) hehe
@enigma13 (372)
• Philippines
1 Aug 11
how long have you been in dubai? did you go there as a tourist and then applied for a job or were you helped by an agency? i have plans of working abroad. this is the first time i heard that there are call centers in dubai as well... is the pay rewarding or is it just similar to the pay here in the philippines? best ofluck to you kabayan! i hope you will be successful there in dubai. when you become the operations manager there, give me a buzz and hire me... hehehehehehe...
• Philippines
3 Aug 11
Yes, enigma13, that is correct. Mental and emotional stress comes with the job. I am working in BPO industry for almost 5 years now, I started when I graduated college and if our country's economic status is as good as those in the first world, there are a lot of jobs available for us in which we can practice our profession. I mean, we can pursue on the field where we can use the degree that we earn in college, or maybe even more. A normal 8am-5pm jobs already has pressures that come along with it, what more if you work during the night plus all these pressures, and demands and expectation, what will happen to one working in call center, mentally, emotionally and physically? Our body, little do we know, reacts on this. So we aged faster compared to other people, mood changes, our immune system gets weak- we easily gets sick or acquire sickness we don't have before. You know, things like that. So since this job is financially rewarding. Invest on something that will help you become healthy and relaxed. Take vitamins, food supplements, enroll to gym, go out, have fun, take vacation leaves and travel once in a while etc. That is some of the rewards we can give ourselves to help us combat emotional, mental and physical stress. Good luck to all of us!
@enigma13 (372)
• Philippines
3 Aug 11
5 years?!?! did you stay with just one company? if so, you're an institution... hehe... i'm an undergraduate though.. i always ask my colleagues who are degree holders why they chose to be in a call center agent.. the answers are always the same.. we would rather work in a call center than practice our professions and receive minimum wage.. call centers are the easy way out for us filipinos but how long will this industry sustain us? (sigh) i wish we have better options...
• Philippines
10 Aug 11
I wish that too enigma. I wish there are better options for all of us here in the Philippines. Oh, I worked for 4 BPO's . I spent my first 2 years hopping and landed on 3 companies. And now, I calmed down with my 4th. I am staying at this call center company for 3 years now. Mainly because of proximity. Imagine, my house is just 20 minutes away from the office, so I don't have any issues traveling to and from, less hassle. I am a Specialist for Quality though, so I don't make calls anymore, I just evaluate calls and do more more more reports. But heck, I am still in a call center. There's not much of a difference.
• Philippines
11 Aug 11
I will not recommend you to work on my company but it is fairly well known around the country. I hate this company for not giving us a performance appraisal which is supposed to happen yearly but after 3 years we haven't felt anything. It just so happened that I can't give up the job because it's near to my house and I have a 6 year old son that I need to fix before going to school. It's just really convenient working near your house. But If I were you, I would go apply in HP located at McKinley Hills Taguig- it's proven that they give VERY good compensation and benefits. JP Morgan Chase in Taguig as well, they also have good compensation and benefits. Plus, these 2 BPO's are "in house" meaning to say you will work for the company itself and there is no mediator, like say, your company is Convergys and then your account is OnStar. In HP, you work to support their business laptops, and if you get in chase, you are working for a bank. in house BPO's are more stable compared to other BPO. Goodluck!
@KrauseHome (30030)
• United States
24 Aug 11
It is so True... there are days that you feel it might be rewarding, but then there are the times that it is totally emotionally and mentally straining and you feel like you need a break. When you constantly get customers who are never Happy and just wanting to complain and never want to work with you and be understanding it does make you wonder. You come home with headaches, and just feeling warn but knowing since you are doing a service hoping something good will come from it as well.
@enigma13 (372)
• Philippines
25 Aug 11
Krause, your response is an accurate description of how I feel. (sigh)
@ladym33 (11012)
• United States
20 Aug 11
Does that mean cold call sales or customer service? I did cold call sales for one day. I was terrible at it and hated it, and of course was let go for not selling anything all day. If you are talking about being in a customer service call center I could see how that would be difficult. Especially if you have to talk to crabby people all day long. When I call customer service I always try to be a friendly as possible, because I know what ever has gone wrong is not the fault of the person on the other end of the phone.
@enigma13 (372)
• Philippines
25 Aug 11
Hey ladym! Yes,I am referring to customer service. It can be really stressful because we get calls from a lot of irate customers. I wouldn't dare try cold calling. I know I will suck at it. =)
• Philippines
2 Aug 11
I haven't worked in a call center before, but I have a lot of friends who have and are working in one right now. I'd say some of them are happy with it, given the financial compensations and other benefits, but in terms of career and self achievement, I don't really know. I mean, in life, there are two things that several people define as goals for success: Finances, and Career. In a call center, those two doesn't always meet.
@enigma13 (372)
• Philippines
2 Aug 11
you are right... you can never have all the things you want... not in a call center at least... most of the call centers boast of their "career growth". i am happy with the compensation, yes. but with regard to the career growth, my answer is a big NO.
@SIMPLYD (67703)
• Philippines
9 Sep 11
I haven't worked in a call center, but some friends had told me that too. Specially, if you are assigned in a graveyard shift, you don't get to sleep properly and your social life becomes zero because at daytime, all you do is sleep. Then, there are numerous complaints to deal with and they would even cuss at you. Who wouldn't be drained if you have 3 of that in day?
@dredge (16)
9 Sep 11
you are definitely correct with this statement. BPOs are a much rewarding career but a most strenous one. after all, call centers are the 2nd most stressful job/s in the world based on recent studies. the first to be air traffic controllers. 9-10 hours of taking in calls, multi, even hyper tasking, working in graveyard shifts, drastic diversities. these would definitely take a toll on everyone. you do have to remember though, that these is a profession, and call center employees are professionals. i haven't tried working in one, but my company caters to couple of callcenters and I always see a lot of people come and go. ahh, the perks of living a call center life. adoptations is the name of the game i guess. best of luck.