When I was a child, I was often asked what job I wanted to have when I grew up. I would always go for the fancy ones, like a pilot or a doctor, but since I wasn’t born with a silver spoon, I knew my dreams would have to wait. I had to ask myself, “If I have to make a living first, how do I do it?” At the time, all I knew was that I would gladly take any jobs that would allow me to live the life I know I deserve. That’s when the BPO (Business Process Outsourcing) industry was introduced to me and I knew that was going to be my path.
I first heard of the term “call center” when I was in high school and it sounded intimidating. Just imagine it. Talking to a stranger who’s most likely overseas, in a foreign language, for hours on end. Additionally, you’re asked to be bombarded with calls, forced to work overtime, attend night shifts, rotate days off, work on holidays, etc. What I found though was that it is not all grim. Working at a BPO company actually does have its benefits. For example: a competitive salary, nice perks (especially if you are in sales), and plenty of opportunities for growth (especially in the Philippines, where BPO is a leading industry). Even in the midst of a pandemic, BPO is thriving.
How It Started
For the record, speaking the English language was not my strong suit. I didn’t speak the language growing up and no one in my family speaks it well. In the beginning, I had trouble translating my thoughts in English, but look at me now, I’m writing an article and sharing my story in English. I digress. My point is you don’t have to be an expert in the language to start. Right after graduating from college, I went to Manila with no call center experience and got my first BPO job as an outbound sales agent for a UK based telecom company. It was obviously nerve-wracking, but I found that it was ultimately fulfilling. I remember being so happy getting my paycheck, it was way more than what I was earning working as a fast food service employee. After a decade in the industry of regularly funneling money into a savings account, I got to a point where I was able to pay family debts, help relatives in need, fix our old house, and even buy a new one (which I’m still paying for). I even got health insurance for my loved ones. The choice of diving head first into this industry was indeed life-changing. It feels as if I found my path.
Not only is the pay good, but working in the BPO industry has also taught me valuable life lessons like learning how to hone my communication skills, learning how to build on my knowledge in the space and teaching me how to be more patient and empathetic. I’ve learned it’s a profession that requires a tremendous amount of patience because you don’t have any right to get angry at your customers. Ever. It helped me control my emotions and not to take all things personally. I became more sociable and built relationships with people from all walks of life. For a time, they became my family. Now, SupportNinja is my family and I’m thankful to be part of it.
Where I Am Now
The truth is, not all BPO companies are the same and I’m speaking from experience. Although I haven’t worked in all of them, I remember feeling tired just by the thought of all the calls waiting for me at my previous BPO - it was toxic. Fortunately, that chapter is over and I’m grateful that I now work for a company that prioritizes its employees' well-being and is aligned with my values. We have work-life balance and the encouragement to grow. I don’t see myself working somewhere else. I found a home and I plan to stay here for as long as they’ll have me.
One of our core values that I love is #NoBS, so if you think this is another pitch to sell a company, see for yourself. Working in a BPO may not be everyone's dream job, but it is a profession that has changed lives. I’ve met people who I truly care about and who truly care about me.I've learned lessons that I’ll apply in my life forever. BPO has given me and my family a decent life, and for that I will always be grateful.
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