If you think working in BPO is easy, think again.
A BPO job is easy.
This has been a misconception for a long time. Even some BPO workers initially looked at working for the sector as a fallback when all other career plans fail. BPO appeals to many as a place to earn a high salary, but not a place to develop professionally.
But as someone who makes a living out of writing about BPO, I know that working for the sector is everything but easy. Every day, I can see appointment setters and lead generation specialists fighting to produce results. Bookkeepers, web developers, and graphic designers strive to meet expectations. CSRs work hard to maintain composure and professionalism as they deal with irate customers. While I can’t say that it’s the toughest industry to be in, I can say that working in BPO will require a person to be tough. Quite frankly, if you are not ready for the following circumstances, don’t bother applying in BPO.
- If you don’t want a challenge. Filipinos from all walks of life seem to have a place in BPO. Fresh graduates, undergraduates, career-shifters – name it and the BPO sector has one or many of this kind. With the sector being a home of different personalities, BPO workers face the challenge to get along well with each other. There are also jobs in the sector such as lead generation that has an uncontrollable side, wherein doing every essential task does not guarantee results. If you are the type of person who gives up easily, working in BPO is not for you.
- If you don’t want to spend Christmas. Most BPO workers follow the holidays of their client’s country. Instead of spending the most important local holidays with loved ones, BPO workers spend it working in front of their computers. Instead of the soothing voice of their wives/husbands, it’s the requests of strangers that they deal with. Some BPO workers even have to make a tough choice between taking a leave off of work on Christmas or New Year.
- If you don’t want to work at night. Many businesses choose to outsource to have 24/7 operations for functions such as customer service and technical support. Some BPO workers need to work on a graveyard shift, branding themselves as “Mga bayaning puyat”. Workers for an American account are usually those that endure this schedule. While these are tough times, these are also where friendships and strong bonds are made, with phrases like “Kapit lang!” as the starting foundation.
- If you don’t want a high-paying job. Who doesn’t want a high salary? The BPO Industry offers a great salary package, alongside compelling benefits such as leave credits and a health card. Usually, foreign clients that want to start operations immediately gives a higher salary deal. Many returning OFWs who dream to earn high without leaving the Philippine borders are able to through BPO.
- If you don’t want to learn about other cultures. Upon entering a BPO company, you can see clocks set in different timezones hanging on walls. Workstations have maps of countries such as US, UK, and Australia. Dealing with foreign clients, BPO workers face the challenge to learn about their client’s culture. Call center agents even need to work on adopting the accent of the client’s country/state. Switching from an Australian to an American account, some BPO workers even get confused about which accent to use at times.
- If you don’t want to converse in English. While English is the primary language of the business sector, no Industry is stricter with the English Only Policy than the BPO Industry. Good English communication skill is one of the top skills that BPO companies look for in a candidate for obvious reasons.
Writing this piece, I initially wanted to change the above misconception of many people that a BPO job is easy. But as I’ve come down to writing this final paragraph, all I want is for BPO workers to take pride in what they do. Wear your jackets, jeans, shirts, and even shorts with honor because a BPO job is a decent job. While others can say their opinions about your job, it’s your opinion of it that matters the most.
BPO workers! We’d love to hear from you. For sure, you can think of other work challenges besides the ones feature in this blog. Let’s talk about them in the comments’ section below!