The ramblings of a self-proclaimed call center veteran - on surviving the Philippine Call Center industry.

Sunday, August 04, 2013

TIPS ON – FINDING THE RIGHT CALL CENTER




Need a job asap?  Then the Call Center industry is your answer!

Pinoys apply in call centers due to the following reasons:


- Open to undergraduates

- Higher compensation
- No age limit
- No gender restrictions
- High workforce demand
 
Source: Kwentuhan sa Pantry

Sadly, some of my call center friends always have this story to tell about that "so-called call center" that was a nightmare -- such as:  the call center with weekly salary disputes; call centers with sexually immoral managers and people; call centers who do not pay taxes; call centers who treat employees like dirt…etc.etc.   

So to spare yourself from trauma, here are some tips to consider before you send in those resumes.


1) Check the Reputation


Go to PinoyExchange.com and go to their call center thread -  which has multiple forums for every call center.

Read the opinions and the general comments of the people who currently work in that company.  You’ll gain a lot of insight in regard to the pros and cons that your target call center has to offer.  
But do exercise common sense when reading online content.  Be wary of the occasional basher who just needs to air up negative complaints wherever and whenever.  Try to read through the whole forums as well as the latest posts to see if the positive outweighs the negative.

2) Ask to be referred

Safest way to screen a call center’s reputations is to know someone working there, or who used to work there.  Tell your friends your intention of finding work in a call center and chances are that someone knows somebody who can refer you. 


3) Use the power of Social Networking Sites

Login to your Facebook / Twitter account, then update your status to :  


“Is _____  a good call center?  Can someone give me details please?”


Give it a week and someone is sure to respond, or at least direct you to someone who can answer.  


Pero kung wala kang friends sa Facebook…edi cyempre, wala ding sasagot sayo…


4) Google


Again, the smartest entity I know.


Research about the company you would like to apply for and use the news section of Google to gain more insight on your target call center’s reputation.



Any other tips come to mind?



Tuesday, March 26, 2013

TIPS ON - CALL CENTERS & COLLEGE DEGREE'S



I have written in my previous posts on how one should aim to get a college degree while working in a call center.  I also mentioned that there were several call center companies that help undergraduate Filipinos get a shot at education.

Please see: TIPS ON - GETTING A COLLEGE DEGREE WHILE BEING A CALL CENTER AGENT


A friend of mine who works at Telus recently told me how his company implemented a “study while you work program”.  Call center agents can sign up for 4 year courses that they take within Telus itself.  The classes take 3-4 hours a day and will be conducted before or after their shifts.  The tuition is partly subsidized by Telus, and is payable through Salary deduction. 

The end result = an actual college diploma.

I was a bit touched as I listened to this story – it is not the responsibility of any company to encourage employees to get an education, and Telus goes way beyond the extra mile to help hundreds of Filipino’s get a shot at college.  I had to work very hard to get my degree when I enrolled at a distance education class, and I would have grabbed an opportunity like this.

So I strongly encourage those Pinoy undergraduates – do not give up your dream!  Getting a college degree is something attainable if you work hard and plan properly.  We have done it, and so can you.

Like Telus, there are lots of pretty decent call centers out there that really take time to invest in their employees.  Think long-term and do not just work for the sake of salary - no matter how you desperately need the money.  The small sacrifices and decisions you make today will always affect your future.

I am not, nor am I planning to be affiliated with Telus in any way, so please do not misunderstand when I say:

Whoever you people are in Telus who came up with this educational thing – thank you, and may this world have more people like you!

Please see these links as well:
TELUS International Philippines gives team members access to academic opportunities

STI Partners with TELUS for Continuing Education 

Friday, March 01, 2013

TIPS ON - USING UPWORK FOR EXTRA INCOME


TIPS ON - EARNING EXTRA INCOME

http://www.callcentersurvivalph.com/2011/10/tips-on-getting-extra-income.html

TIPS ON - SAVING MONEY AS AN AGENT

http://www.callcentersurvivalph.com/2011/06/tips-on-saving-money-as-agent.html

The posts above are my tips on getting extra cash as a call center agent.  


This post  my actual experience in using oDesk to earn extra money.

UPDATE:  oDESK is now Upwork.  Check out their site here: Upwork




oDesk (now Upwork) is a company acting as a global job marketplace and a series of tools targeted at businesses that intend to hire and manage remote workers. - wikipedia

Sa tagalog at sa mas maka-masang termino - ang oDesk e parang Facebook pero trabaho ang pinaguusapan.  Mag hahanap ka ng tao na me gusto ipagawa sayo, tapos babayran ka nila sa serbisyong nabigay mo -- lahat nito e sa internet nagaganap.


A current colleague of mine told me how oDesk helps her get a little extra money every month.  My curiosity got the better of me, so I then tried to try oDesk.  The end result was, I got 3k in a month with minimal effort.


The skills needed for oDesk like English proficiency, familiarity with MS office, and knowledge of the web, is already strengthened by the call center environment.  This makes oDesk an ideal sideline for us call center reps.


So how was my actual experience?


I signed up for oDesk and created an account -- I just Googled oDesk and followed the instructions.


I then created a PayPal account - just login to Paypal and follow the instructions.  I used the personal account and was asked for a legitimate credit card to pay the Paypal processing fee – it’s like a test charge - I think is was 500 Pesos (you get this back after a while).  I also needed to link my own Bank (Metrobank ATM Savings) to PayPal.


I then went back to oDesk and created a profile for myself.  This is like an online resume.


I then put in my asking price of $2.00.


Then I proceeded to see the list of jobs that were easy to do.


oDesk has literally thousands of jobs to choose from - from cutting and pasting excel values, to writing articles.  There are job filters called "categories of interest"that you select.  Jobs will return based on the categories.


I chose the filters below and applied for several jobs that appeared.

  • Blog & Article Writing
  • Creative Writing
  • Data Entry
  • Web Research

After 48 hours, I received an email that an employer would like to have an interview with me, and the employer gave his Yahoo Messenger.

My interview was just a simple chat session using YM.  The employer needed 5 articles to be written for random topics that he would give.  Each article would have 450 words, and he would pay me $2.50 for each article.  


I had 1 week to finish all 5 articles.


He then asked if I could do this and I agreed.


The employer then asked me for some sample articles first before we sealed the deal.  I emailed him some written work and after a few hours, I saw that he had hired me on oDesk with and emailed me with the article topics as well as instructions.


The employer emailed me everyday and checked on my progress.  I honestly reported to him everything I was doing.


I managed to finish the articles in 5 days, spending about 1.5 hours for each article.  I was immediately credited $12.50 upon submission.


I looked for more jobs, and the money I had on oDesk slowly accumulated.  I then used oDesk itself to transfer the funds to my PayPal account.  I then used PayPal to send to money to my Metrobank account.


In a month, I made 3,500k Php -  I only used up 1 hour of my time day sitting in front of my computer.  It may not be a big amount, but considering that I just use that time for Facebook, this was something worthwhile.


Conclusion:


oDesk is real and it works.  If you are really serious in getting some extra income, then this one should definitely be one of your top options.  All you need is a computer and some dedication and you really will make money with this.


This blog article just aims to share my experience to encourage my fellow agents that oDesk is a realistic way to earn extra income.  Try to study and learn more about it, there are so many how-to's from fellow Filipinos that give detailed instructions with the whole oDesk process.


For more details on oDesk, please see these links from our fellow Pinoy Bloggers.


Odesk Philippines – learn about one of the biggest Freelancing sites for Filipinos

http://akosimalds.com/odesk-philippines-freelancing-site-filipinos/


oDesk Review and Tips

http://reahguevarra.com/odesk-review-and-tips/








 

Friday, February 15, 2013

TIPS ON - DIETING FOR A CALL CENTER AGENT



Diet (nutrition), the sum of the food consumed by an organism or group
Dieting, the deliberate selection of food to control body weight or nutrient intake
Diet food, foods that aid in dieting

Wikipedia defines a diet with the statements above, but for a typical call center agent, we define diet to be nothing more than a way to fit in our pants.  

Most Pinoy agents I know are fat, obese, or unhealthy, and this is expected from a job where you sit 8 hours a day in front of the computer.  To keep awake and the mind active during those wee hours of the night, one needs to eat sweets and drink coffee.  Most work shifts also change, so your dinner time today can become your breakfast time by next month - this confuses your body and you end up craving for food when its time to go to sleep.  

So I've collated some ideas that can help us agents eat right.  Again, I am not a doctor nor a grocer so these tips do not have a nutritional standpoint.  Every sane human already knows that vegetables are good, and we should snack on fruits etc. etc. blah. blah...  

These tips are from personal experiences and from workmates.  Some tips are just plain common sense, some may seem silly, but still, these worked for me.

1)  Note what you Eat

I get a notebook and write down what I have eaten for breakfast, lunch and dinner.  That way I can monitor if I have been eating meat a lot lately and if I should balance it out with some veggies.

Pati kinder alam na ang puro karne e masama sa katawan.  Bukod sa maari ka ma-constipate, madami pa itong negatibong epekto pag sobra .  Masarap nga ang Karne, pero di masarap ang kanser.  

Ano ang masama sa pag kain ng gulay paminsan-minsan?  

2)  Not always Fried  

I love fried foods myself, but fried food will introduce a lot of oil in your bodies.  Juggle  the type of foods that you dine on, from fried, to boiled, to steamed, to raw.   A little variety can go a long way in helping our bodies. 

3)  Do not make sweet drinks a habit

Even if there's bottomless juices, free vendo machines, and cheap soda fountains in your office - try not to form a sweet drink habit.  Limit your coffee and sweets to one to two cups a day and drink plenty of water to compensate. 

Pag nagka diabetes ka, mas di mo na maeenjoy ang kahit anong matamis...

4)  Do not skip meals

Skipping meals is just plain unhealthy, you will just crave for more food to compensate for the meal you missed.  You can also develop hyper-acidity and ulcers.  It's true that there are times you have to skip meals because of work, but do not do it deliberately to get thin - that's not the proper way to lose weight.

5)  Eat right for the Right Reasons

I have met so many people who watch what they eat because they want to look good.  They go on fad diets and they do lose a bit of weight, but after a while, they regain every kilo back two-fold.  

Dieting is eating right to keep healthy.  Do not deprive yourself.  

6)  Bring packed lunches

Fastfood's are silent killers filled with transfat and msg.  Nothing beats food you cooked and prepared at home.  

Tipid ka pa sa gastos. 

7)  Watch the invites

Unless you are a loner or a weirdo you will make office friends, and friends in call centers equate to eating out a lot.  Try not to join in their lunch outs if you feel that you've been eating a lot of junk lately.  

Pwede ding wag ka makipag-friends kahit kanino, pero ang sad nun...

Can you suggest other dieting tips?