Before applying for my first contact center role, I remember thinking “Do I really want to listen to Americans complain about their cell phone bills all day?” The honest answer was “no.” However, little did I realize that job would provide the foundation to launch my career and help me hone the communication skills that would prove invaluable in every subsequent role.
Let me step back for a moment. After graduating with a BA in International Relations and an MA in 20th Century Military History I experienced the struggles of trying to find professional employment with two degrees and random summer job experience on my resume. For 3 years I worked survival jobs while applying for professional roles, patiently waiting for an interview call and never hearing back. It was hard mentally believing I had a lot of potential but not getting an opportunity to show it.
What initially drew me to the contact center industry was the potential opportunities for internal promotion. I hoped to be able to gain the professional experience to bulk up my resume and make myself more marketable.
With my Masters degree in hand, I took a role as a frontline agent and spent a year taking phone calls. Every time the phone beeped, I had to be prepared to adjust my approach instantly…on one call I may have an attorney in Manhattan threatening to sue me, on the next call I may have a grandmother from Texas wondering why her bill was ten cents higher last month. Learning how to have successful interactions with different personality types has proved to be one of the most valuable skills I’ve ever developed.
In the next 5 years, I would be fortunate enough to be promoted to Trainer, Sales Manager, and Operations Manager. I gained a lot of professional experience to enhance my resume and make myself more marketable to future employers.
Looking back, I wonder what would have happened had I not gone into the contact center industry. How many more years would I have spent applying for jobs endlessly hoping for someone to give me an opportunity? I’m glad I found an industry that was so willing to hire recent grads and give them the chance to develop their skills.
If you have experienced some of the same challenges or my story has resonated, take a look into the scope of roles available in the industry. It helped me build my career, there’s no reason it can’t do the same for you.