Despite the myths you might hear about call centre jobs, not every role is a minimum wage dead end that offers no rewards or prospects. Far from it. As ever with myths, the reality falls rather far from the falsehoods. Call centre jobs are surprisingly diverse and, even more surprisingly, they can offer considerable career growth.
Illusions about call centre jobs being hopeless career options take root with the plain truth that it can be difficult to get ahead in contact centres. According to the latest surveys, there are 5,675 call centres in the UK which together employ some 1,125,000 people. This means that a substantial 3.99% of all UK workers are now employed within call centres – making competition for top jobs tough.
Then, of course, you have to add wage gaps to the equation. The vast majority of call centre jobs are at entry level, with a national salary average of £15,458. Compare this, say, to a team leader who averages a wage of £20,687, an inbound supervisor who can expect £26,250, a call centre manager who can command an average of £38,975 and an operations director who can pull in £55,243. Those rarer, significantly better paid roles can seem a long way away when you’re stalled at entry level.
With this in mind, it’s understandable how the myths about call centre jobs were formed, but it’s time to bust them. In 5 simple steps, here’s how you can ignore the myths, take your career up a gear and climb your way through the call centre ranks.
1. It’s simple: be reliable
It’s no secret that call centre jobs have a high staff turnover. In an environment where employees both start and leave in high volumes, reliable employees stand out from the crowd. It really is as easy as showing up on time day in, day out, offering consistently high standards of work, not pulling sickies, working overtime if asked to, unfailingly presenting yourself well…you get the picture here.
Many call centre workers don’t really want to be there, and as such prove to be untrustworthy and unpredictable employees. If, on the other hand, you build a reputation for yourself as a dependable hard worker, you’ll win recognition which will grow into real career rewards.
2. Learn your scripts
Again, it’s the simple steps that do the trick. Anyone who’s ever worked in a call centre knows that the script is all-important to your success. Forget it even once and you can generally forget your bonus for the month.
It’s not all about bonuses, though, as knowing your script inside out means that you’re always handling your calls according to company policies and procedures. In an industry which is heavily focused on performance, following the guidelines in place for assisting customers is essential to getting ahead. You’ll work better, you’ll impress more people on more occasions and you’ll inevitably get access to more opportunities – simply from learning your scripts.
3. Show the right attitude
If you don’t want to work in a call centre, don’t assume that you’re the only person who knows about it. Your colleagues will be able to tell, your boss will be able to tell and your callers will be able to tell. Seriously, disengagement is never as subtle as you think.
In a similar vein, if you come in to work each day showing drive and dedication, it’s going to show. When hiring managers are looking to promote internally, they’ll pick the candidate who’s positive and ambitious every single time. If you want to stand out from the competition in a call centre, simply keep a competitive attitude.
4. Hit your targets
Call centre jobs are all about targets, targets, targets. Hitting targets is one of the most important things to your organisation, and something that will win you a quick rise through the company. As well as the fact that achieving your targets makes you eligible for benefits and bonuses, it also boosts your personal brand.
In a busy call centre, consistent high-achievers stand out. With comparatively few jobs at a senior level, you have to win your way to the top by proving that you can perform.
5. Take initiative
By far the easiest way to get a promotion is to ask for one. Show your boss that you’re looking for leadership within your career by showing interest in job openings and any training and development opportunities. Ask to be mentored and request increased responsibilities. Talk to your supervisor about potential career steps.
That kind of drive can be hard to find in a call centre and is will undoubtedly put you in the spotlight for promotion. Remember, this is your career: take the bull by the horns and step up.
Call centre jobs are not as predestined as they’re painted. Working in a call centre doesn’t mean that you’re trapped at one career level for the rest of your working life. Provided that you have the committed work ethic required, call centre jobs can take you as far as you are prepared to climb.