I have been thinking about this post for a few days and I was torn in actually making one or just let the haters hate. But then as a BPO Professional for over 15 years, it just makes me roll my eyes when people just love to bash BPO employees like every single one of the 1 Million people working for the industry (Yup, 1 Million folks!) committed a crime.
So, I read several blog posts about this topic and even articles published in posh magazines and have gathered a few that I think are the reasons why BPO professionals are hated.
1. BPO Professionals earn 2-3 times the regular pay of a 9:00 to 5:00 job
While I can say that there is some truth to this. I'd like to further qualify by saying that there is a reason why this is the case. Majority of the BPO Professionals are servicing voice accounts.
This means that their job is to talk to customers in the US regarding issues and complaints. While this may sound easy, this work actually is quite the opposite.
When I started my career way back, I was an agent for travel account and I tell you, I dreaded coming to work at one point because of the calls I will be getting from super irate customers.
At that time, airlines were declaring bankruptcy and literally every single one who bought a ticket from these airlines are calling us non stop to ask for refund, re-booking and just complain.
This is not easy. In fact, it gave me nightmares for days because of the words that the customers said to me and sometimes it just gets to you. It takes a lot of courage, moving on and tough character to stay calm when you're getting yelled at even if it's in English.
I say this because some people think that getting yelled at in English is much better because it doesn't sting as much. But I tell you, there is no difference.
It's the same feeling. It feels like shit.
Worst, having to communicate the bad news that (gulp) the ticket they bought is non refundable and can’t be rebooked. Being fresh out of college, I was ready to quit and find a less stressful job.
But I'm glad I stayed. I persevered.
So, when you're about the bash the call center agent about his/her salary for not being commensurate to the job that they do, stop yourself. Because chances are, they have worked harder to earn that daily rate than the average employee out there and they deserve every single Peso!
I once heard this in an elevator conversation, " Ano bang mahirap sa pagsagot ng telepono?" . Clearly this person has not worked the phones for even a day in her life.
The salary may be 2-3 times over than the regular pay of an employee who works 9:00 to 5:00 but it's because the skill set that are needed to do the job is more demanding than an average employee.
2. You don't need a college degree to work in a BPO.
I believe this is coming from a mentally that the only way to be successful is to have a college degree. We, Filipinos sadly tend to get caught up in credentials sometimes, that we don't take into account that there are a lot of ways to be successful in a career and that having a college degree does not equal better careers in the future.
What I love about the BPO industry is that it's truly equal opportunity. I have worked with a some colleagues in managerial positions that are an absolute delight to work with and they did not graduate from college.
I have also worked with several managers wherein they have all the "right" credentials they can get - MBA, COPC, Six Sigma Black Belt - you name it! But nobody really wants to work with them and sometimes, they can't even get promoted.
So I get it that some people hate on BPO employees because some have not graduated and are earning twice than an average Filipino worker. But know that while some do not graduate, they have worked hard and sometimes much harder than a person who graduated college.
The BPO does accept high school graduates in some programs and rather than be smug about it, let's support these folks in their quest to have a better life for themselves - with or without a diploma. Because at the end of the day, it really doesn't matter if you graduated in college or not in this industry.
Your success will be determined by your effort, dedication and commitment. And that does not need a college diploma.
3. You waste your talent/diploma when you work in the BPO as it is not truly a profession. It's a fly by night career.
The BPO industry has been in the Philippines since late 80s. This is over 30 years and it just keeps getting bigger and bigger. The BPO is not going anywhere. It is evolving just like any industry. But it's definitely not a fly by night career.
I know of a lot of Managers and Directors in the BPO who have flourished in this industry and it took years of hard work to get to where they are at right now.
I am also a living testament to this because I started out as an agent and then fast forward 15 years later, I'm where I am right now. And I'm proud of it.
I wouldn't say that it's being in the BPO is a waste because it has allowed me and countless others to make our lives better and make more for ourselves. If it was a fly by night then there shouldn't be 1 Million Filipinos working in this industry to begin with.So for the haters out there, keep hatin! The BPO industry is here to stay and I suggest that you show some LOVE! We all want a better life and this is our choice. So support us and better yet, join us!