3 Reasons To Start Your Career In A Call Centre

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Here at TalentEgg, we love exploring and sometimes mythbusting jobs and industries that may not always be on the top of students’ dream job lists.

We’ve already done it with retail, mining, petroleum and student painting franchise managers, to name a few.

Call centres can also be contentious among students and recent grads.

Many of us have seen our peers work in call centres during school to make some extra cash, but the work probably didn’t figure much into their career paths.

“For your resumé alone, having worked with a major financial institution will be viewed favourably by recruiters.” —Erin Miller, image consultant, freelance recruiter, and former recruiter with BMO Financial Group and Deloitte

However, call centre roles – if approached strategically – can help students and recent grads launch careers in the industry of their choice, such as sales or finance and banking, by:

  • Obtaining experience and training that can be transferred to nearly any career
  • Taking advantage of most large organizations’ tendency to “promote from within”
  • Getting the name of an industry leader on your resumé

Get transferable experience and training by working in a call centre

Although students and recent grads tend to put their noses up to the idea of working in a call centre, the truth is that call centres are an integral part of so many companies. Call centre employees are often the most important point of contact between a company and its customers.

Most reputable employers offer paid training to help you become an expert on their products and services, as well as adept at solving their customers’ problems, says Erin Miller, an image consultant and freelance recruiter who was a recruiter with some of Canada’s top employers, including BMO Financial Group and Deloitte, for a decade.

“Client service is imperative to any career and an opportunity to work in a call centre environment gives specific training and experience in dealing with customers one-on-one.”

Through this experience, Miller says, students and recent grads will learn:

  • how to deal with difficult or irate clients
  • how to solve problems
  • how to juggle multiple priorities in fast paced environment
  • how to up-sell or cross-sell products to customers

“All of these experiences are transferable to just about any career,” says Miller.

Think of a call centre as one of the bottom rungs on a corporate ladder, and use it to work your way up

If you’re like most students and recent grads, you’re probably thinking, “Sure, but once I’m trained, I’m stuck in a dead-end job,” right?

Not even close.

“You never know where these opportunities could lead. These organizations often promote from within before going to the external market.”

Miller says that many companies with call centre divisions, but banks in particular, are huge institutions with multiple career paths and resources for training and development. “You never know where these opportunities could lead. These organizations often promote from within before going to the external market.”

It’s not just about putting in the hours to get promoted, either. Think of the time and money an employer spends training you as a significant investment in the company’s – and your – future. “First-hand knowledge about the organization, the products, the culture and demonstrated performance within an organization far outweighs technical skill,” she says.

“If someone is considering employment within this sector, a role within the call centre could be a perfect transition to that career in sales, marketing or HR. “

Get an industry leader on your resumé

If you ultimately decide to leave the organization to work somewhere else, however, you can take your former employer’s reputation with you. “For your resumé alone, having worked with a major financial institution will be viewed favourably by recruiters,” Miller says.

You can even take your experience abroad: “These brands are recognizable and Canada’s financial institution sector is recognized worldwide as being one of the best out there in terms of innovation and risk management.”

 

BMO Financial GroupOne of those internationally-respected brands, BMO Financial Group, is currently hiring students and recent grads for its customer contact centres in Montreal and Toronto. For more information, check out BMO’s profile on TalentEgg.

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About the author

Cassandra Jowett is TalentEgg's Content Manager. She joined the team as a student intern in the summer of 2008, and since then her heart has never really left the Egg Carton. Cassandra is a recent graduate of the Ryerson University School of Journalism, where she earned a Bachelor of Journalism with a focus in writing and editing for newspapers. She has also written and edited for The Globe and Mail, The National Post, t.o.night newspaper and other publications.