Charting a Career Path in Today’s Call Centers
It is a myth that call centers lack growth opportunities. Many think that the only path is from agent to director, and many of those jobs are already taken. While call centers tend to have many employees, and many of them are likely vying for the same promotion, that doesn’t limit anyone from working their way up the ladder. The key is to make yourself stand out. Make yourself noticeable by doing the things necessary to show you are not only capable of doing the job you are in, but are capable of taking on much more. There is a career path to be charted for agents with the right temperament and performance. Here are some of the steps toward moving up in the call center world:
Benchmarks for Career Building
So how do you stand out in a large workforce? Simply stated, do your job and do it well. You must demonstrate a strong skill set that allows you to rise to the top of the stack ranks, that has people coming to you for help, and puts you in a place where you continue to stand out from the crowd. If the call center has a high turnover rate, the most reliable agents can quickly establish their value. Here are some other indicators for employees who might excel in leadership roles:
- Consistency : Agents who don’t call in sick, who show up for work with a good attitude and who volunteer for extra hours demonstrate a level of loyalty that often is uncommon in large places of employment. Dependability and consistency go a long way in today’s call centers.
- Dedication : Agents who come to work each day motivated and ready to do their best can inspire other team members to do the same. They continually are looking for ways to raise the bar and in turn motivate others to do the same. Call centers want people willing to work to do more than the norm.
- Ambition : It is appropriate for representatives to show and tell their leaders that they are looking to move up the career ladder. If someone is willing to put themselves out there, then they understand that they will be in a position where their results, actions, and day to day interaction with others will be evaluated. I have said it often once you put yourself out there you either get exposure or you get exposed. If you find someone willing to put themselves out there, then chances are you will find someone eager and able to move up the ranks.
- Performance : Of course, no agent is going to be considered for a move up if he or she is not hitting benchmarks on a regular basis. In fact, employees with an eye on leadership must be doing their absolute best in demonstrating teamwork, positive influence and attitude, and performing consistently. Just because you are a great seller does not mean you can lead others to sell. Results do matter and provide you the credibility you need not only in the eyes of leadership, but in the eyes of your peers you may be managing soon.
- Being proactive : In addition to indicating an interest in career advancement, leadership-worthy agents should be on the lookout for job development opportunities, unique projects and special training that can expand their skill sets. Volunteer when you can, take on tasks others don’t want, self-develop, and say yes when you can. Don’t forget that whatever you take on though, you must continue to perform your current job. Be a leader in all ways!
In many ways, the skills and traits needed for a leader in a call center are the same as in any field. Candidates must be good at their jobs, focused on company goals, excellent at collaboration and loaded with problem-solving skills. Even those who don’t move to a management position can still be team leaders if they have the right attitude and multiple areas of expertise. Be willing to lead without the title and be prepared as the title won’t be far behind.