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Call Center Employees Talk About Their Incomes And ~*Dream*~ Jobs

'People think our job is all about answering phones—that being a call center employee must mean that you’re a dumb person.'
PHOTO: Pixabay

We all know that call center employees are unfairly stigmatized—some of us might even be guilty of promoting the negative stereotypes. We spoke to five Pinays working in the BPO industry to find out what it’s really like to be a call center employee.

Name: Suzanne

Age: 25

Position: Transaction Processing Analyst

Monthly income range: P25,000 to P30,000

How long have you been working? Five years. Yay!

Why did you choose to work in the BPO industry?
There’s no discrimination here. Even people who didn’t graduate from college can succeed here. You also get to work with people from different walks of life.

Do you worry about money? Yes, I do. It’s so easy to burn money.

What’s your #1 saving tip?
Open a separate bank account and deposit P1,000 of every paycheck you get.  

Do you live alone? No, I live with my family, and I am the head of the family now.

Can you give us a breakdown of your expenses?
I pay P5,000 for rent, P5,000 for utilities, P2,000 for transportation, P4,000 for my sister’s college allowance. The rest goes to food.

Do you feel any pressure to live or spend a certain way?
Sometimes, especially when my co-workers ask me to buy coffee with them. I try to refuse as much as possible.

What are your financial goals?
I want to get to a point where I don’t look forward to payday just because I have nothing left in my bank account. I want to actually build my savings!


Do you think you’re being compensated fairly? Why or why not?
Yes, I am. We have annual bonuses, and I can honestly say that I am getting what I deserve.

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Name one thing you’d like to change about your job or industry?
Because BPO companies hire so many people all the time, people can take the work and the benefits for granted.  They lose appreciation and loyalty for the company.

What’s the best part about your job?
The best part is when you get recognition and rewards. I’ve also gotten to travel for work, both locally and internationally.

What are the challenges?
The main challenge is having to work on holidays and missing Christmas with my family. Some of my vacation requests have also been rejected. My body clock is also a little messed up.

What’s your team like?
We’re a bunch of cheerful people, but when it’s time to get serious about our work, we can. We have different personalities, but we’re able to work together as a unit.

What’s one stereotype about call center employees that you want to reject?
People don’t think that the work we do is important. I always hear, “Ah, sa call center ka LANG nagtratrabaho?” They think you wasted years of education just because you’re in the BPO industry. But what they don’t know is we don’t JUST take calls. The job requires different skills. Plus, you can gain so much experience! I’ve been a sales person, a customer service specialist, a financial accounts analyst, a technician, and a contractor.

If you could go back in time, would you still pick this line of work? Why?
Yes! I’ve learned so much, from the experience and from my mentors. I’ve also gained a lot of life lessons from my co-workers. Plus, you know, it pays the bills!

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Up Next: Beck, 27. Monthly income range: P23,000 – P25,000. 

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Name: Beck

Age: 27

Position: Technical Support Representative

Monthly income range: P23,000 to P25,000

How long have you been working? Almost eight years.

Why did you choose to work in the BPO industry?
It wasn't really a choice. After a few unsuccessful attempts to work in the food and service industry as well as a couple of recruitment agencies, I decided to try my luck in the BPO industry.  

Do you worry about money? Yes.

What’s your #1 saving tip?
I only buy what I need. Also, I don’t drink expensive coffee. ;)

Do you live alone? No, I live with my siblings.

How much do you contribute to your household expenses?
I’m in charge of paying the rent, which is around P4,000 to P5,000 a month.

Do you feel any pressure to live or spend a certain way? Yes, actually. All the time.

What are your financial goals?
I want to save at least P300,000 by the time I turn 30 years old. I also want to have my own recording studio.


Do you think you’re being compensated fairly? Why or why not?
At my current company, no, I don’t think I’m being paid fairly. I don't have an exact list of demands or suggestions on how they can make it better. I just feel like they could be giving us more.

Name one thing you’d like to change about your job or industry? Lower taxes! 

What’s the best part about your job?
There’s a lot of room for professional growth. There’s no gender or age discrimination. 

What are the challenges?
I don’t sleep properly. It’s hard to follow a certain sleep schedule with the different shifts.

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What’s your team like?
My team is the best! It’s one of the reasons why I stayed. I may not be paid much, but at least I work with a team I love.

What’s one stereotype about call center employees that you want to reject?
We’re not all drug users. We’re not all sex addicts. We’re not all social climbers. A lot of us are breadwinners. We work hard to make sure our families are okay.

If you could go back in time, would you still pick this line of work?
While I don’t regret this line of work, I think I would’ve picked something better.

What would you pursue instead?
Teacher by day and metal rock performer by night! I’d also be writing stories on my day off.

Up Next: Rose, 25. Monthly income: P23,000.

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Name: Rose

Age: 25

Position: Subject Matter Expert

Monthly income: P23,000

How long have you been working? Around four years!

Why did you choose to work in the BPO industry?

In this industry, you can earn a lot with whatever degree you have. What you finished in school doesn’t matter. They offer us benefits that not even government employees get.

Do you worry about money? Yes. 

What’s your #1 saving tip?

Don’t spend more than what you earn. Live within your means.

Do you live alone? No. 

How much do you contribute to your household expenses?

I don’t really pay for anything at home. 

Do you feel any pressure to live or spend a certain way? Yes. 

What are your financial goals?

I want to practice saving. I want to be able to make time to go to the bank every month and deposit money into my savings account. I just need to find a way to prevent myself from spending my entire paycheck! 

Continue reading below ↓

Do you think you’re being compensated fairly? Why or why not?

No. I personally believe that people in my position do more than what front liners (agents) do, but we still get paid the same.

Name one thing you’d like to change about your job or industry?

I wish we weren’t taxed so much. We work really hard, but what’s the point of earning a lot if most of our money goes to taxes anyway? 

What’s the best part about your job?

Probably the money? It’s also great to know that we learn so many things that most people will never have the chance to know. 

What are the challenges?

The toughest part of being in this industry has to be the different shifts. It’s difficult to adjust. My body clock isn’t happy.

What’s your team like?

We’re all really close. I enjoy the environment. Every time I’m with them, it always feels as giddy and carefree as high school. 

What’s one stereotype about call center employees that you want to reject?

Most people look down on us for speaking English. They think we’re trying too hard. And I think that’s ridiculous. You’ll never really understand until you become a call center employee.

If you could go back in time, would you still pick this line of work?

No. I always wonder what it’s like to live a “normal” life. 

What would you pursue instead?

My dream has always been to teach. If it weren’t for this job, I’d probably be a professor by now.   

Up Next: Jess, 22. Monthly income: P25,000.

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Name: Jess

Age: 22

Position: Customer Experience Analyst

Monthly income: P25,000

How long have you been working? Six years!

Why did you choose to work in the BPO industry?
I entered the industry because I wanted to improve my communication skills, but I stayed because of the compensation.

Do you worry about money?

Yes. I always keep in mind that I should be able to afford my needs, wants, and luxuries.

What’s your #1 saving tip?

Be mindful of your budget. I keep a list of my priorities and the money I set aside for those. I review my daily and monthly budgets so I know what my unnecessary expenses are, and adjust from there.

Do you live alone? Yes.

Can you give us a breakdown of your expenses?

I pay P4,000 for rent, P6,000 for food, P2,000 for transportation, P4,000 for utilities (electricity, water, internet), and P4,000 for miscellaneous expenses. I try to save P5,000 a month.

Do you feel any pressure to live or spend a certain way?
Yes. I worry about my spending habits and expenses all the time.

What are your financial goals?

I want to have my own business someday.


Do you think you’re being compensated fairly? Why or why not?

Yes, considering we have a lot of freedom and are not asked to sacrifice too much of our personal lives for our professional ones.

Name one thing you’d like to change about your job or industry?

ALL. THE. STEREOTYPES!  

What’s the best part about your job?

Being able to influence and teach other people with my knowledge and skills. I also love that I make them feel valued.

What are the challenges?

Time management and consistency. I have to consistently provide my team with innovative ideas on how to be better, so we can generate more positive results.

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What’s your team like?

We’re very collaborative. It’s a fun and light environment, and the people are easy to work with.

What’s one stereotype about call center employees that you want to reject?

People think our job is all about answering phones—that being a call center employee must mean that you’re a dumb person. It really hurts.

If you could go back in time, would you still pick this line of work? Why?

Yes, because it molded me into a more mature and more responsible person. It also made me feel like I’m part of a bigger cause. 

Up Next: Kirsten, 25. Monthly income: P28,000.

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Name: Kirsten

Age: 25

Position: Customer Experience Analyst

Monthly income: P28,000

How long have you been working? Nine years!

Why did you choose to work in the BPO?
I like the competitive work environment, and I’m not going to lie, the compensation package played a major part in my decision as well.  

Do you worry about money? Yes, especially because I have bills to pay.

What’s your #1 saving tip?
Make sure you’re never buried in debt.

Do you live alone? Nope!

How much do you contribute to your household expenses?
P11,000 on mortgage, P2,000 on credit card bills, and P3,000 on groceries.  

Do you feel any pressure to live or spend a certain way?
Sometimes. I try to be mindful of my budget though.

What are your financial goals?
I want to have my own spa or salon in five to 10 years.


Do you think you’re being compensated fairly? Why or why not?
Yes! That’s one of the reasons why I stayed with the company I’m working for right now, and why I am in this line of work.

Continue reading below ↓

Name one thing you’d like to change about your job or industry?
The shifting schedule.

What’s the best part about your job?
The best part of my job is being a mentor to other people.

What are the challenges?
Working with and adjusting to different people and different personalities.

What’s your team like?
We are a competitive but happy group of individuals.

What’s one stereotype about call center employees that you want to reject?
We’re always called “social climbers” just because we speak English all the time.

If you could go back in time, would you still pick this line of work? Why?
Yes. This job lets me successfully support my family. It’s also taught me how to interact with all types of people.

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