Stay or go?

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Saturday, May 31, 2014

Michelle: Let’s talk about Gina who is a high school teacher in one of the public schools in town. She is breadwinner with two siblings in high school. She loves her job but she’s not paid well. She’s thinking of applying in one of the call centers in the city. Is this the path to go? My answer is: “Yes why not?” While there are things that we love to do or where our interests and passions lie, we have to be practical and also think of our responsibilities or obligations.

DJ: Making the right career choice doesn’t only involve knowing one’s self – strengths, values and needs. It also entails knowledge of opportunities at hand. Gina has at least three possible paths to explore: (1) the ideal job that is so aligned to her passion that it no longer feels like work; (2) the stop-over job which she needs to do while waiting for the big break but is still not entirely a far choice given what she loves doing; and (3) the practical choice which she takes simply because it’s available and will allow her to put food on the table, pay the bills and address a couple of needs. It appears like teaching is her passion.

But she feels it’s not enough to live the lifestyle she seeks given her current commitments. I’m curious though to know what coziness really means to her. And is that reason enough to consider leaving her ideal job in exchange for a stop-over or even a practical path?


M: There is no shame in settling for something less in the meantime while one is thinking about what one really wants. I am referring to work or a job. With the limited opportunities and many competitions, sometimes we have to start with something different before we end up with what we really aspired for. As they say, big things come from small beginnings.

Other times also see us where we want to be but we have to move out of our comfort zones or recalibrate our direction because of priorities.

DJ: I can tell her that there is growth in the industry, particularly if she works in a reliable and reputable company. And I’m not only referring to a compensation package that’s generally better than what the Philippine corporate market offers. She can have a blast, more importantly, from a development standpoint.

The industry is flourishing at a pace that’s considered to be among the fastest in the country today. This means more doors, options and long-term opportunities. But Gina also needs to condition herself to work on a schedule that’s not typically within an 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. timeframe.

Aside from body clock consideration, she might want to know whether her social interactions are at risk, considering that she might be assigned to hours when the rest of the city are asleep, and then sleep while the rest are awake. But it’s still up to her how she’ll manage that. Besides, times have changed. Day jobs are now available. And if ever she works during unique hours, there’s a premium that’s offered to sweeten the deal. The industry is known for its creative offerings, ranging from having facilities like a day care, a lounge, gym, game room to college and graduate scholarships for key talents to develop to their full potential. Overall, she stands to hold all the aces.

M: Teaching is a noble profession. I believe our teachers should be compensated more. And I think we need more teachers and these teachers should be given better opportunities in our own country so they don’t have to go abroad for greener pastures.

Being in a call center is an honorable profession but because sometimes it gets a lot of bad press, some think that it is inferior compared to other professions. Nothing is inferior if people put in a lot of effort, blood, sweat and tears to help their families, communities, the company they work in and putting our country in the forefront of the BPO industry. Go for it!

DJ: Life is full of choices. And having the right information is crucial. I don’t suggest that she rely on stories about the contact center industry. She might want to talk to people with first-hand experience; those with credible track record, work ethic and wisdom she can trust. But she has to remember that while they mean well, they are not her. It’s still she who will have to go through the natural gives and takes and take the consequences like sacrificing something for whatever she gains. Thus, it is ultimately up to her.

She needs to remember though that a well thought-out decision is never wrong. Change is constant and resources are there to manage whatever comes along. No matter what happens, she always have the choice to learn the lesson and move forward.

Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on June 01, 2014.


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