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We asked you to send in your experiences of working in a BPO -- whether you liked working there, if the night shift was stressful and advice you have for someone looking for a job in the sector.
We received an overwhelming response. Surprisingly, most BPO employees are very positive about their jobs and consider the night shift just a small part of it. Amrit Noronha, a 22-year-old senior technical analyst from Bangalore, had this to say about working at a BPO company:
Working in a BPO unit has been a great experience for me. It's been three full years now that I've been working at a BPO firm. I may be too young to work, but the BPO sector gives you many opportunities to improve your skills, connections and teaches you how to adjust to change and use that experience.
My job needs me to work regular night shifts, which has resulted in an addiction to coffee and lightning fast speed at my keyboard. This job keeps me completely occupied, and constantly striving to do my best. I have competition, real-time competition that allows me to push my limits further.
But why should you work in a BPO? Because it's a great opportunity! I agree, the long hours at the computer may not be healthy for your eyes, nor do 8-9 hours of sitting do you any good. But what matters to me the most is the methods I can employ to learn and use to solve issues.
The shootout at Noida may invite speculation on safety of the kind of work we do and the odd timings. But someone has to do the job, and be the backbone of the organisation. At the end of the day, there has to be someone to answer the customer's call.
Rape, murder, shootouts and attacks keep happening. When there's a shootout at a school, do parents stop sending their children to school? So why should a BPO company be put in such a predicament?
How can we make the workplace safer than what it already is, that is something we need to definitely ponder. Risks are everywhere; we have to learn to live with it or learn to deal with it.
Outsourcing has proved to be a huge opportunity for India. Working in a BPO unit on the night shift is an opportunity to discover the other side of the world.
Senior trainer Lloyd D'Souza (27) shares what he has gained from working with a BPO firm:
I have been working in the BPO industry for over five years and have worked with a few BPO firms.
What I love best about the BPO industry is the kind of talent and kind of people it attracts. The industry, not having any specific formal educational requirements, is a potpourri of people from all industries, having left their jobs in their respective industries for different reasons. Most, though, seem to be attracted to the industry for the remuneration it offers (not surprisingly!), others for the learning opportunities.
I am a diploma holder in hotel management and catering technology myself, and joined the BPO sector right after I passed out of college and have never thought about joining the hotel industry since. And the fact that you have to go against nature and stay wake all night does not seem half bad considering the benefits it offers.
Pros of the BPO industry:
I have worked in night shifts for the past 6-7 years and have never faced any problems (including sleep or any health problems).
I do not classify my job as a night-shift or day-shift job; it may be revenue generation or a support role to offshore employees or clients but for me it is a career as a whole.
For people looking to get into the industry, here are some words of advice. Discipline has to be maintained in any job. Punctuality, sincerity and attention to work will have payoffs for the employee and the employer. Give your 100-per cent to work instead of chatting or hanging around, and it will help build your credentials and reliability with the employer. You can scale great heights in terms of salary and position in this industry if you are diligent.
If you are a fresher to the night shifts, make sure you get continuous sleep (at least six hours) without any disturbances before work. Always have your breakfast and avoid sitting for a long time in front of the TV. A balanced and regular diet, and plenty of juices will help prevent acidity or other health problems.
Here's what Anish Antony from the UAE had in support of this sector:
I am an IT professional and am currently working for the UAE government. Before I came here, I worked in several firms like Datasoft Networks, Slashsupport and Microland which are all involved in IT-enabled services (ITeS) which included remote infrastructure service and product support. I worked in the capacity of Technical Support Engineer.
The job required 24/7 shifts, which would change every week. But that wasn't a major deterrent for me. The Indian economy is boosted mainly because of these BPO jobs and millions of candidates are getting a great opportunity to earn well. For these reasons, I really appreciate these jobs.
What is it like working in a call centre? Are the night shifts daunting? Have you ever found yourself in a dangerous situation as a result of late night job timings? What would you like to tell other young people who are considering a career in a BPO? Share your stories with us, and get them published right here -- mail your entries to us at iworkinaBPO@rediffmail.com, along with your full name, age, designation, organisation, and contact details today!
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