Monday, August 23, 2010

Love of Work

It's been a blessing not having the hardest time finding a regular, office job. Many thanks to our outsourcing partners from across the world, mainly the U.S. The business process outsourcing (BPO) and the knowledge process outsourcing (KPO) sectors have recovered and are still thriving in our country, after the economic downturn brought about by the the global financial crisis that affected mostly developed countries. Since developing countries such as ours are greatly dependent on the economy of the industrialized nations, let's be grateful for the above average-paying jobs that we're enjoying right now, while we still can.

I've had the privilege to work in various segments of the outsourcing industry: abstracting/indexing, call center, marketing, transcription, SEO (search engine optimization), and now in web advertising. What's good in most of the companies I've worked with is the higher-than-average compensation they award to employees, even to the undergrads. One just needs to have above average English communication skills, good technological know-how (computer, Internet proficiency), ability to handle all types of customers well, and most especially, good health and willingness to work in graveyard shifts, weekends, and holidays. If you have these basic job requirements, then you're good to go.

If one is more after the compensation and the fringe benefits, then working in this industry won't be a problem at all. But, like everything else in this chaotic world that we live in, there is a downside to it.

Just last night, I watched a local TV show for kids. The episode was about teaching kids the importance of going to school. There was also this guest who played the part of a high school or a college student (it was unclear to me) who's not serious about her studies and insisted that she can just stop going to school and instead work in a call center right away. Since it is a comedy show, that character of course doesn't have the skills needed to pass as an agent. She has very poor English skills and...totally dumb.

The show has not only successfully imparted to the audience the importance of a diploma. It has also sent a message to skeptics and idealists that working in the BPO sector, particularly in a call center, is not only for undergrads or underachievers or is not only for fresh graduates to get their experience from. It's not that I am against people who dream big. It's just that I'm saddened by some who belittle this kind of work and the people who thrive in it. I got offended by some co-workers who asked me why I stay in this kind of environment, given I graduated from a prestigious university. Well, I never answered them. Why not? Because they would never truly understand and they are not aware of the circumstances behind my decision, and are not open-minded enough to have respect for others who are serious about their jobs. They are still young and idealistic, good for them. No one is stopping them from achieving their dreams. Maybe a little respect and a bit of appreciation for the job that feeds them is what they have to show.

One is not entitled to look down on the job that pays them well, and then brag about making it big to someone who holds the same job as his. Empty words, empty brain. Pure yabang.

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