Call centers in the Philippines, India or any other outsourcing destination bring a new breath of hope for a decent earning employment. And yes, I am one of those people who've been blessed to have worked for over three years in this thriving industry. But I left the call center completely and never looked back again.
At first, I was hesitant to leave my job at Aegis People Support, one of the biggest call center here in Cebu City. With two growing kids in tow, a house rental to think, no savings in the bank, no health insurance. It was probably one of the most stupid thing a father can do. But I didn't leave the call center to let my family starve to death. I left the call center for many good reasons.
I am no seer or fortune teller, but one of the reasons I left the call center is because I saw a promising future in online jobs. The fact that outsourcing has been in bloom for several years already made me firmly believe that this will be the same with online jobs. There will be more companies, specially medium to small sized businesses who will be joining the bandwagon of outsourcing. There will be individuals who simply wants to do business and are practical enough to outsource some of their tasks to individuals, not companies. And sure enough, even at this moment, oDesk, which is one of the major places where my clients come from have consistently shown an increase in all aspects:
48,786 new online jobs were posted to oDesk in June, an increase of 1,505 over May
635,198 total workers were registered with oDesk in June, an increase of 45,480 or 7.7 percent over May
$9,255,640 was earned by workers on oDesk in June, an increase of $382,252 or 4.3 percent over May
(Source: oDesk Online Employment Situation Summary)
Although the call center has offered above average compensation and benefits, freelance jobs give a bigger earning potential and a more financially rewarding work. With enough skill, and experience it has literally raised my earnings from
four to five 9 to 10 times what I previously received in my call center work, all in the comfort of my home. Not only that, it has also opened new areas for me to passively earn through my blog advertising revenues and affiliate earnings.
Career growth in call centers go through the step by step promotion process that's not free from insider politics, “padrino” system and other biases. Competition is stiff. And this made me think, whether my 5 years of stay in a call center would bring me to my goal of being financially stable and in terms of position, getting a promotion. With freelancing, you're almost limited only by your imagination on what you can achieve. Freelancing offers a different path for growth. For just one year, I've seen open doors to raise the bar in what I do. From my role in the call center as customer service agent, taking 30-60 calls every day, pacifying irate customers, I then started managing projects for clients, getting my own team, and as they say… the rest is history.
Time flexibility at work proved to be one of my biggest challenge while working at the call center. I've missed important family occasions, church gatherings, and other events which I would have enjoyed attending. And as a family man with two growing kids, family time became a growing concern as well.
With my job as Virtual Assistant, I was able to choose clients that would suit both their time preference as well as mine. I can work for two hours, or four, or six or a full stretch 8 hour shift depending on my availability. And this is what makes working as home based freelancer very flexible.
I can list down many other reasons on why I left the call center in place of working at home as a freelancer. But the bottom line is, if you love your job, then stick to it. I love my freelance work, I love computers, I enjoy working alone, that's why I'm sticking to it. If this post made you think of jumping ship plainly because of the earning potential, this may not be enough to sustain you to last through the challenging and uncertain world of freelancing. But if you think your interest and passion is here, don't hesitate to get in touch if you need some direction to get started.
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