After Working In BPO, I Had A Career Break And Want To Restart Now: Mentor Centre

A woman who's worked in the BPO industry, but doesn't want to do night shifts now, wonders if there are job options available to her. What's your suggestion?

A woman who’s worked in the BPO industry, but doesn’t want to do night shifts now, wonders if there are job options available to her. What’s your suggestion?

Mentor Centre is a Women’s Web initiative where you get to ask your career queries and we get you thoughtful responses from leading women in industry. If you have a question, ask away!

You asked us:

I was working in the BPO industry, handling outsourced customer service for a few clients in the hospitality industry; since my company was mainly handling US clients, after having my child 3 years ago, I found it difficult to go back to work in night shift timings.

Now I feel I should go back to work, but since almost all my career has been in the BPO industry, and that too, most are still working for US clients and want people who are flexible about shift timings, I feel I will be at a disadvantage. Could you suggest me some options to look for, which don’t involve late shifts? I have a B.Com degree and about 7 years of work experience. I am open to trying something new also.

– Radhika M

Usha Pillai responds:

There are 2 aspects to this query:

Working in the BPO industry in the night shifts: Though it is sometimes made out to be a disadvantage – it clearly is not. I would suggest that  you highlight the skills it helped you attain in terms of engaging with clients in different time zones, working in large teams (if that was the case) leading to effective collaboration, maintaining good health despite the night shifts and how working with clients in the hospitality industry helped you hone your skills in customer management. You could also highlight high level of process orientation, adherence to quality standards and any change that you might have brought about- in terms of increasing quality by reducing time taken to resolve queries, increase customer satisfaction etc. Also familiarity with the CRM that was used to capture and respond to customer queries. These are some of my observations having worked in the BPO industry and in the night shifts for 2 years.

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Career options : Look for opportunities in Indian companies – in the area of hospitality, holiday and leisure industry or customer service departments in the telecom industry etc. It is never too late to pick up skills on technology. Ensure your LinkedIn profile is up to date with all sections filled in. Recruiters look up the candidate’s profile first on LinkedIn, typically. Having said that do note that it is critical to work in the areas of your interest otherwise you will end up job hopping every few years. It might be worthwhile to take up a psychometric assessment to assess your career options.

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