BPO Lifestyle 101: What You Need To Know

Let’s admit it. For most people, BPO translates to call centers. And with that, I can say that the Business Process Outsourcing industry is so misunderstood.

Yes, it’s true that majority of the BPO companies in the Philippines specialize in customer service. But there is more to the said industry than being tagged as such. Some BPO companies cater to other support, too: from Engineering and IT to Finance and Payroll.

So I guess to set the record straight, we must first understand the real concept of BPO.

Business Process Outsourcing, as the name suggests, is a branch of outsourcing where a certain business process is contracted to a third party provider. And what the heck that does mean? For example, Company A in the US would sign a contract with Company B in the Philippines to handle its customer service operation. This is called Offshore Outsourcing.

Now that we have a clearer understanding of what the BPO industry really is and how it works, let’s now clarify a few and common misconception regarding the said industry.

Most often than not, people think that working in the BPO industry is that easy. Mind you, whether we are talking about an agent post or something else, there are targets or quotas that need to be met. One’s bonus or regularization depends on him or her meeting these said targets.

Another misconception is that BPO employees only work at night. This is not at all true. Schedules are rotating, too. In a call center set up, for example, sometimes schedule changes every week. One week an agent is on a night shift, the following week he or she is on day shift.

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Additionally, most people think that those who work in BPO industry are heavy drinker and smoker. We can’t blame them as, most of the time, they probably have seen a few BPO employees smoking outside the building where they work at during break time or crowding a certain bar on their day offs. But there are those who, instead of going out and party, have scheduled weekly badminton or basketball games instead. Others just stay home and prefer reading a good book.

Most of the time, people would picture the BPO workplace with just computers and phones. Although this is partly true in most cases, one should be aware that there are also nap rooms or sleeping quarters, spacious pantry, game room and, sometimes, shower room employees can use and enjoy.

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What is disappointing is that some belittle BPO employees for the career they have chosen for themselves. Ofcourse these people don’t have any idea of the perks one can get from working in the said industry. One of which is health insurance coverage, which can even be extended to immediate family members. Another is the growth one can attain from being a part of the industry. Most BPO companies invest in trainings. Some even send their employees abroad for these said trainings.

And we are not yet talking about the possibility of getting promoted to a higher post as early as three months from start date. Or the study assistance program or financial aid given to those who want to finish their college education or those who want to gain a master’s degree. It should be noted as well that even entry levels are compensated well as compared to those who have a “normal” job.

I hope this article breaks the BPO employees’ stereotyping. This article is also not to encourage that you try working for the said industry. In fact, I’m happy everytime I meet someone who practices what he or she has studied in college (for as long as he or she is happy with it.)

We should all be proud of our chosen professions as they are instrumental in realizing our other dreams. For some, to earn and buy things. For others, to support their families.

6 Comments

  • Allegria August 25, 2016 at 5:33 pm

    Working in a bpo industry is toxic and most of the time tiring. But the pay is higher compare to a normal jobs 🙂 and that’s the fun side of working in this industry..;)

    Reply
  • George August 25, 2016 at 8:50 am

    Guilty of this. I always thought BPOs are just call centers.

    Reply
    • Jonathan Francisco August 25, 2016 at 9:13 am

      You’re not the only one. And it’s okay. Atleast now it’s clearer. Thanks for dropping by, George!

      Reply
  • Katherine August 25, 2016 at 3:02 am

    They belittle the profession but the taxes we pay help build this nation. No longer working for the BPO, but I feel for our heroes.

    Reply
    • Jonathan Francisco August 25, 2016 at 3:16 am

      I work for the same industry and I couldn’t agree more.

      Thanks for dropping by, Katherine!

      Reply

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