The BPO industry has employed millions around the globe. As the industry grew, as did the slew of misconceptions surrounding it.
Is a BPO career a serious option?
Is it only for high school pass outs and college graduates?
Are all BPO jobs the same as working in call centers?
And many confusions like that brew over the past two decades. They have generated largely because of ignorance about the industry, including media. Clearing those confusions has been due since long. Here’s to bust some myths surrounding the career of a BPO professional.
6 Myths – About Working in a BPO
#1. BPO jobs are only for high school pass outs or college graduates.
Doing a job in a Business Process Outsourcing (BPO) industry is no longer high school students’ or college graduates’ cup of tea. Rather, the industry is on the cusp of disruption, and require ever more than before skilled experts at par with new age needs.
The industry was rechristened as Business process Management (BPM), and today serves global brands in all industries. By extension, the top management of international companies is now trusting BPOs to do justice to their business activities, and therefore BPOs are calling for well-educated professionals skilled in new tech to join the ranks.
#2. BPO is not a long-term career.
BPO used to be a career where people entered by accident. It is no longer the case. With the maturing of the industry, BPO has emerged as a serious career option and a lucrative one at the top of it. If a BPO professional goes about with a career focus, beginning as a fresher in the industry from Associate roles, they can graduate to BPO specialists, then team leads, followed by operation managers, operation leaders and if play their cards right can enter the top management as business heads.
In addition, the BPO industry itself trains the employees through career development “Learn while you earn” programs, structured to infuse latest skills and knowledge in professionals. This not only helps the BPO company exhibit themselves as state of the art but also improve the candidates’ standing in the market by making them more employable.
#3. It is all about call centers.
This is probably one of the most flamboyant myths of all, believed by most people not privy to the working of the industry. Call centers form only a small portion of the large part of jobs offered by BPO industry, depending upon one’s skills.
People specializing in customer interaction work at call centers. Those specializing in back-office operations can work in areas that include supply management, procurement, payroll management, HR, among many others. Similarly, candidates interested in finance processes can enter the industry as finance process associates. And several such career roles are taken up by BPO professionals.
According to NASSCOM, BPO also recruits specialized professionals who may constitute scientists, engineers, accountants, even doctors, lawyers, etc.
#4. BPO people face health issues.
It is common to hear that BPO professionals face health issues, the assumption behind which is they work for odd hours.
Yes, the industry in most cases runs 24/7 hours. But that is not a new phenomenon. Many industries run their operations (can’t opt out of it) for the entire days and nights, including but not limited to airlines, media, armed forces, among others. BPO industry is no different. However, that doesn’t mean BPO professionals are superhuman who work for all hours of the day. The industry runs on shift system, and people in it work for certain hours like in any other. Professionals may put in extra hours at the beginning of their careers to give themselves a healthy push.
Having said that, health issues can and do happen in other industries too, the real cause of which is lack of physical exercise, rest, positive thinking, healthy habits, etc. Right posture, healthy eating habits, working out, and optimally planning your schedule is the way out of health issues.
Most BPOs encourage their employees to maintain a healthy lifestyle and have in-house medical facilities and regular health checkups to support staff.
#5. It’s all about dealing with furious customers.
Irate customers are common to all customer-facing job roles and aren’t unique to BPO industry. The solution is not to take furious customers personally but deal with them as professionals and work towards customers’ concerns.
#6. It’s easy to get a BPO job.
Given that BPO industry employs thousands, this myth might seem true. However, the truth is it may be easier to find jobs, but not so easy to get one. There are several rounds of interviews in a BPO job, and many people apply for them. Proving merit is often challenging. Becoming certified in specialized areas like Finance Process, Back Office Operations, Technical Support, Customer Interaction, as associates, specialists, etc. can help those looking for a BPO career court their desired job successfully. BPO Certification Institute (BCI) is one of the first certification bodies that came around the same time as the concept of BPO, and whose certifications are watertight, value-laden, and globally acceptable.
With the changing BPO industry, plenty of opportunities and excellent career avenues are emerging as well. Get the clarity about the industry and stand ahead of others in carving a BPO career.