Over the last two years I have seen a variety of jobs become available in the Marketing department of our company. To help spread the word I post a link to the position on my Facebook, Twitter and other social media pages. This usually generates a small buzz from people that I know both personally and professionally. The most common interest that I receive for these marketing positions is from our own call centers. I get at least a handful of people who are call center agents or sales coaches that ask for advice and help to make the jump over to this world from the seat they currently hold. I thought it might be helpful to share that information here. I will use the example of going from a call center to a marketing position, however, I hope that these principles help in other job changing situations.
Words of Caution
First off, I get it… I really do. The desire to go from being on the phones to generating the media that makes the phones ring makes perfect sense to me. Being on the phones all day is something I would struggle with greatly. I don’t think I could do it for very long, even though I’m sure it’s not that bad. I also think that all desk jobs seem like a breeze when being viewed from sitting on a call floor. My word of caution to you and to everyone else interested in making the jump to marketing or any other desk job: The grass is not always greener on the other side. People in desks do a lot of work and have high stress levels. It may not always seem that way because performance isn’t measured on a call-by-call basis, or placed on widgets on the wall, but it’s real and it is still hard work. Usually when I explain the day to day tasks of spreadsheets, presentations, emails and other duties associated with our positions the desire to make the jump diminishes a little. It doesn’t mean it isn’t worth it though, if it is something you really want to do.
The second note of caution, before I get to the advantages, is that this switch usually means a pay cut. It may not be a harsh one, but for some it is a big factor in this decision, as it should be. It is just the nature of business. Sales means money. The more sales, the more money. That means that if you’re a good call center agent, you are probably making good money because you’re providing your company money. When leaving any industry and starting green another one, it means taking on an entry-level position. Those positions are not going to make anyone the big bucks; no matter what industry you’re in. That makes leaving a good paying call center job a hard decision – just like it would with any other good paying job. For instance: I couldn’t walk into a call center and expect the highest commission or have the best calls sent to me. They’re going to start me on the worst calls with the lower commission amount and, if I’m good, I can move up. You’ll have to experience the same path in marketing.
Words of Encouragement
With those two cautions I will give some words of encouragement. As someone who has call center experience, you bring a valuable skill set and knowledge to marketing that is hard to find. My job entails listening to example calls and writing up call center scripts but, it doesn’t come close to the information I would have as someone who experienced the phone calls first hand day-after-day. When you begin to generate your own marketing materials, you will have a better idea of what customers want and need to hear. You will have inside information on how to work closely with other call centers and management of your own. You’ll also have an understanding of the importance of quality assurance and compliance, to keep partnerships from causing issues for both companies.
Another nice addition that you can provide is the energy. Call floors require it and hopefully you’ll carry that into a marketing position. The energy level takes a hit when you’re sitting at a computer most of the day. Don’t get swallowed up in that. Bring the energy with you and help others feel it too.
These advantages should also be noted to anyone out there in the position of hiring someone for a marketing position. People with call center experience should be given a lot of attention as high quality candidates.
Marketing is a great area of work that has provided me with an opportunity to enjoy coming to work every day for the past five years of my life. I hope the same for anyone, regardless of what you are doing. If that means leaving a current position, I hope that the principles I’ve talked about are relative to your situation and help. Find what you want to do and jump into it.