It might come as a surprise to learn that many companies that are well known use agents who work from home to field their customer calls.
Then one day, I came across a message board that harbored the gold. On this message board I found many companies that were looking to hire people to work from home as call center agents.
Well I thought this was a dream come true since I was simply tired of waking up every morning and heading into traffic just to turn around and do it again a few hours later after working all day.
I contacted a few of the companies I had learned about, and I got an offer almost right away from a company named West at home Agents. They work like the average outsource call center, with multiple clients whose customer calls they handle. The line I was hired to work was HSN (The Home Shopping Network).
You can imagine how ecstatic I was at the thought of being able to avoid traffic everyday and essentially work in my pajamas any time I wanted to!
On the other hand, I was terrified I wouldnt make enough money doing this work to provide for my family. But as they say, you'll never know what could have been unless you at least try, so that's exactly what I did.
I started on an interactive training program that I was to complete while my required background check was in the works, and there was no compensation offered to complete this training. It was however required to complete the training to be able to work the phone lines for compensation.
So I took the few hours I would need to complete training and I got it over with as soon as I could. There was no way I would hold up my opportunity to make money because I was so caught up in the training.
My thought process during this time worried me, because if I lost sight in the importance of training just because I didnt get paid for it, what did all of the other customer service agents who work at home think? Was training even beneficial for this company? At the end of training, I realized that many people just might be hurting themselves if they didnt take the training seriously.
You see, after the training is completed, the company hooks themselves up to your computer and pretends to be a customer while you are expected to treat the mock call as a real one and handle business.
Luckily I did pay attention to the training, and I passed the test that gave me permission to actually start making money.
When you work at home, you are considered an independent contractor, meaning the company has no responsibility for offering guaranteed work, any kind of benefits, or security in your position with them.
What they do offer is flexibility, as you can schedule as little or as many hours as youd like to work, and you can schedule on a daily basis if you prefer. They offer a per minute rate of pay, meaning you only make money for the time you actually spend on the phone, not the time you are available and ready to take calls like in a traditional call center.
This is where I found it very hard to maintain a decent income to provide for my family. If the calls aren't there, they simply aren't there and no money is being made.
By this time I had many other projects going for me, so it didnt devastate my financial income as Im sure it did for many people who worked on the project with me from home. It did open my eyes to a few things though:
First of all, sure its great to work from home and not have to worry about gas, clothes, food, and child care. But is the possibility of losing the work at any given moment really worth the benefits that are offered with this work? The answer may be no to some, but for me it's definitely worth it.
Thinking about it, what company in the World can guarantee you a job next week? Not one, because anything can happen... It may not happen tomorrow or next month, but it can certainly happen.