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Making the expansive growth in Augusta work for YOU.
Originally Posted by nortonguy
T-Mobile is still hiring also.
T-Mobile is almost always hiring and they're an awesome company for those that love their products and have great interest in Call Center operations. The downside is this: T-Mobile is a revolving door for employment, sadly. Most of the available positions are in Customer Service and you have to work your way up. The good part is that they promote from within, given you perform well, but it's hard to get your foot in the door unless you want to do the phone support work. It's not for everyone (so do your homework and talk to those that have been/are there and can remain as unbiased as possible about their experience) but, certainly, they are one of the biggest employers here.
I have several friends that work there (or recently moved on from there) and, from what I've seen, only one person out of every training group of 15-25 people survives past the one year mark. Training lasts about two months and there are usually two or three training groups at a time. That's a lot of people going back on the hunt for a job! I expect a major boom in openings at T-Mobile as folks relocate to other corporate sites and the old regime gets laid-off due to increasingly stringent performance metrics and policies.
Take it from someone that has been a Helpdesk Manager, Call Center Analyst, Quality Assurance Analyst, Team Manager, and Level 2 Helpdesk Analyst, if you want to be able to grow at companies like T-Mobile, SITEL, Electrolux, AT&T, Delta, and anyone that may have a major call center out here, you have to master the following:
1. Call Control & Leading Conversations
2. Following A Script/Process Flows
3. Keeping It Short & CRT (Call Resolution Time)
4. Selling Over The Phone
5. Multitasking & Database/Knowledgebase Use
6. Product Knowledge & Passion
7. Following Action Plans & Being Coachable
8. Emptying Your Cup (forget what you learned at other jobs)
Technically-savvy people may have trouble doing the above (especially using scripts, guides, and knowledgebases) because you may be accustomed to lengthy troubleshooting and getting things fixed right the first time, regardless of how long it takes. Customer service jobs in the flavor of call center work tend to tell you that no selling is involved but it's all about how many features and units you sell versus how many you remove. When it comes down to it, the "best reps" are not necessarily the ones that go the extra mile with customers and show genuine interest in customer issues but, rather, those that can handle several calls a day (around 64+ in an 8-hour shift, roughly 12-15 calls an hour to be considered a superstar).
Ultimately, those that have been most happy at T-Mobile have never worked high-paying jobs are still early enough in their career to appreciate what they have to offer. If you are already experienced, you're bound to feel jaded by the lack of real challenge and sense of fulfillment. Also, you can't be overly-anxious to be promoted as it can be a lengthy process, even if you are a star performer on your team/pod. That's what I've gathered from conversations with battle-tested CSRs as a whole.
I apologize if this is not within the scope of this thread per se but I believe a strong closing to 2010 will start with candidates pursuing opportunities that truly excite them. I currently do career coaching and blog about economic issues and the ubiquitous pursuit of finding the perfect job. Right now, people are just jumping on wahtever opportunity may present itself or going where the money is good. Few have the luxury of choosing amongst the best offers, even if you have credentials up the wazoo.
It all comes down to making warm connections with the movers and shakers around us; after all, who you know gets you much further than what you know 85% of the time (the rest is luck and persistence). Get to the real decision makers so you can take advantage of the improved performance we're seeing in 2010. Some say that they're not seeing the market opening up but it definitely is. While one must remain selective and stick to the things that you are passionate about, it doesn't hurt to explore new industries and verticals.
The true indicators of a real boom in Augusta lie in increases in less-prominent markets. Allowing more lateral movements into more viable companies will open up positions for better-fit candidates throughout the CSRA. While there is some contention that Health Care is suffering in the CSRA as a whole (I think the Health Care industry is still very much growing in Augusta), it is one of the top job markets, along with Customer Service and Sales. Construction and Public Administration/Government are also big ones as well (the truth is in the pudding, after all - http://www.city-data.com/city/Augusta-Georgia.html).
One of the common complaints I've heard is that there is a lack of opportunities for career changers out here. If we can see more entry-level opportunities opening up, perhaps we can bridge the gap between the senior-level and executive roles out there. I like to take a dip stick on the job market every so often to see what trends are developing at it seems that there is little room for folks to get there foot in the door unless you have VERY specific work experience and industry exposure.
Companies should look to focus more on transferable and soft skills. This is what major call centers do and it keeps them running near 100% capacity, in spite the hugh turn-over rate. I say this all because I know that there are those amongst us that don't see the growth and positive things going on in the Augusta area but we do have to keep our expectations in check; after all, businesses have to protect their own interests and they're more scared now to jump on a seemingly-good candidate without doing some extensive screening and perhaps knit-picking a bit more than usual.
Personally, I'm excited by the growth of Technology centers in our area and Education finally seems to be taken steps in the right direction, which is refreshing. It would behoove school systems to hire people that have done the field work and didn't just graduate from schools that taught them theory. A major paradigm shift on that end would allow more passionate individuals to lead future generations into a successful future and the economic rebuilding process.
Back to technology, it'd be awesome to see Augusta becoming a major technology hub, rivaling those in Alpharetta, Atlanta, andResearch Triangle Park. IT drives companies just as much as financial management and strategic operations but it often is viewed as a cost center. That is an attitude that needs to be repositioned as well if we're to drive further growth and maintain it through the projected 2015 economic explosion (an explosion of the good kind, I reckon).
All and all, things are looking REALLY promising here in Augusta and I hope to see a strong fourth quarter since I don't see anything big for Q3. I could be proved wrong but I have a suspicion that there will be lots of people moving out of the area, creating major job openings. Let's not forget that annual reviews can lead to disgruntled employees moving onto other companies as well.
If any of you are looking for a job, keep up your efforts and don't forget to check out my blog! I got some good entries on the way, once I can free up some time from the usual distractions and projects... :X
Augusta is #4 in the U.S. in terms of private sector job growth, percentage-wise from Sept. 2009/Sept. 2010. This is from a list of the top 100 largest metropolitan labor markets in the country and only Charleston, OKC and of course, Austin Texas posted better marks... From Feb. 2009/Feb. 2010 Augusta was #1 in the nation in the same category at -0.36% job growth, the more recent study lists Augusta with a 2.01% private sector growth level.
Augusta was one of two Georgia cities to make the list, Atlanta was #31. Columbia was around 63rd I believe...
I HOPE to the big man above that the city government sees the potential economic engine in the area and loosens up whatever leash they have to, to get it kick-started.
Growing up here during the late 80's, in what was a sleepy little "city", I have to say, I'm impressed...
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