Oct 14, 2010

Home-Based Call Center Work: Interview with Donna Donor-Javier

It’s been two weeks, I know.  This Filipino mom has got a not-so-secret project, and it’s taking up a lot of work. I’ll be unveiling it when everything’s been ironed out.
In the meantime ...
Welcome to the second of our series of interviews with real-life mommies who have succeeded in earning income working from home.
Mommy Donna has, not one, but two jobs she does from home. She’s part of the support team (HR) of a virtual call center, Homeshoring Solutions, and she also teaches English to Koreans on the side using Skype.
This interview was conducted via IM and naturally begins with one of the most common concerns of working moms:
NANAY NOTEBOOK: Do you have a yaya for your son?
DONNA DONOR-JAVIER: Nope. Ever since, I’ve never had one.
NN: How do you hold classes???
DDJ: I’m in (my work) room while he entertains himself in the other room. He’s been trained to keep quiet once I have my headset on, although, of course, at times, he can be cranky too.
I started working from home when he was a year old.
NN: How does he amuse himself?
DDJ: Playing with his toys — sometimes my mom takes care of him when I’m super busy.
I live with my parents. When my dad got sick, I needed to leave my job to manage everything in the hospital and at home. Then when I was ready to go back to work and started applying, my mom called to tell me that they needed to rush my father again to the hospital, so na-trauma na ako.
NN: Has Homeshoring Solutions always been your employer since you began working from home?
DDJ: Yes, Homeshoring was my first home-based job. 
NN: How did you find out about it?
DDJ: They had a posting at BestJobs.ph.
NN: You’ve been there how many years?
DDJ: I’ve been with Homeshoring for more than two years now.
NN: Is the English-teaching job from Bestjobs.ph as well?
DDJ: Yes.
NN: If somebody applies for a home-based call center agent position at Homeshoring Solutions, what can they expect? Is it a regular full-time job with regular full-time government benefits?
DDJ: No government benefits. People can work either part time or full time, depending on their availability. We pay our agents by the hour.
NN: What sorts of accounts do your agents handle?
DDJ: Most of the campaigns that we handle have to do with sales, so it's a plus if the applicant has sales experience (inbound/outbound, cross-selling, upselling). We don't accept those who have zero call center experience.

We are also hiring people for non-voice accounts virtual assistants, web developers, SEO experts, etc. 
NN: Okay, last question: what advice would you give to other mothers looking to work at home?
DDJ: When they do their job, do it professionally. Earnings in home-based jobs can really provide decent living, but it takes time, so just be patient, and their time to earn big bucks will eventually come. They just need to do their best in their job.
NN: What do you mean by “it takes time”?
DDJ: Some are not patient when they get into this job. They want to earn big immediately.
If an agent’s statistics suck, he or she will get “sent home” early. If they have good statistics, their rate per hour can increase, and their position may level up too!
NN: Are you at liberty to quote the hourly pay the company gives?
DDJ: Yes. One hundred pesos per hour, as a starter. TLs are earning 25k++.  However, some campaigns can be more generous than others, so the per hour rates might be different.
NN: Could one be assured of eight hours of work, since they are being paid per hour?
DDJ: If you are doing good, you are guaranteed more hours than those who are not.
NN: Would you say, then, that this is more of a supplementary income job? Or could somebody actually support her family all by herself from this?
DDJ: I advise those who are breadwinners to do home-based jobs on a part-time basis first, especially if they are newbies in the business. Eventually, they can do it full time.

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