My failed attempts at getting a promotion
I hope to share my experiences so those who want to get promoted would learn from my story. So here it is.
I was the top agent for my team and one of the top 20 agents in our account. I was new in the call center industry. At that time, I was thinking that I deserve a promotion and that I am ready to go to the next level. I applied for a Team Lead Trainee opening. The interviewer, an OM, threw a lot of questions I never expected to be asked. Most of them were situational, and I was struggling to give them solid answers. It seemed like a different world was protrayed to me, compared to the things I got used to being an agent. There were questions I did not have any idea existed. At that time as naive as I was, I even thought I answered the questions well enough that I’d still have a fighting chance. I felt that I still had a good chance knowing my monthly agent scores should convince them to accept me for the post. The opposite happened, they hired people who were more tenured than me. I was frustrated. For days I got lost and I felt demotivated. I was thinking, why would they hire those people over me, when some were openly releasing calls and doing things that are not supposed to be done by agents. I felt the system was corrupt. Yes those agents are performers too, but I felt I earned that post given that I got my stats without doing ‘ninja moves’.
Then another opening opened up. It was for a Program Trainer post. Again I applied for it to try my luck. I felt good in the initial interviews. I was able to answer all the questions and was less nervous compared to the first time I applied. Then they scheduled a mock presentation wherein I need to present a short module of my choice. So I created a powerpoint presentation and submitted it. Then came the mock presentation, it was weird since I only had 2 or 3 mock trainees, which were the evaluators themselves. I began going through my slides and one of the Trainers acting as a mock trainee was always asking questions in a rude manner. I was taken aback, I did not expect it. I was struggling with my words and my thought process was whacked. I was not able to control the situation, and I think that pretty much ruined my chances of getting in. So yeah, I failed again. It took me several days to gather myself and get motivated again. The good thing is I did not let it affect the way I did my job.
I was confused and clueless. I thought that when you have good scores and you are consistent, it’s easy to be promoted. I did all the things the right way. I don’t release calls, I don’t toggle, I don’t cheat the system. Still I did not make it. It was very frustrating. You begin to doubt yourself, you begin to doubt the management team and even the company. Still I labored and continued doing my best. The key is don’t stop dreaming, you must learn from your failures. Be stubborn and continue doing things the right way.
Fast forward to the future. I’m now a Team Leader for many years now. I’ve been promoted to different positions before being a Team Leader. I finally achieved my dream, which is to be a supervisor. I always looked up to my mom who has been a supervisor in the company she’s worked in for 20 plus years. Looking back at my failed attempts, I can only laugh at myself. I was too naive back then. I realized, I did not get promoted because at that time, I was just not ready.
See, getting promoted is not just passing your scorecards consistently in a monthly basis. There’s definitely more to it. You have to truly understand what you are doing, you have to have a wide horizon and understanding on what’s happening around you. You have to know what competencies are needed for the role that you are applying for and you have to have the skills to back it up. For example if you are planning to apply for a Team Leader role, which is a supervisory role, you have to know a LOT of things. You have to know how to deal with people and difficult sitations. You have to be able to analyze data and create action plans to address it. You have to know your support and your program inside out. You have to understand the metrics, kpis, service level, the program’s contractual goals and a lot more.
I’m thankful that I stuck with it. In time I was able to find good mentors and I gained more knowledge. I also developed my skills. I did tasks outside of just being an agent. I used to have a mindset of just logging in and out and putting up good numbers. I made the people around me better. I helped my Supervisor with his tasks so I had good understanding of what he was doing. I also picked his brains from time to time. It was a good thing I was transferred to another Team Leader who was more responsible and way more process oriented. That really opened up my horizon. I helped out and got engaged more in our account. I observed how Team Leaders do their job effectively and got their best practices. I mentored newbies and my teammates. I would gladly floorwalk and assist transition agents when I was asked. When it was time, and there was an opening for a promotion I finally got it. I got promoted several times to different positions/roles until I finally got the Team Leader role.
Hope this helps.