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Working in a call centre

Working in a call centre
Working at a UK call centre offers flexible hours, decent pay and a ch

Working at a UK call centre offers flexible hours, decent pay and a chance to hone your communication skills

Pulling up stumps in a call centre is a swell idea if you've just arrived in the UK and need to earn some pounds — fast. Irene Missen, manager of the Windsor office of specialist multi-lingual recruiter Euro London Appointments, gives us the lowdown on call centre jobs.

Do you need experience?

The amount of experience depends on the level of the role. There are entry-level positions where call centre experience isn't essential, and where summer work experience or an apprenticeship is sufficient.

What skills are needed?

You will be dealing with customers all day so strong communication skills are essential. Computer literacy is needed and good organisation.

Will I have to cold call?

Not all call centre roles involve cold calling — they are mainly focused on customer service. However, if the role is in a telemarketing environment then it's likely you will have to do some cold calling.

What kind of products do staff have to sell?

There are a wide range of products including insurance, holidays, flights, tickets, etc.

What's the pay like?

It obviously depends on the level of the position, location and industry sector, but annual salaries start at around £14,000 and increase with seniority and proximity to London.

Is there a high demand for call centre staff?

Yes, there is always a high demand for candidates with relevant experience and good communication skills. German, Dutch and Scandinavian languages are in demand and many times the requirement is for trilingual candidates rather than bilingual. There are also plenty of opportunities for French, Italian and Spanish speakers.

Can I work part-time?

Some call centres do have shifts requiring employees to work nights but the rest have regular office hours. Most positions are permanent and full-time, but occasionally there are part-time positions and/or contract roles.

Are there any perks?

Many companies offer attractive benefits, and training and development programmes. Call centres provide good experience and help develop negotiation and communication skills. A friendly team environment is another advantage of the job.

Robert Corrie
From: Brisbane, Australia
Age: 22
Lives: Wimbledon

Robert Corrie used to laugh at the idea of working at a call centre back home in Brisbane. But he is now a firm convert to the industry after working at BPS Contact Centre in Wimbledon for the past two-and-a-half years. "We do all sorts of different things, from customer service to cold calling and selling to customers," Corrie says. Corrie enjoys the work, but it's also the atmosphere, friendly people and flexibility of the role that has him hooked on his call centre job. "I really like the people I work with and the flexibility of being able to come and go and have days off if I need them. "I travel a lot and I know I can go off travelling and my job is still there when I come back." Of course the money has to deliver too, says Corrie, who gets paid an hourly wage. "But on top of that you get commission, so if you put in a load of work you easily make £1000 a month." Corrie isn't sure if he'll make a career out of working at call centres, but for now it's suiting him just fine.


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