Customer service ---> Gainful employment
December 14, 2011 8:45 PM Subscribe
Help me transition out of my customer service "career"
posted by WeekendJen to Work & Money (7 answers total) 7 users marked this as a favorite
I'm in need of any and all tips to transition out of my customer service career. I believe my main issue is that I lack a clear understanding of my options since I don't "know what I want to be."
I have worked for the same company for about 4 years now. Initially I was hired to handle customer service for one large business account and while that job was decent, it was a bit boring most of the time and there was no room for advancement or even exposure to other opportunities in the company since I worked on-site at the large account rather than at a site belonging to my company. This job was also a long commute for me and the price of getting to and from work took up a lot of my budget (about $400 per month). The job site was in an area were I couldn't afford to live closer to. The things I liked most about the job were the freedom to make my own schedule and being able to do the majority of my work unsupervised.
About 5 months ago I applied and got a new position in the same company. I now work in one of their offices a lot closer to my home. However, I hate this job with the fire of a thousand suns. I was brought into the office to handle increased customer service volume due to another location closing and now being handled out of the location I am in. The workflow is far too much for the 5 of us in the office to handle and we are consistently 2 weeks behind. WE have been working 10 hours on our shortest days and also asked to come in on weekends. I usually work with no break at all. I feel like there is nothing being done to address our concerns with the volume of work we are getting. I feel like there is no room for advancement in my position and that I will get "stuck" if I stay too long, burnt out and unable to pool my energies to find another job.
That is all on top of the fact that I don't want to be stuck doing customer service forever. My most recent job searching has yielded a few instances of the catch 22 of needing experience, but not finding any employment to gain experience. I currently make around $16 per hour and would need to make at least that much (working at least a 40 hour week). I am in Philadelphia and will need to stay in the area. I've exhausted my strong references, but I suppose I could try to network with new people.
My previous jobs have been in retail stores, temp service jobs (such as "sales assistant") and waitressing. I have a BA in English. I'm moderately handy with tools. I'm fluent in the MS Office Suite.
What position titles should I be looking for to apply? ARe there any companies known for taking on people with a generic skillset so they can gain experience in a particular field? I just don't really know where to go from here and my current job is so miserable that the only option I can really think of is to go back to waitressing for a while. The only thing I want to be is not in my current job. Help!