What is it I actually do for a living?
May 22, 2015 6:39 PM   Subscribe

I'm an administrator at an ISP. I'm not sure if I'm data entry or if I'm gaining transferrable skills. Inside are a list of tasks I perform on a daily/weekly basis...

My tasks include:

Auditing processes. Example: I go through 200-300 accounts that day to make sure call centre representatives did their job properly for a certain task/sale/work order. I check key things against a list before moving on 1-2 minutes later. Another task is to make sure cancellations, credits, and charges are done properly. If not, I fix them and send feedback to the representative. This is one of the many audits and corrections we do.

Invoices. I haven't done this yet, but I go through stacks of customer invoices to make sure the right amounts are billed to the correct accounts.

Credit card reversals and refund cheques. I go through accounts that are listed as closed, make sure they are, make sure all the equipment is returned properly, and then issue a refund cheque. Same process applies for credit card reversals.

Data entry. I go through hundreds of accounts to check the settings of equipment before the work orders are posted the next day. Apparently the ISP wants to make sure the equipment is turned on properly and reduce call volumes. These changes are marked on an Excel spreadsheet. Similar route tasks are assigned to different people in my department.

Phone number ports. I make sure when accounts are transferred with phone numbers, they're done properly. We go fix issues representatives were unable to fix.

Emails. We respond to emails regarding sales processes sent to us by representatives. One guy watches a phone hotline that's there for customers/staff who have questions about the process. He typically gets 1-2 calls a day.

I got promoted to this position after being in tech support for 2-3 years. This is a coveted position. Hundreds applied for it internally as people want to move on from customer care roles. Some of my co-workers have been in this role for 30+ years. This ISP is the first "real" job I got after uni. I feel taking this promotion (and pay bump) is good for my career. They pay very well (I have a pension, 4 weeks of vacation, and my salary is enough for me to get a mortgage), but I am concerned about gaining transferrable skills I can take to other companies.
posted by GiveUpNed to Computers & Internet (6 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
It's a little hard to tell from this description, because the "what tasks I do all day" breakdown is substantially different from the "what skills I'm using" breakdown.

Example: far more important than what you do when auditing is how you know what to do. Who wrote the list you consult of things that might go wrong? How did you learn how to "go through" these accounts? If you essentially just needed to follow detailed instructions in a training manual, then yes, you are basically doing data entry--but you may be building familiarity with certain languages/systems/technologies along the way that could be transferrable. If you wrote the list and figured out what to do, then "going through the accounts" is probably not what your time is valued for.

Assuming you're following a set of procedures that came with the job, sometimes the skills that got you this job (and will get you another) can be far more general than you're expecting, and can be easy to undervalue until you have to hire someone. Do you know when to look into something on your own and when to let your boss know about something weird going on? Can you prioritize all these different tasks and manage your time accordingly? Can you keep track of what still needs to be done and what issues are still pending resolution, without someone having to make you a brand new set of instructions for that?
posted by cogitron at 8:04 PM on May 22, 2015 [3 favorites]

Response by poster: @cogitron: Yes, I know when to look into something on my own and fix balances/errors/incorrect money transfers on my own. However, since I'm still new, I don't write the list. I'm told "here's what you need to look for, this is the procedure we have to reps to follow, audit accounts and fix discrepancies that deviate from the official process." I'm very independent. Sure I get placed on data entry projects, but I'm free to fix things on my own. I have some performance metrics to meet, but I'm really free to use my own judgement to fix issues, note the account, send feedback, and track ongoing problems. I know what I do, because I ended up becoming a senior TSR working independently.
posted by GiveUpNed at 8:18 PM on May 22, 2015

This is a terrific question -I'm following these answers, and thanks cogitron, for the clarity!
posted by bird internet at 9:03 AM on May 23, 2015

I've done hiring for a company with a lot of proprietary systems and processes. Since I couldn't hire for people with that specific knowledge I needed to look for people who could learn the skills we needed. So, while knowing your ISPs specific skills might not transfer, your ability to learn them, to apply that knowledge to critical tasks, etc will all be good selling points if you go somewhere else. Its much easier to teach someone to use program X then to teach someone to be responsible, how to solve problems, or how to think about a general type of problem.

Key points I'd mention when showing why your skills transfer:
--You became an expert on their systems are were promoted to a position where you fixed problems.
--Analytic skills. Problem solving using your own judgement is highly desirable.
--Accounting / Auditing skills
--Problem solving
--Customer Service. Particularly tracking cases to resolution and working on more complicated problems or escalations.

And as Cogitron mentioned above, look at the software you are using for these tasks. Some may be specific to your ISP, but some may transfer. If you do a lot with Microsoft Office, those skills are great for other jobs. Excel in particular is a great product for use in the business world.

When looking elsewhere, you can also look at the job description posted and edit how you describe your skills and responsibilities to sound more like what they are looking for, even if the specific system are different.
posted by nalyd at 9:46 AM on May 23, 2015 [1 favorite]

Want to make your skills on the job transferable? Automate your workflows.
posted by oceanjesse at 12:11 PM on May 23, 2015

Compared to tech support, the new job seems like a big step up. Congrats. I can think of lots of jobs you could be considered for after this. One example among people I deal with professional are project admins at health insurance carriers who shepard new groups through the process of getting enrolled.
posted by SemiSalt at 8:23 PM on May 23, 2015

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