Jan 15, 2010

Migrating to WordPress

I hate to leave this lovely Blogger theme but I'm now migrating to Wordpress using my purchased domain http://mom-says.com starting today. I decided to do the migration this early while I haven't posted a lot here on Blogger yet.  I've bought my domain last September but it's only now that I get to use it.   Thanks to a fellow mom blogger, Mylene, for helping me set it up and host it for only $10 per year.    

Hope to see you there on my new home, folks!   

Jan 9, 2010

Last Friday I went to see my former employer to get my certificate of employment.   Due to the devastation caused by Typhoon Ondoy last September, my former boss opted to relocate the office in a more-elevated city and is far from our place so I didn't have a choice but to stop working then.  I also asked my former boss to stand as my character reference for my new employer and to my delight, he wrote a heart-warming feedback about me.  And much to my surprise, his mom handed me a shower cream gift set from Body Shop. A perfect pair to the Body Shop foot products I also got from a college friend (who was also my immediate superior back in radio) during the Holidays.   I've been wanting to buy these items for the longest time but they just wouldn't fit my budget. 

Even when I was still working with them, my employer's family has always been nice to me to the point of sending me food when I got sick.  They had the guard deliver food to our house, complete with fruits, oatmeal cookies, rice, and viand when I failed to go to work due to illness.  On my birthday, they cooked bihon for me and believe me, that bihon was our saving grace when we had no other food to eat at the rooftop during that Ondoy-fated day, the day after my birthday.   Even though my former employer and his family lost so much from Ondoy, they still continue to be a blessing for others.

I believe there really are angels among us.  And my former employer's family is one flock of them.

Jan 8, 2010

This week was the start of my hectic schedule.   I was up by 4 am, cooked breakfast, prepared my daughter's lunch pack for school, double-checked her notebooks and books in her trolley bag, woke up her dad so he could send Bianca to school, yadi-yada.   It was only after my daughter has left did I have the time to eat breakfast and hit the road to process my pre-employment requirements - complete medical exam, NBI (National Bureau of Investigation) clearance, community tax certificate, Mayor's Permit, ID pictures (1x1 and 2x2), among others.

The medical exam went well and was done after an hour or so.   Then I headed off to Quezon City Hall to get a Mayor's Permit.  I got there before noontime but lo and behold!   Throngs of people were jampacked in long, snaky queues to get cedula, NBI clearance, police clearance, business permit, and mayor's permit.  It's after all a common scenario during the month of January.

I figured it was impossible for me to finish everything I needed to do in just one day there.  Then somebody approached me and said he could get my NBI renewed in just 30 minutes because he has insider connections.  His asking price for convenience and short waiting period was P350 aside from the NBI renewal fee which was P115.  Darn.   No wonder why the long queues seemed at a halt, there were fixers in the area.   That's too bad for those who were waiting desperately in line despite the acid in their stomach.  They couldn't even leave for lunch or else somebody else would take their place and they'd have to go back to the bottom of the queue again.

I decided to get my NBI renewed in Riverbanks Center, Marikina instead where there were much lesser transactions.  I also got my community tax certificate in no time (nor sweat) through our own Barangay Hall.   The next day, I went back to Quezon City Hall for the Mayor's Permit, ready with the two required documents - cedula and NBI clearance.   The queue was still long and snaky but I was done in an hour.  The process was fast despite the huge throngs of people (I encountered no fixers here, unlike in NBI at the other building).

Another week has passed.  Next week faces more challenges - it's the start of my work week. 

Jan 5, 2010

Mom is all set to work

The die is cast.   Yes, I've finally made up my mind as to which company to join.   After thorough research and evaluation, and after soliciting advice from you, dear readers, I decided to join the company that has been in the industry for a longer period of time and whose attrition rate is lower.   Attrition, also known as employee turnover or the reduction in the number of employees through resignation,retirement, or death, is one of the biggest challenges in the BPO/call center industry today. 

Whatever the reasons (working condition, stress, compensation package, management issues, salary disputes, competition among companies, etc), high attrition means a red flag to me.  After snooping around online call center forums, I found out which companies have high attrition rates and why.   Though forums may not be the best and most reliable sources of these types of information, I believe they provide some truthful insider knowledge from call center employees themselves.  While other BPO and call center companies are being bashed with issues and angst by their own employees in the online forums, it's interesting to see that "Company C" is being bombarded with positive feedbacks.

Hence, I'm all set to join Company C, the one that offered me the highest starting salary among the three companies that I applied to.  I'm signing the contract tomorrow.  Though I definitely love the employee benefit package in Company B, I also looked at the other factors for consideration:  1. Basic Salary   2. Attrition   3. The account to which I'll be assigned (a huge and very stable US telecommunications company in Company C). 4. Employees' satisfaction ratings 

I would have wanted to know about the working conditions in both companies, their culture, room for career advancement, etc. but I wasn't able to.   Now that I've decided which company is best for me, it's my turn to do all efforts to be the best for the company too.   I'm now all set to give back. 

Jan 2, 2010

If there's one good thing about urban living, it is that career opportunities are within easy reach as long as you're skilled.   Last week, I started my job hunting through the internet, applied online, and within hours I already got calls from different call center companies asking me to undergo their 1-day hiring process.   And so I did.  

I went to three different companies, all situated within 10-20 minutes away from our place of residence. On day 1, I went to Company A which is the most popular among the three.   After taking the series of exams, which other applicants tagged as a Quiz Bee for being so long and tough, I qualified for the final interview (I was the last man standing) and was offered a job.   However, the basic salary offered was too low, I'd rather stay home and baby-sit my daughter.

The next day I went to Company B which also made me take a series of exams that included tough Mathematical problems among others, then two interviews.  Luckily, I passed too and was offered a neat compensation package.  The basic salary was better than that in Company A.   What got me so interested were the medical and dental benefits that would cover me and my dependent from day 1 of my training.   Add to that the fixed shift schedule and fixed days off, plus the two days leave credits per month which I'd start earning from the first month of training.  And half of that is convertible to cash! Sounded so enticing but then again, I wanted to be sure if there'd be something better somewhere.

Company C had a practically easy series of exams but they were tough during the panel interview.   Luckily again, I passed and was offered a job on the same day.   They offered the highest basic salary compared to Companies A and B but they couldn't match the employee benefits offered by Company B.   All three of them offered almost the same amount of allowances on top of the basic pay.

Now I'm torn between Companies B and C.  I've been weighing things out for the past days and I have to decide by Monday, as much as possible.   I'm targetting a long-term career in this industry so I'd like to make sure I choose the right company that I can maximize my time and skills with.  I know what I want but judging two companies that you only know through their website is pretty challenging.   I'm hoping to gather some insider information (about the working environment, company culture, etc) from these two companies but it seems more challenging because I don't know anybody from these two.   I guess I'm left with not much choice but to decide according to the offers presented to me.

If you were in my shoes, what would be your biggest considerations in choosing the company to join?