Earlier this morning, I saw this photo with caption written by Ace Aguirre on Facebook. Whether you guys believe it or not, his post is an eye-opener.
I already worked for 10 years. Salary was growing since year one, however cost of living grew as well and most of the time higher than my annual increase (be it merit, promotion or transfer to another company).
This illustration is an eye-opener. Most of the time, we look at salary as it is and fail to consider the cost of going to work (fare, food, vitamins, coffee to keep you awake, etc.). For most businessmen, this is overhead cost.
I computed mine before, sad but true, I can relate to this. This is the reason why I see to it that I always have other sources of income. Other sources where I am paid my real worth.
Figures don’t lie. Compute yours.
To my fellow Call Center employees, feel free to call me bitter, or any negative adjective you can throw on my face after sharing this to you all. You can call me all-knowing as well, since admittedly, I am kinda’ financially unintelligent. Nevertheless, let me allow you to share his post, and seriously, I can relate his post to most of us, especially the veterans like me — regardless of profession — and earning around Php 20,000 above.
We jump from one Call Center to another, and salary discontentment is one of the reasons behind that, aside from other numerous reasons [i.e., terminated due to fraudulent activity, failing to graduate from Performance Improvement Plan (PIP), dislike with company environment, salary disputes left unresolved, account pullout that leaves anyone on floating status and so on]. Whenever we move to another Call Center, yeah, we have to keep our price up; otherwise, babaratin at babaratin na tayo. However, as we continue to price ourselves up, we should all be realistic and anticipate what most Call Center companies can offer, and mind you, not all of them can offer you the amount you are asking for. Time will come, you will no longer find any company that offers the likes of Php30,000 and above and if they do, it is mostly for difficult and toxic accounts such as financial or technical accounts. If you are looking for a retail or reservations account, do not expect that the same amount will be given to you.
Please bear in mind that even if you earn as much as Php45,000 a month as an agent alone, things will not end here. This does not mean you will easily get rich.
First thing to consider: the never-ending Withholding Tax that continues to increase as the salary increases. Go ahead, do the Google-ing, search BIR, compute your bi-monthly salary and do the Math. Tutuktukan ko ang mga putapeteng magtatanga-tangahan!
Second: Either your electricity bills, gas for your automotives, transportation fares, or monthly house rentals will increase, especially if you decided to move to a company far far away from your location.
Third: Lifestyle increases, and of course, depends on the business district your work location is located. If you let your lifestyle increase (or magmayaman), tuloy-tuloy ka pa sa pag-iinom every after shift, panay taxi ka pa, do not expect any amount to remain in your bank.
I do not question things like investing for a presentable clothing, motorcycle or car. That means, you are investing for something right. Sending yourself to school, review center or training centers? No problem. You can buy yourself a new phone provided that you do not buy phones more often, para lang to keep up with the pa-sosyal people. Huwag lang talagang magmayaman o mag-iinum every after shift. Keeping Php500 every fortnight is such a huge help especially in times of emergency. Php500 every fortnight for a year? You do the math.
Saving at least Php500 every fortnight or more is a huge help, just make sure that you will not end up whining up your pathetic innuendos about how messed-up life is, just for you to gain sympathy and in the end, u-utang ka na naman. Mabuti sana kung ang uutangan mo, mas malaki pa sahod sa iyo. Best of all, mabuti kung uutang ka rin lang naman, hindi sa 5-6 money lenders na in the end, tatakbuhan mo lang naman din.
[Side Note: Pasensya na guys. May pinaghuhugutan lang din ako.]
While I am not exactly financially intelligent, money management IS THE KEY. No ifs. No buts. Manage your finances well. It will help you, especially if you are about to move to a new Call Center. And speaking of money management, keeping Credit Cards is okay, but just make sure you keep only ONE CREDIT CARD, and do not be a mindless spender, and the consequence for being a mindless spender is already self-explanatory.
Another thing we should think as well, try not to hop from one Call Center to another and if you do, please make sure you have saved well enough, and the company you are working for is a stable company.
Lastly, better consider a career fallback other than Call Center/BPO industry. Even if you are lucky enough to work for an Australian dayshift account, time will come, and you will be forced to work at night again. The question is, how long can you be able to work at night, especially when you are young? Mabuti sana kung matanda ka na, pero still, ultimong matatanda humihina rin ang resistensya kapag matagal nang nagtatrabaho sa gabi. Mababayaran ka ba ng night differential at health card once na tamaan ka ng matinding karamdaman? At kapag namatay ka na, handa ba ang buong pamilya mo, especially financially?
[Side Note: Iba pa rin ang tulog sa umaga, at ‘yung feeling na nakakakain ka pa ng sa tamang oras? It makes a difference, guys. My basic salary is not currently reaching to Php20,000 a month but the volume of stress I have endured after 8 long years of working in a night shift has now decreased. Ang sarap ng feeling na, kahit inaantok ka sa umpisa ng shift, gising na gising ang diwa mo towards the end of your shift.]
If you happened to be graduated from Engineering, Architecture, Education, Nursing course and you applied in a Call Center, do not forsake the thought of getting a license and practice the profession. I may not have any idea, pero sa tingin ko, iba pa rin ang fulfillment na mararamdaman mo, and ibang level ng pride na meron ka once you practice your profession. If you are a college undergraduate, take advantage of TESDA free trainings, and invest for your National Certification of any level. The salary of beauticians, welders, bakers etc. may not be as high as any Call Center Agent, but at least, you have a fallback. Remember, hindi lang Call Center ang trabaho sa ‘Pinas. Keep on investing on your mind and experience, and you’ll realize, the growth you will experience within you will be greater than just merely working in a Call Center, regardless of profession.
Don’t get me wrong. There is nothing wrong in working in a Call Center. I am simply reminding you guys of some possible hard-hitting realities once you step in the world of Call Center/BPO industry and what may happen when you do not prepare. Stop delusioning for higher positions if you are an agent, because time will come, you will end up like any agents out there, giving up their positions because they could no longer keep up with the pressures of being a Team Leader or a Manager. In my case, I did not regret of not being promoted all my life. I have managed an outlet ONCE before joining the Call Center/BPO bandwagon and I failed to keep up with the company expectations. While you are thinking of your ‘price’ in the event you have to apply to another Call Center, please consider your overall well-being. Time will come, you have to perish the thought of earning greater than Php25,000 at magtiis sa mas mababang sasahurin sa Australian dayshift account. Ano? Papatayin mo pa sarili mo kumita ka lang ng Php35,000 pataas? #ShabuPaMore!
Lastly, you should think and observe other people who are not working in a Call Center/BPO industry. Those are the people who do not earn as much as you guys do. Some earns only on minimum wage scale, and if some others earn higher than minimum, it is not as high as seasoned Call Center worker. However, some of them are breadwinners to their families, some are able to provide some money for rent, food, electricity. Some with a salary Php15000/month or below is able to send their siblings to schools and help them graduate from college. Some are able to buy themselves a branded cellphone (not necessarily iPhone, Samsung or even BlackBerry), GoPro, Laptop or Desktop computer. Some are able to invest on appliances even they are on a salary bracket less than Php12,000. Ayaw pa maniwala? Baka gusto niyong magtanong?
Again, I may be the person with questionable savings, but there is a whole lot of truthiness on this undying statement:
IT IS NOT WHAT YOU EARN. IT IS WHAT YOU SAVE.
My mom has neverendingly telling me this statement. In the end, I ending up believing her.
Realtalk: Higher pay does not always give the benefits that we always wanted. Sometimes, stress, anxiety, sickness, and difficulty of work nature is the prize that we get for aiming for higher pay.
Realtalk: It is how you appreciate your job and how you do your job REALLY well, and when I say REALLY well, it does not include how you hit the metrics excellently, because being top-performer in AHT, CSAT and QA is nonsense when you absent habitually. And having IT or Engineer as your CAREER is nothing when you behave sloppily on those.