My name is Richard Bilog, 27 years old and I have been with the Sitel Philippines for the past 7 years.
I started as a customer service representative in 2012. I was still enrolled in the university as a working scholar. Intending to finance my own studies, I started looking for a job. It was my first time seeking employment and as an aspiring engineer, I initially planned on applying to one of the biggest semi-conductor companies in our city. Unfortunately, I was not hired because I lacked the number of required college units; not to mention the other requirements needed before landing that internship. I thought that was going to be the end of my dream to finish college.
As I turned the corner, I saw Sitel’s signage on the opposite side of the road. I knew for sure it was going to be a risk. I kept hearing from others that I might not be able to focus on my studies since they mostly operate in the evening – graveyard shift as we call it. It’s the risk that paid off incredibly well. My application went smoothly, and though I failed on the first account interview, they gave me a chance to go through another one. I was finally hired as a CSR. Despite the fact that I went home at 2 o’clock in the morning the next day, I went back with a big smile on my face.
I still remember my first day of training as it was like meeting your new classmates. This time though, I met a diverse group of people – some young and naive like me, some breadwinners of the family, some are older whom we call “Mommy”, “Daddy” or “Ate/Kuya” and some wound up being great friends. It was the closest thing we can compare to a family, and we all felt at home.
It was never easy. There were times that I wanted just to quit and walk away from this job. I have witnessed some of my colleagues leave the company either because of the shift hours, performance, and some due to personal reasons. But for us who stayed, we knew that the sacrifices we made would pay off somehow. After 2 years of being a tier 1 CSR and because of the technical knowledge I gained in college, I was promoted to a tier 2 representative or Customer Advocate. I learned many things in that department as I have handled reports and analytic tasks. Soon, I realized, I could mean more in the company. I have eradicated the idea that I will be stuck with answering phone calls from the opposite side of the world. So I was up for the challenge and started asking what other possibilities were available to me within the company. My colleagues made it very easy for me to know all the necessary information and everyone was willing to lend a helping hand for me to learn new things – a company culture we should be proud of.
After 4 years, I was promoted to the role of Reporting Analyst for a retail account. I met new friends, learned new things; I had wonderful and meaningful experiences as I diligently completed my tasks. My adventure in the company did not stop there.
After 2 years, I decided that I wanted to be a Team Lead. I got the job and was able to handle a team of my own. During this time, I realized they trained me to become a better version of myself. In 2018, Sitel opened its Speech Analytics department. My supervisor recommended that I apply. At that time, I had absolutely no idea what the job was and what it entailed. I only knew that it was something new in the market and it was about examining interactions. I did my best in the interview and I landed the position. Again, it was not easy, and I had to learn things in record speed, and I did.
As I’ve mentioned earlier, my employment with Sitel has paid off in incredibly well, not only financially but with all the benefits and privileges that we enjoy. I have yet to earn my college degree, but as I grew as a professional in Sitel, I realized there are other ways for me to get there. The government offers a program to award a degree relevant to the profession you have been practicing granted that you have at least 5 years of working experience. I was given a great opportunity to earn my diploma, not only with the number of years I have spent in Sitel, but because I have learned and applied the things they will teach me in the university in the industry.
This year, I was promoted to manage the innovative department of Speech Analytics. It was a role I never imagined could be achieved at this age. This is my Sitel story, and I am proud to continue to write it.