5 ways to move from your contact centre career

Man in call centre smiles at the camera

Technology may cut contact centre careers. Here's how to use your skills for a new career.

Many careers will eventually be disrupted by new technology.  

That’s already happening in contact centres. The Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment predicts that 10,000 contact centre staff should be looking for other jobs soon, as smart automation takes over the work they do.

If you work in a contact centre, that’s the bad news. The good news is that the experience and skills you’ve gained in your role will help you move into a different career, whether that's with your current employer or somewhere else.

1. Get support from your manager

Your manager will already know that technology is likely to disrupt the contact centre industry, and may be happy to help you to make a career change. Book a time with your manager to talk about your goals and ask for help. They may be able to connect you to potential mentors or people already working in your chosen new career.

You could also ask your manager to pay for your training, or change your work hours to fit around your studies.

2. Observe someone in your chosen role

Work shadowing involves following and watching someone during their workday, to better understand what their job involves. This on-the-job training can help you decide if a role will suit you, and help you identify areas where you may need more training or development.

Your manager may be able to help connect you with someone to shadow. You can also look over your contact and social media lists, or ask friends and family to help you find a shadowing opportunity.

3. Find a mentor

A mentor or coach could be a professional in your team, another department or another business. They can answer questions about their role and industry, offer you guidance, and connect you to people and opportunities to advance your new career.

Your mentor should be a senior in your new career, and enthusiastic about helping you achieve your goals. If you can’t immediately think of someone, ask your manager or those already working in your new career.

You may want to establish a formal mentoring relationship, or take a more casual approach – perhaps a few meetings over coffee. Either way, always thank your mentor sincerely, and make an effort to keep in contact. 

4. Offer to help your manager

Management skills and experience are valuable in many roles and industries. By volunteering to help your manager you’ll have the opportunity to develop these skills on the job. These tasks might include analysing statistics, planning staffing, coaching and supporting junior staff, or basic administration.

5. Consider retraining

With a bit more training, there are many career options that can use your existing skills such as:

  • Data analyst
  • Relationship manager
  • Sales analyst
  • Workforce planner
  • UX (user experience) designer

Find out more

Sources

  • Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment, 'Occupation Outlook - Contact Centre Workers', accessed March 2019, (www.mbie.govt.nz)
  • Stock, R, ‘Talking Your Way to a Career – How a Call Centre Job Can Get You on Your Way’, 1 July 2017, (www.stuff.co.nz).
  • World Economic Forum, 'The Future of Jobs - Employment, Skills and Workforce Strategy for the Fourth Industrial Revolution', January 2016, (www3.weforum.org).

Updated 12 Apr 2019