Is Call Center Work really stressful?

Hi Se7en. I am currently job hunting. Karamihan sa mga company na ina-applyan ko are call centers. What really scares me is the stress level. Totoo ba yon? I mean, stressful ba talaga? Pano ko iiwasan na ma stress? Also, sabi mo sa blog mo almost 13 years ka na sa industry, how did you survive that long? Akala ko kasi pang trabahong fresh grad lang ang call center.


Hi Marian. Thank you for your email. It’s true that I’ve been in this industry for 13 years (going 14). YEARS AGO, when I joined the call center industry, I had the same opinion; in fact, sabi ko sa sarili ko “ito na lang ba ang kaya kong gawin?” This unhealthy, immature, misdirected mentality led me to a negative attitude towards my work, which made me unhappy. Literally, I had to drag myself to work every day.

When I turned 30, I realized I had nothing – no career development, management, leadership skill, or competency. I dug deeper and discovered that the problem was not with the job or the company but my perception of the industry. It had no future, in my opinion. I needed to change my mindset to change my situation. Everything changed when I did.

That’s when my career came into play. I started thinking about the long term. I began by considering what I needed to improve on (leadership and management) and asked all of my TLs to aid me (I still do that today). Bottom line: if you want to change the situation, you must change your way of thinking. Otherwise, you will be stuck in a never-ending stream of resignations and applications.

There is indeed stress in the call center. In fact, as soon as you decide to sign a job offer, you must accept the fact that there will be stress, regardless of the account. If you don’t take this reality, you’ll be sick and tired,  demotivated, and ready to give up. There will be stress everywhere you go. Sometimes the stress from where you came from is far worse than the stress from where you went. Straight from the frying pan to the fire, ika nga nila. This is why call center employees are paid more. The more complex the task, the higher the pay (sadly, volume (or the number of calls you take) is NOT a determinant of higher income).

What do you do when you’re stressed? You can’t get away from it. You confront it squarely. So you face it with information and a solution. This is how I deal with stress: I am stressed because there is a problem. There is a problem because there is a process gap, a lack of communication or understanding, or a behavioral issue.  Keep the 80-20 rule in mind (otherwise known as the Pareto Principle). In layman’s terms, this means that the source of 80% of your problems is caused by 20% of something – find out what that 20% is and solve it, and the rest of the problem will collapse.

Finally, you need to learn which battles to fight and which ones to ignore or let go of. Lifehacker wrote an excellent article about that here.

Hope this helps.




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