8 Tips For Surviving Your University Call Center Job

8 Tips To Survive Your University Call Center Job Without Phoning It In

Even if you don't love your job, you don't have to hate it.

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If you're thinking about how to make a dent in some of your bills, working at your university's call center could be the way to do it. Most campuses have them and the people hiring for open positions frequently hire current students or alumni because they know those people can represent the establishment well.

Working in a call center generates income but it's not always easy. Here are some tips for thriving as you master the phone lines.

1. Don't take rejection personally

Many outgoing people love working in a university call center because the job allows them to talk to such a wide variety of individuals. However, some won't be thrilled about picking up the phone and hearing your voice. Maybe they just sat down to dinner or are dealing with the stresses of a fussy toddler.

If the person you're calling gets upset, take a deep breath, apologize for disturbing them and clarify that you'll get back in touch at a more convenient time. Never assume the rejection is a reflection of your skills or who you are.

2. Use calming essential oils

Even the most level-headed people occasionally feel swamped by the kind of work a call center demands. If you often get anxious, consider using a temple balm with a soothing scent such as lavender. Temple balms are lightweight substances you can apply to the insides of your wrists or even spread a tiny bit inside your nostrils.

Otherwise, look for essential oils sold in roll-on applicators. They're typically about the size of a tube of lip balm, making them easy to carry in your pocket and retrieve when you feel under pressure at work.

3. Confide in your colleagues when appropriate

Everyone has bad days, in call centers and elsewhere. One beneficial element of working in a call center is that all the other people gazing at computer interfaces and using phones around you have almost certainly gone through experiences similar to the ones that threaten to make you lose your cool.

Don't be afraid to confide in them about things other call center employees understand. But, only do that when the time is right. Don't start griping about an upsetting customer when the person sitting next to you is conversing with someone else. Save that for breaks or when you have social gatherings with colleagues away from work.

4. Learn your scripts

If your role involves cold calls, scripts can make it easier to give every person you call a consistent experience. Taking time to memorize your scripts could bring you confidence that helps curb the natural anxiety that can arise when calling strangers. But, leave room for improvisation, too.

People will pose various questions based on the information you give them and the queries will change depending on if you're asking for donations, selling season passes for the college's football games or fielding queries from prospective students.

Think of your script as a foundation that helps you feel well-equipped for any people you encounter on the phone during a shift. Then, use your judgment to give supplementary information that makes the individuals feel informed about the products associated with you or your campus.

5. Focus on the positives

When call center employees get overwhelmed, it's common for them to focus exclusively on the bad parts of the job. However, student call center workers benefit universities and those employees get benefits, too.

For example, an employer at your university may be more understanding of your class schedule than someone associated with the local community. Flexibility is a mutual benefit both for people who work at call centers and those who need their services. Plus, being in a student call center lets you become an ambassador of sorts for your college.

Those are just a couple of ideas of things you can recall if you start to feel discouraged. Your perspective shapes your outlook and everyone needs a reminder of that from time to time — especially when the phone lines are busy and you're not having the kind of success you'd hoped for during a given shift.

6. Think of something that makes you happy before dialing a number

Working in a call center means people can't assess your non-verbal communication. They only hear your voice, so it's useful to learn how to sound better over the phone. One of the easiest tricks is to think of something pleasant before you dial a person's number. Maybe you'll call your favorite vacation spot to mind or the adorable face of your faithful pet to put a smile on your face.

No matter what kind of mental image you choose, it should be powerful enough to help you sound enthusiastic to the caller and feel uplifted overall.

7. Be honest with your supervisor

You'll likely get to a point in your student call center career where it becomes clear something isn't working. It could be that your hourly quota is too high and makes you feel so rushed that people think you're impatient with them. Or, maybe you believe more training would help you improve your performance.

In any case, it's up to you to mention those things and specify how your superior could help.

8. Give yourself time to decompress after work

A shift that goes well can still have some down moments. That's why it's a good idea to set aside a period after work you can use to clear your head and process the events you experienced. You might take a walk while doing so or let yourself mull over the day doing something you enjoy, like cooking or art.

Experiment with these survival strategies!

You undoubtedly have things you do to get through other challenging parts of the college experience. You can ponder these possibilities as well to increase the likelihood of having the best possible experience as a university call center worker.

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So, You Want To Be A Nurse?

You're going to find that nursing isn't really about the medicine or the assessments. Being a nurse is so much more than anything that you can learn in school. Textbooks can't teach you compassion and no amount of lecture time will teach you what it truly means to be a nurse.

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To the college freshman who just decided on nursing,

I know why you want to be a nurse.

Nurses are important. Nursing seems fun and exciting, and you don't think you'll ever be bored. The media glorifies navy blue scrubs and stethoscopes draped around your neck, and you can't go anywhere without hearing about the guaranteed job placement. You passed AP biology and can name every single bone in the human body. Blood, urine, feces, salvia -- you can handle all of it with a straight face. So, you think that's what being a nurse is all about, right? Wrong.

You can search but you won't find the true meaning of becoming a nurse until you are in the depths of nursing school and the only thing getting you through is knowing that in a few months, you'll be able to sign the letters "BSN" after your name...

You can know every nursing intervention, but you won't find the true meaning of nursing until you sit beside an elderly patient and know that nothing in this world can save her, and all there's left for you to do is hold her hand and keep her comfortable until she dies.

You'll hear that one of our biggest jobs is being an advocate for our patients, but you won't understand until one day, in the middle of your routine physical assessment, you find the hidden, multi-colored bruises on the 3-year-old that won't even look you in the eyes. Your heart will drop to your feet and you'll swear that you will not sleep until you know that he is safe.

You'll learn that we love people when they're vulnerable, but you won't learn that until you have to give a bed bath to the middle-aged man who just had a stroke and can't bathe himself. You'll try to hide how awkward you feel because you're young enough to be his child, but as you try to make him feel as comfortable as possible, you'll learn more about dignity at that moment than some people learn in an entire lifetime.

Every class will teach you about empathy, but you won't truly feel empathy until you have to care for your first prisoner in the hospital. The guards surrounding his room will scare the life out of you, and you'll spend your day knowing that he could've raped, murdered, or hurt people. But, you'll walk into that room, put your fears aside, and remind yourself that he is a human being still, and it's your job to care, regardless of what he did.

Each nurse you meet will beam with pride when they tell you that we've won "Most Trusted Profession" for seventeen years in a row, but you won't feel that trustworthy. In fact, you're going to feel like you know nothing sometimes. But when you have to hold the sobbing, single mother who just received a positive breast cancer diagnosis, you'll feel it. Amid her sobs of wondering what she will do with her kids and how she's ever going to pay for treatment, she will look at you like you have all of the answers that she needs, and you'll learn why we've won that award so many times.

You'll read on Facebook about the nurses who forget to eat and pee during their 12-hour shifts and swear that you won't forget about those things. But one day you'll leave the hospital after an entire shift of trying to get your dying patient to eat anything and you'll realize that you haven't had food since 6:30 A.M. and you, too, will be one of those nurses who put everything else above themselves.

Too often we think of nursing as the medicine and the procedures and the IV pumps. We think of the shots and the bedpans and the baths. We think all the lab values and the blood levels that we have to memorize. We think it's all about the organs and the diseases. We think of the hospitals and the weekends and the holidays that we have to miss.

But, you're going to find that nursing isn't really about the medicine or the assessments. Being a nurse is so much more than anything that you can learn in school. Textbooks can't teach you compassion, and no amount of lecture time will teach you what it truly means to be a nurse.

So, you think you want to be a nurse?

Go for it. Study. Cry. Learn everything. Stay up late. Miss out on things. Give it absolutely everything that you have.

Because I promise you that the decision to dedicate your life to saving others is worth every sleepless night, failed test, or bad day that you're going to encounter during these next four years. Just keep holding on.

Sincerely,

The nursing student with just one year left.

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What I Wish I Knew About Life After High School Before I Had To Live It

Life after high school isn't always what you expected it to be.

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So you're about to graduate high school and you think you have it all figured out. You and your best friends are going to stay close throughout college and you're going to take those long road trips in college to see each other. Think again.

Life after high school isn't always what you want it to be. You think you'll miss high school, you'll always be close with your high school besties, and you'll have all this free time in college. That's just not entirely true. I personally do not miss high school. I don't really talk to anyone I went to high school with on a regular basis, and I'm totally OK with that. I have friends in college that I believe will be my lifelong friends whereas my friends in high school didn't make an effort to keep in contact with me after high school.

I haven't had all the free time I've dreamed of in college, because I'm busy with school and meetings. When I'm not doing homework, I'm making sure the rest of my life is in order and all my stuff for school is in line. I'm not the crazy party girl that people think I am because of where I go to school. I'd rather sit in bed and watch Netflix than go out with my friends. I'm not a 4.0 student, but I work so hard in my classes just to make sure that I'm passing. I study a week before tests and still don't always make A's. And that's OK. It's not what I expected during my college years, but it's what's happening, and most of my friends are the same way.

Anne Marie Bonadio

Just know that life in college isn't all easy, breezy, and beautiful like Covergirl. It's hard and you will struggle whether it be in school or with your friends. College isn't always complete freedom. You'll be tied down with school and life and you won't have the free time that you always imagined. You won't always be best friends with your high school friends. You won't be taking those road trips because you won't be able to afford them, and if you're like me, your parents won't let you.

College won't be exactly what you dreamed it'll be, but it'll be some of the best years of your life.

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