#2 Posted: 25 Apr 2008 17:47
K3, it starts with what you want, but what you want isn't the thing that will create momentum. The better you pay attention to how you and others fit into a picture, the better you are going to see where else you can go. That is going to mean a period of time with lots of listening and learning from it (that means the work itself that a CSR does as well as how to deal with people in general).
"Listening" and "dealing with people" all sounds very theoretical and fluffy, and I wouldn't blame you if you find it insufficient, but I think people who are eager for change would do themselves a favor if they looked at what listening and dealing with people actually means. It means you are gaining insight into what others want, are going to want, are doing, will likely do soon--all along, learning how to say things better. You're in the thick of human behaviors, and if you excel at your application of listening and dealing skills, then you gain a track record, become an asset, and you can come to understand how you can apply yourself in different ways. And lots of people discover that what they started out wanting before landing a job as a CSR is no longer what they wanted, they have arrived at an interest in something different.
Some of the areas that CSRs move into are project management, higher ranks in sales organizations, marketing, higher ranks in operations... I have promoted people that have moved into positions like these, and I have seen people move outside the company to positions like these as well (the latter much less frequently, since the right combination of things have been in place for people to stay with my company lately). In some cases, people move to a new position that can be seen as a bridge or initial step toward a larger promotion in due course, if all things go well.
I think overall it takes a degree of patience (which is self-discipline, and which is SKILL) to spend time and make good use of the learning that can come from work as a CSR. There would be certain cases where CSR work may not present an ample serving of what a person may find palatable (some monotony, lack of depth); but in many cases, there is a crazy amount of things that keep a mind active if not flourishing and you gain an understanding of what is experienced in other types of industries as well (doesn't sound very useless to me).