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    Preparing for a career in BPO

    Business process outsourcing (BPO) jobs are one of the most sought after jobs in Pakistan especially for graduates. These jobs are relatively easy to get and well paid as well. Over a period of time, Pakistan has emerged as a popular center for business process outsourcing activities. Many companies from USA, Europe and Australia have outsourced certain processes related to their key business activities to Pakistan because of certain advantages Pakistan has got as country i.e. English speaking population, hard working yet cheap human resource pool etc. While these factors act as advantage for people seeking BPO jobs, the subject matter knowledge is a weakness for many aspirants.

    I have conducted training for many BPOs in Pakistan on different topics and have realized that people working in BPOs at lower levels or even upto team leader levels do not have adequate knowledge of the process that they manage. This happens primarily because people are not aware about business functionalities of the geography for which they work for. Today an Pakistani student knows little about how the securities settlement happens in DTCC or very few students understand how mortgage industry operates in USA. This is very natural as university courses in Pakistan do not expose students for these areas. While all BPO units conduct induction training, these are not sufficient to equip an employee to jobs smartly.

    So what should you do when are planning to join a BPO job. Here is couple of important aspects that you need to look at:

    Understand the domain: It is important to have a good understanding of domain in which you are working to work. For example, when you are going to join a BPO job in mortgage, acquire knowledge about mortgage business in the country you are going to work. There are some international certifications which you can acquire. For instance CISI in London offers some good certifications in financial services domain. The content of these certifications is good and can help you build good knowledge about domain.

    Build basic writing skills: Many BPOs have moved to paperless model of work. Most of the paperwork has got replaced by exchange of details through email. You must build skills for correspondence through email. This is again a weak area for many fresher.

    Keep on reading and learning: Financial markets are always in a flux. It is important that you keep on updating yourself about latest changes in regulations and market practices in the geography that you are going to work for.

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