Career Cycles: From Phones to Phones


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I started my career at 18 by being a full-time telephone collector.

I made outbound calls to late-paying credit clients, and when I was successful, they’d commit to resolving their delinquencies by a certain date.

Then, I became a top outbound telemarketer and manager for Time-Life Books, and you might say, though I’d earn numerous degrees that helped me, my career was determined at that time.

But why did I choose phone work?

I chose it because I was baby-faced at 18, and though I had no little intelligence and drive, and a mature, trained voice, few believed I could handle a face-to-face selling job, and working in supermarkets or at fast food joints wasn’t for me.

So, my youth drove me to dialing and smiling.

But this isn’t where my story stops. I expect my career will be cyclical, that I’ll return to the phones once more.

Long after my youthful looks have faded, I’ll probably return to phone work for the same reason I began: because of stereotypes and prejudices. But at that point, I won’t be judged as too young, I can tell you that, now.

I’ll be at the other side of the spectrum

Facing old-age discrimination, I’ll get onto the phones to become faceless once more, assuming two-way video hasn’t trumped my plans. Then, I’ll be judged, as Martin Luther King might have said, “by the content of my character, " by my actual kinetic communication abilities, and not by the number of wrinkles on my forehead.

It’s odd to be planning this, but I get more of a kick envisioning myself working forever than worrying about whether my retirement fund will carry me through my advanced years.

Anyway, I’m still a dynamo on the phone!

Best-selling author of 12 books and more than 900 articles, Dr. Gary S. Goodman is considered “The Gold Standard"-the foremost expert in sales development, customer service, and telephone effectiveness. Top-rated as a speaker, seminar leader, and consultant, his clients extend across the globe and the organizational spectrum, from the Fortune 1000 to small businesses. He can be reached at: .


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