The Struggle To Find My First Job in Telemarketing

Photo by Ian Dooley on Unsplash

Job Search Nightmare

My first job was as a telemarketer. It was one of the only jobs I was eligible to apply for that didn't have to do with fast-food or general labor. Many agencies would not hire me in my town because I was 17 years old when I graduated from high school and unable to work in a manufacturing environment. That's country living for you. Also, because I was in a small town, they typically only hired their family members or friends. After five job applications to the fast-food restaurants, I gave up and was hired as a telemarketer one town over.


Telemarketing was the same 20 years ago as it is today. My job was to call credit card consumers to let them know that their credit card agreement terms were about to change. One of the most significant changes was that their credit card would now be subject to an annual fee. But wait, they were also eligible for some amazing rewards. Most of the consumers I called canceled right away. They thought it was outrageous and obviously did not sign up for the annual fee when they initially applied for the credit card. Needless to say, my success rate at retaining consumers was at an all-time low, and I was told that I needed to try and keep as many consumers as possible. Well, how do you do that when you have to stick to a script?

Sticking To the Script

Since telemarketing was my first job, I was inexperienced at talking to people on the phone that were outside of my network of friends. Also, the script changed daily based on the product we were selling or changing. One of the comments I received was that it sounded like I was reading. I actually received coaching from that person I called. They said to try to make it sound like you're talking to your friend and not reading. Well, that's easier said than done.

Hang Up The Phone

I called another consumer, and a little boy answered the phone. I asked to speak to John Doe, and he said they're not available. I said, "Thank you, I'll call back at another time," and waited for him to hang up the phone. Well, he didn't hang up the phone and just kept saying hello. I said, "Can you please hang up the phone? I'm not allowed to hang up first?" Surprisingly, he said, "No.". So, I sat on the phone with that kid for about five minutes coaxing him to hang up the phone. It's hilarious now to think about it.

Did I Hang Around?

Nope, I quit that job after about three months. It wasn't that I didn't like it. It was because I was falling asleep on the way home. The job was so dull, and I had a 30-minute drive home through a long country road that was just as boring. So, when I dreamt that I saw a white bunny rabbit hopping across the street, I woke up as my car veered to the side of the road.

How It Relates To My Work Now

Now, I work in human resources, and I'm on the phone constantly with employees, retirees, and job applicants. I'm on the computer reading policies word for word or explaining our benefits to them. So, it seems that it all came full circle. However, today, no one can tell when I read a policy because I know them like the back of my hand. I also love working with employees and helping them solve their problems or explain unknown processes to them. The moral of the story is that if you start with challenges in your job search, it may all be fate taking you to where you will be in your future. I love my job!

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Annette Harris

Annette Harris

Motivator. Problem Solver. Travel lover. Thinker. Creator. Bacon guru. You can’t neglect the bacon. Founder: