Looking back at when I was a college student, the last place I expected to be working at is a collection agency. Life took me to crazy places after graduation and before I knew it, I accepted a Collection Specialist position. At the time, I figured I would work at APR (American Profit Recovery) temporarily until I became certified in the field I graduated in. Fast forward four and a half years later, I am still with the company, and I am a Team Leader.
When I first started working here and I would tell others my job title, their response was, “Don’t call ME!” or other negative remarks. Eight out of ten Americans struggle with debt although many do not like to admit it. As the years went on and I became more comfortable with my position, I recognized how many individuals we help daily. I started to respect my job title much more and I was proud to say I am a debt collector. My department receives compliments daily from consumers about how comfortable we make them and how helpful we are. I share stories with my friends and family about being a debt collector and how much I enjoy it, and it allowed them to respect us more as well.
There is a stigma around debt collections because of the aggressive approach it had in the past. If anyone has spoken to a debt collector recently, they could easily recognize that times have changed. I also learned that there are committees for collectors around the nation and enjoy learning from the webinars they host. It amazes me how knowledgeable these committees and leaders are, and they motivate me to do better.
I am glad I decided to stay here and not give up, my hard work pays off consistently. In this career, I determine my income based on my performance and I appreciate that aspect of the job. Some individuals work a second job when struggling financially, luckily our overtime is unlimited and can make up for any deficits.
Furthermore, I appreciate the fact that when COVID struck, the company made work accessible to us, and being unemployed was not a concern for me. Unfortunately, the class I graduated within my field was out of work during the pandemic. Learning their stories and struggles made me more appreciative that I accepted this career opportunity.
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