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A Kind Of Scary Article.

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Now that's what I'm talking about!! I bet my client read that article Darrell and that's why he suggested Elance. Rather than lose him totally, I think I may encourage him to use it, but I wanted to wait until I heard from anyone else if they ever used it or heard anything about it.

 

Thanks for the article.

 

Mary Beth

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Guest The Edge VA

Hi Darrell,

 

I subscribe to the WSJ News Podcast and on... I think it was Thursday... last week they did a follow up story on this where they heard from outsourcing experts who basically say that they were a little late in reporting this trend as off-shoring work is actually on the decrease. They say that because of the sudden growth of opportunities in places like India, professionals there basically have their pick of jobs and so staff turnover is huge because the qualified professionals quickly move on to the company offering the best compensation package. Apparently companies who were gung-ho to set up centers in Bangalore are quickly closing down and bringing the jobs back to these shores after they realized that while it seems cheaper on the surface, after they add in the cost of a high staff turnover, training etc it just really isn't worth their while especially given the customer dissatisfaction due to language barriers, (real or imagined).

 

 

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Thanks Ross,

 

THis information makes me feel a lot better about having to compete with the cheap overseas labour.

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Guest The Edge VA

I know... I must admit that I feel a bit guilty thinking about what these jobs could mean to a struggling economy like India's, but I gotta eat too!

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Use to work in a bank (currently-unemployment); that had a lot of the "off-shore" contractors as well as contractors who came to the USA in six-month rotations. It was not fun handling producton support for personnel who were on or off-shore. The language barriers were awful. Many times I had to request they send me an email because I had trouble understanding their pronuncation over the telephone. Email I could read and response, and have paper trail of what I said. As in CYA.

 

I believe that over time, companies are finding out that consumers take into consideration who they purchase products from based on where they heard their customer services representatives are located. They are discovering the labour may be cheap; but the technology is not. It's funny, they want to make money and save money at the same time. I think both countries are discoverving that it is really not the way to go.

 

Now, home-shoring (USA) is coming to life! I am considering it part-time work at home call center agent work while I build my VA practice. Necessary cashflow to rebuild the finances. I have coursework I want to take in the legal industry that it is ONLINE. Who says you need work inside a brick-n-mortar building? I used to support employees who did their occupations from their home offices via remote access. I guess you could say I am an experienced telecommuter who does not want to commute anymore! The cost of fuel in my area $3.20g Virtual is me. :thumbup:

 

 

 

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Guest Arnie

The issue with off shore work especially when it comes to anything the requires grammer is that working in a second language is never easy. Heck, I have enough trouble with it myself, and English is my first language. I have a business that deals with importing from over seas and I actually have to employ a person there just to make sure the work is done right. The language barrier is too great and even very descriptive emails with photos are not enough. You do at the end of the day get what you pay for.

 

A.

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I know... I must admit that I feel a bit guilty thinking about what these jobs could mean to a struggling economy like India's, but I gotta eat too!

 

India's economy isn't that bad or struggling as some other source might say, but yes, they are raising the ante when it comes to duplicating jobs and businesses that are otherwise serviceable locally in America.

 

Ever heard of the H1B statistics which shows majority of these visa holders come from India? Have you also read the news about call center jobs in India which are now being moved out from India to places like my country (Philippines)? It's just business moving around from one place to another. Eventually somebody out there's gonna step up on the plate and raise the bar again which will bring those very same jobs back to US or Canadian soil. Well, perhaps not in its entirety, but then again, westerners are more known for being early adopters than laggards, so they will always have some distinct advantage for conducting business on their own soil that can be extremely difficult for their Asian counterparts to duplicate. Who ever came up with the idea of telecommuting in the first place? And the Internet?

 

Businesses evolve over time. What used to work in 10 years ago may no longer apply today. It's the same with jobs. For me, the only thing to remember is not what I'm doing this for (being a VA) but why I'm doing it. If I'm doing it for the right reasons and have a real passion for doing so, I can make this profession sustain me and ride out any competition out there, regardless of who or where they are.

 

Gabs

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That was quite a large article, Darrell. Thanks for bringing it to our attention. Welcome to the flat world. Economies and businesses around the globe are facing the problems of outsourcing. Our success as VAs will depend upon our ability to continuously innovate the way we do business, anticipate the needs of our clients, go beyond their expectations, and have a real impact on their success.

 

For those who have not yet read "The World Is Flat: A Brief History of the Twenty-First Century" by Thomas L. Friedman, I strongly recommend that you do so.

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Hi Gabby. Yes I am aware of the Call Center jobs being flipped around from India to the Phillipines. I live in the Great Lakes area of the United States. Some call it the "rust belt" because the the Blue Collar workers. The auto makers are struggling and many of the auto manufacturers have closed their plants. Unions are hopping mad! Their jobs are going to Mexico or another country. In my area we lost a Ford Plant, a GM plant, a company who made air conditioners and heaters, American Shipbuilding Company, a lighting company, US Steel descrased it staff, my local telephone company as closed is customer service area. I know we are not alone; I do notice that during an election year, my state is the last place the politicians want to visit.

 

Everybody thinks they have to go into computers. There are not enough "jobs" in the united States to cover the number of graduates who do computers. I have friends who started out in Field Services. They got tired and burned-out fast. When you are in school, they do not tell you about the "burn out" you may experience. The number of Office Administrative secretaries in the workforce is decreasing. In my former employment, Secretarial departments (pools) were being eliminated. I am not sure about in your country, but in the US from my vantage point, one Office Assistant takes care of say 12 - 40 people in a department.

That is because the employee has a computer to do their own typing. The Office Assistant is more of the contact when you need "outside assistance". (e.g. order pizza for lunch, photocopying, an internal contact to the outside world )

 

I want to be a part of the "emerging technology" I read about. When I was working, I was often accused of not "thinking outside the box". To be honest this annoyed me, because my boss was looking for me to make her job easier/lighter. I was thinking outside the box - just in a different way. In a corporate environment I was supposed to keep the bank employee functional and follow the corporate standards, rules and regulations to the letter. My goal was to make sure her pager, and her boss' pager did not go off. As you can tell I failed; my position was elminiated. I would say, right now, I am thinking outside the box! Brick-n-mortar that is.

 

Anyway, due to all the "yuck" stuff going on locally, I previously I would not have considered doing inbound only call center work because it reminded me too much of the "sludge" in my past. This spring when I called to check on something regarding a bank statement, I discovered I was talking to someone in the Phillippines. It may have been you! Out of habit when I am on a customer service call I always ask in which city and state the CSR is working from. This time here was the response, "I am working out of my home residence in the Philippines". This made me think; "I can do that". I recalled that many of my former colleagues in the support center (call center) lost their occupations to "outsourcing". The rumor at the time was the occupations were lost to India. The next rumor was the oursource companies the United States". When I got off the telephone call, I decided it was time to look into the companies who are taking on the challenge of "home-shoring", home-based call center agents. I do not want to do it forever; temporary part-time work is fine. Some of the companies, hire the work at home agents as "independent contractors" and other as "employees".

 

I received encouragement last ngiht when I saw an article written by Lisa Taliga, entitled "Virtual Assistance - Does It Have a Furture?" My goal is is cashflow to rebuild personal finances and get the VA practice objectives in place as quickly as possible!

 

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Hi Krista,

 

My personal opinion on this is that, not all news are news to be taken with a grain of salt. Some are real, others designed (by people who have agendas in mind), some with a touch of FUD (fear, uncertainty and doubt). For example, how does one equate the constant barrage of reports about job losses to countries like India and China when another set of statistics will tell you that the average unemployment rate is kept at 4.5%, and that the level of unemployment went down during the last 4 years since it peaked in middle of 2003? It's easy to get pulled back and kept down with "news" which, in reality, inside our minds we already know it's bound to happen anyway, whether we like it or not. That gut instinct is the one that keeps bugging us to try to step ahead or get sideswiped by those who are hungrier than us to win the game. Do we listen to our guts, and do we act on it?

 

The only thing I can say to anyone who's mindful and skeptical about the future of their business as a VA (or not), is that their only true competition are themselves. If they think they deserve to be paid this much, then let them prove they're worth it. If they think this client should go to them and not to somebody else on the other side of the world, give them a really good reason why they should. Otherwise, there's no point in worrying about what the outcome of this game will be if they don't have an idea of where they stand and what they're going to do about it.

 

Gabs

 

 

PS. my apologies really to anyone and everyone who may feel slighted with my reply, I just want to speak my peace on this one, at least just this once. For some time now I've been receiving several emails telling me that I'm "taking away their business" or "how can I afford to do this at this much" and host of other unsavory remarks. Believe me, I have no intention of bringing down anybody's business, and I hate to be the one at the blaming end of the stick whenever the words "outsourcing" and "offshoring" are mentioned.

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The only thing I can say to anyone who's mindful and skeptical about the future of their business as a VA (or not), is that their only true competition are themselves. If they think they deserve to be paid this much, then let them prove they're worth it. If they think this client should go to them and not to somebody else on the other side of the world, give them a really good reason why they should. Otherwise, there's no point in worrying about what the outcome of this game will be if they don't have an idea of where they stand and what they're going to do about it.

 

Very well said. If you go that extra mile with your clients, you will never have to worry about your competition on the other side of the world. Be the very best at what you do and you will always get paid for what you are worth :)

 

Tawnya

 

PS to Arnie: Another thing you don't have to worry about by hiring the new girl in the Phillippines to inspect your model carvings for you at the factory there is that you don't have to worry about me landing in the Phillippine jail cells like last visit. Since it is her country and heritage, she will know better how to deal with Phillippine businessmen, unlike myself ;) There's a story there folks and you can bug Arnie in privately for it! ;)


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PS to Arnie: Another thing you don't have to worry about by hiring the new girl in the Phillippines to inspect your model carvings for you at the factory there is that you don't have to worry about me landing in the Phillippine jail cells like last visit. Since it is her country and heritage, she will know better how to deal with Phillippine businessmen, unlike myself ;) There's a story there folks and you can bug Arnie in privately for it! ;)

 

Oh no, that's bad! I can't imagine the trouble this has caused you. I'm gonna ask Arnie about this for sure! :(

 

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Gabby,

 

I definitely agree with everything that you said. I also can't believe that individuals would contact you the way they have. How rude on their part.


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Gabby, I appreciate everything you have written. It's food for thought. You're not taking away my business - you're making me think about my business more. How to make me and the career transition better. Thanks. Krista

 

 

 

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