Weary of the road, Derek Baker, a traveling appliance repairman, began looking for better job opportunities. After suffering many miles of monotonous driving, Derek decided to take a temporary position as a customer service representative at SYKES.
That “temporary” pit stop has turned into a fulfilling career. Now, seven years later, Derek has advanced at SYKES and finds himself increasingly in the driver’s seat racing to a better future.
“When I came to SYKES,” Derek recalls, “I thought it was going to be something to get by. But it didn’t take long to change my mind. I could see that I had a real career opportunity at SYKES.”
Despite no experience “talking to people on the phones” Derek says, he quickly advanced. He was assigned to an elite project for a high-profile client, and from there moved into a training role. Today Derek is a manager and responsible for completing the training of new hires during their first weeks of taking live calls.
“It can be overwhelming at first. My job is to help make sure new agents have the training and support they need to be great.”
Derek loves that SYKES supports his career advancement and encourages him to implement his own ideas. “I love that I feel empowered to make my own decisions.” Although only in his new position a few months, Derek instituted changes allowing for more teamwork between new agents. His ideas are paying off – within just two months his teams were exceeding performance goals.
With seven years at SYKES under his belt, Derek has no plans of leaving. “I feel very comfortable here. I’ve always felt like SYKES has my back, and I’ve made a lot of good friends.”
That support was put to the test in 2015 when Derek’s son Jordan suffered a near-fatal car crash. During Jordan’s lengthy rehab, Derek’s SYKES family was there. “The support I got from SYKES helped me give Jordan another chance at life.”
Derek also values the support he gets for his professional goals, and his desire to keep advancing his career. “I got the best advice from our site director. He said, ‘I know you want to be a leader, and I want you to carry yourself as a leader right now. You don’t have to have a title to step up and lead.’”
One of the misconceptions Derek says many people have about working at SYKES is that you have to know computers or have previous office experience. “I didn’t have computer experience before SYKES, but they trained me. We provide paid training so everyone gets a good start.
“I think that’s one reason we rank as one of the best places to work in the region. SYKES is a place where you can grow and move up. I’m an example of that. I love the family environment. There’s opportunity for me here, and for anyone who wants to build a career.”