There are many misconceptions about what it is like to work in a collections position. The general myth is that it's a grueling role where you make phone calls to angry people who yell at you all day. In reality, this couldn’t be further from the truth. A career track in account recovery or collections can be incredibly rewarding, with countless companies providing a great company culture and work-life balance to their collections professionals.
Here are four surprising aspects of being an account recovery specialist that may have you considering a debt collections role for yourself.
Company culture is a very important aspect of any position. If you have a difficult day on the job, a positive company culture can make all the difference.
Most collections companies promote a culture full of team unity, confident employees, and open communication. This allows the employees to feel valued and appreciated even on their toughest days.
In most roles (especially remote ones) it is easy to feel like you are on your own island. A big myth about collections roles is that it is a numbers-driven, “every person for themselves” work environment. Simply put, this is not true. Your managers want you to succeed. Think about it: pitting professionals against each other or setting new employees up to fail through poor training only hurts the company’s ability to collect on as many tardy accounts as possible.
I have hired for multiple collections roles in my career and every company invests a lot of time developing a training program that teaches you valuable skills to be a successful collector. They give you the confidence to do your job and do it well. They also provide numerous resources you can refer to once you are out of training. This is because your ability to do your job well is directly related to how well the team does.
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When you think of a working a collections role, I’m sure the image that comes to mind is the stereotypical work environment with small cubicles, high walls, and a sectioned-off floorplan. This is another misconception that comes from the movies.
Most collections offices have an open floorplan with short walls allowing you to interact with your coworkers and to promote team comradery. This open environment allows you to learn from each other and promotes the type of friendly competition that leads to overall success.
4. Customer Service
When you think of a debt collector, you think of an insistent, short-tempered person calling you and demanding a payment that you may not be able to afford. To be honest, most collectors are trained to take a more compassionate approach to customer service because giving ultimatums isn’t that effective.
Empathy is key when working with your accounts. This is why successful collections professionals choose to educate their customers about the options available for repayment rather than demanding they pay what they owe in full.
It is not uncommon for this approach to be met with gratitude because you’re helping someone manage their finances, so most collections specialists aren’t dealing with rude customers all day either.
Although you may have heard the horror stories about being a collections specialist, or maybe even dealt with an angry debt collector yourself, these types of recovery specialists are not the norm. The four aspects above are just the more common examples of the misconceptions surrounding collections roles, but there are many more. The reality is collections careers are incredibly rewarding and have countless positives associated with the career track.