My Transcom Experience

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Author: Alina Andriatyte

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Adventure of a lifetime: exchanged Minsk for Vilnius

The first thing that wowed Karyna about Vilnius  when she first arrived from Minsk was its narrow streets, which looked like they were the guardians of hundred-year-old secrets, and the general atmosphere shrouding the entire city. She liked the university where she had decided to study law from the very first day too. Naturally, the fact that her native city of Minsk was just a few hours away by train also helped her to make this decision. Today, Karyna is happy that she decided to settle in a foreign country and tells us how she went about starting her life here, what is surprising about Lithuanians and what Belarus could learn from its neighbour.

Photo from Karyna's personal archive

Photo from Karyna’s personal archive

A piece of her homeland in Lithuania

Karyna’s decision to study in Lithuania was determined by the fact that the European Humanities University of Belarus was in Vilnius – the same university that was previously located in Minsk. However, due to restrictions of its academic freedom, the university decided to relocate to Lithuania.

“I left Minsk when I was only seventeen. Although I wanted to study abroad, I did not want to go very far away, so, Vilnius was the perfect choice. I liked the idea that I would be able to live in one of the oldest European cities and would have the opportunity to familiarise myself with the common history of Lithuania and Belarus. After all, some time ago we were one country”, says Karyna.

Foreign language – key to finding a job

When she was still in school, Karyna tried several jobs: she sewed toys, worked as a waitress and even worked as a courier. Karyna, who started her Master’s studies this year, was finally able to start looking for a job in Lithuania, seeing that at long last she has some free time. However, the search was not easy.

“I was searching for a job with a lot of conditions of my own. Firstly, I do not speak Lithuanian. Secondly, I am a student and cannot work full-time. Foreigners often get jobs in positions where a foreign language other than English is needed. Those coming from other countries can look for jobs where their native language is required, but this didn’t apply to me. In the Lithuanian labour market, there is no shortage of Belarussian or Russian-speakers. I was saved by my knowledge of German”, she says.

She speaks German and has spent a year in Germany, where she learnt about the culture of the country. According to Karyna, it was the language and experience abroad, which particularly helped her to stand out from other candidates. She is now working for an international company, Transcom Worldwide Vilnius, which provides contact centre services. Karyna says that she has found her favourite job and the staff are like her family.

“I did not want to neglect my studies and I was fortunate to land a job where I could have a flexible schedule. Furthermore, the company’s internal culture and attitude to employees are a great incentive for students. For example, it is always possible to have a day off for examinations or other study-related commitments.

Another fear of mine was that I might feel isolated and different from the rest of the staff: I only speak a few words of Lithuanian, and my work colleagues here do not speak Russian. Although we all speak English, for some reason I thought that it would be difficult to communicate. As it turned out, I could not have been more wrong – today, these people are my friends, they are always there to help and give advice”, says Karyna.

Would miss the never-ending festivals and the Mount of Gediminas

Although Karyna herself does not have much experience of this kind of work, she says that she rarely hears her friends and acquaintances talking of such a fun and exciting working culture and atmosphere as the one she is working in. When asked about the main differences between Lithuania and Belarus, she says that she was particularly surprised by the interactions between work colleagues.

“I was very pleasantly surprised: in Lithuania, it is customary to celebrate your birthday, Christmas or Valentine’s Day with colleagues. On International Women’s Day, colleagues spoiled us with coffee and muffins and good wishes. In Belarus, events such as these are not celebrated at work and colleagues rarely congratulate each other on their birthdays”, said Karyna.

Besides her work colleagues, Karyna says she would miss the Mount of Gediminas the most, were she to leave Lithuania. This site, rarely visited by Vilnius locals, holds a particular fascination for her.

“This is a romantic place where I come to admire the whole city and to watch planes landing. This scenery opens up in the evening, when the lights are switched on. Unfortunately, access to the castle was limited in winter, and this was yet another reason to wait for the spring”, Karyna says of her favourite spot in the city.

When asked what advice she would give to any of her countrymen coming to Lithuania, Karyna said she has noticed that Belarusians mostly come to buy things rather than to sightsee and gain new experiences.

“I realise why people do this –most of the goods people buy in Lithuania cost substantially more in Belarus or are not available at all. However, I would strongly advise them to spend more time on leisure and seeing Lithuania, which indeed has many things to show”, concludes Karyna.

This article was originally published at delfi.lt

Author: Alina Andriatyte

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Transcom’s Shared Service Center in Vilnius supports fundraising inititative for families of children with cancer

In December 2016, Transcom Shared Service Center Vilnius (SSC) decided to organize a fund raising for a good purpose – to support an initiative of building a home for families of the children with oncological diseases.

Every year about 100 children under 18 are diagnosed with cancer in Lithuania. Recovering from this disease takes from half a year up to several years, depending on how advanced the cancer is. When the child gets ill – the whole family is affected by this illness as well. Only one parent can stay with the child in the hospital, while other family members stay apart. To ease the situation for these families and give them a possibility to get through this rough time in their lives standing strong together we invited the whole Shared Service Center to contribute to the project of building a home! This home will be located near the biggest oncological center in Lithuania.Here the families will get medical care from pediatricians, pain specialists, medics,oncologists, but they will also have access to different art and music therapies. The aim with the home is to help families get better both physically and emotionally.

Transcom’s fund raising event was initiated together with fun activities for the whole department including snacks, fun videos remembering what we achieved in 2016 and what we are looking forward to in 2017. Also, we received many cheerful Christmas video greetings from our colleagues we work with daily from all over Europe, the Philippines and North America – really building a feeling of One Transcom! During this wonderful time of the year we are so happy to contribute to making good things happen.

SSC Charity campaig

 

Author: Alina Andriatyte

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Work and studies – mission impossible? Definitely not!

Every year, the Transcom Lithuania team engages in an interesting, informative and usually highly entertaining talent search. This spring was no exception – we searched for talents in the Career days of the 7 biggest universities in Vilnius and Kaunas, where we had an opportunity to chat with nearly 600 students.

It isn’t surprising at all that one of the most important things for students is the ability to manage both their studies and work. Many believed that this was a mission impossible and therefore were surprised and happy to see that at Transcom, that’s not an issue at all. Our current employees, who are students themselves, joined our HR team at the event to share their experiences of how easy it actually is to combine studies with working at Transcom. Their enthusiasm, real-life stories and fun facts prove that not only is Transcom a friendly and informal organization, but it also makes a lot of effort to be as flexible as possible and allow students to combine work with studies.

It gets better – our chats with students not only proved that working and studying is not impossible, but it also showed that the first job doesn’t have to be a temp job. Over 80% of our managers have been promoted internally and most of them started working while studying!

All in all, this spring’s talent search was very fruitful – not only did we manage to debunk a couple of myths regarding work and studies, but some of the new talents we spoke to have already joined our team. So is working while studying a mission impossible? At Transcom it’s definitely not!

LT-Career days 2016

 

Author: Alina Andriatyte

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Transcom Lithuania recognized at the National Responsible Business Awards

Transcom Lithuania is happy and proud to announce that we were recognized at the National Responsible Business Awards 2015, organized by the Ministry of Social Security and Labor of the Republic of Lithuania, as a “Workplace of the Year”. The awards were given to national and foreign companies operating in Lithuania to recognize the contribution to socially responsible practices and initiatives that benefit companies and society by strengthening social welfare as well as minimizing negative impact on the environment.

This year, the National Responsible Business Awards were presented in five categories – “Workplace of the Year”, “The Most Socially Oriented Company of the Year”, “Environment-friendly Company of the Year”, and the main category – “The Socially Responsible Company of the Year”. To further promote the importance of healthy lifestyle, this year the award of “The Most Athletic Company of the Year” was also introduced.

Transcom Lithuania was awarded with a “Workplace of the Year” certificate, which acknowledges that our work environment is based on honesty, accountability and socially responsible practices, designed to strengthen social awareness. It’s a great honor to be recognized among leading companies in the market for applying the values and practices that are rooted in Transcom’s culture. Transparency, honesty, a high level of accountability and promotion of socially responsible practices throughout all aspects of our daily work has long since been ingrained in Transcom’s culture and we are therefore pleased to be recognized and to contribute to our society as a socially responsible workplace.

Transcom Lithuania representatives together with Algimanta Pabedinskienė Minister of Social Security and Labor of the Republic of Lithuania (second from the left)

Transcom Lithuania representatives together with Algimanta Pabedinskienė Minister of Social Security and Labor of the Republic of Lithuania (second from the left)

Transcom Lithuania Management team

Transcom Lithuania Management team

Author: Frank van Vels

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Transcom Netherlands wins the Dutch National Customer Contact Week Jury Award

Transcom, based in Groningen, is proud to announce that we have won the jury award during the Dutch National Customer Contact Week 2016.

The proud management team of Transcom Netherlands receives the award in Groningen.

The proud management team of Transcom Netherlands receives the award in Groningen.

This special week is organized annually to give customer contact specialists some extra attention. The theme of this week was ‘Love for our profession’.

All kinds of activities were organized during the week by the local FUN organisation (a group of employees responsible for events at Transcom in Groningen) such as; employees could surprise a colleague with a personalized heart, a day full of fruit including smoothies, a food truck with delicious “stroopwafels” (dutch waffles).

All 1 200 employees received a rose with a personal message from the Country Manager Joop Evers and on the final day, everyone could spin the feel of fortune to win a prize.

The jury described Transcom as:

“A successful and extremely fast-growing contact center where, despite the developments, employees were not forgotten. Transcom creates a very positive and enthusiastic atmosphere which stimulates success.”

Even the judges want to work for Transcom!

My Career Story – From customer service agent to teamleader in less than 18 months in a new country

My name is Morten Halkjaer and I am 25 years old. In February 2014, I moved from Denmark to Riga to work for Transcom Worldwide Latvia.

Last winter, I saw a job ad about working with customer service for  an international media company in Riga and I was at a point in my life where I had to choose if I wanted to pursue my career or experience the world. I chose the last option, but I didn’t expect that I would find both here in Latvia.

I had the phone interview on a Thursday and four days later, I was on a plane to Riga at 5.40 in the morning.  When I arrived, I was picked up at the airport by my teamleader-to-be, Anna. She was super sweet, and she had a taxi waiting for us outside the airport, which took us to the hotel where I would stay. Transcom had made sure that the hotel was paid for the first month I was in Latvia, which was awesome. Afterwards, Anna took me to see the actual office, where I would be working.

The following week was spent on trainings with our trainer Madlena. She made sure we were ready to take calls when the time came. I remember how eager I was to take my first call. I just couldn’t wait. I had never worked with customer service on the phone before, but I had sales experience, which has proved to help me a lot. The first call I took, was a customer asking which devices that supported our clients services. It was super fun to talk to him! I could have a conversation with him, just as I would with a friend. Our client wants to have the best customer service in the world, therefore they don’t have scripts. You can talk to customers in a casual and natural way, which I still find really amazing. After my first call everyone at the office started clapping. It was a very inspiring experience. It really showed how great the connection between the employees is, and it has only become even stronger with time.

In April, my teamleader was leaving the company. I was still feeling green, but she encouraged me to apply for her position. I applied, mostly to see how the process worked, since I thought that agents that had more experience would get the position. That was not the case. Transcom saw potential in me and I became a teamleader.

Transcom is an outstanding company, who really cares about its employees’ personal development. During my time here, I have acquired many new skills such as; positive positioning and presentation skills while I was an agent. As a teamleader I have learned coaching, time management and Latvian labor law.

I have a lot of free space to do things my way, which allows me to grow and unfold. Transcom also challenges you to become better, and to develop your skills by assigning additional tasks to you.

Currently I am working on a new project for new employees from Scandinavia, like myself. It will help them with the transition when our new hires arrive here in Latvia. It is really interesting to have a project like this, where I have to keep in touch with many different people and follow up on the tasks I have assigned them. I love being able to contribute to Transcom’s way of working, and I see it as a large responsibility, where I learn how a business manager works, which hopefully would be the next step for me.

I came to Riga, fell in love with Riga and Transcom, and now I have been here for 1.5 years without any plans about leaving!