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'I Love My Job’: From Tuition Reimbursement to Supporting Career Pivots, How Spectrum Helped Me Grow


Welcome to I Love My Job, hosted by Fairygodboss President and Co-founder Romy Newman. In this edition, we sat down with Anabel C., Vice President, Customer Service Operations at Spectrum, one of the nation’s leading broadband connectivity companies.

Anabel has more than 20 years of experience in the call center industry, beginning when she was a front-line customer service representative. She had the chance to try many different roles throughout her career: a customer service representative, a lead, a facilitator, a supervisor, a senior manager and a director. Anabel was also inspired to advance her education, and Spectrum supported her.

“I decided to go back to school, get my bachelor’s degree in leadership and take advantage of the tuition reimbursement that the company provides to pay for those courses,” she said. “I never imagined that working in a call center would have given me the opportunity to grow in my career as it has.” 

Now, Anabel supports Spectrum’s bilingual call centers in McAllen, San Antonio, El Paso, and Gran Vista, Texas where she is the Vice President of Customer Service Operations. In the following video, she tells us more about why she loves working at Spectrum and her best advice for people who are interested in joining her at the company.

Tell us about a project you're working on that you find really exciting. 

One of the projects that I'm working on is called the standardized onboarding program. It's exciting to be part of a company that really gives us the opportunity to work on different projects that drive value not only here at my call center, but across the organization.

What we did with this project is that several of my peers, along with volunteers from across the organization and from my call center, worked together to create the onboarding experience for our leaders. This program really provides our new supervisors with a foundation so that they can build strong leadership skills and capabilities. 

At Spectrum, we know that investing in our supervisors’ success from the date of hire can significantly improve their job performance and satisfaction. So that's what this program really does for them; it's continuous development through leadership training. It uses different methodologies as well to help our supervisors cultivate critical communication skills, on-the-job training, strengthen team ownership and then link those elements to their team performance and results. It helps them learn how to attract, grow and retain their employees. 

How would you describe the culture at Spectrum?

I would describe the culture at Spectrum as a collaborative family. I'm really proud to work at Spectrum. We foster an inclusive environment where employees feel respected, engaged and able to reach their full potential.

At Spectrum, we have a strong cultural emphasis on development, where our workforce reflects the markets that we serve. Our passion, of course, is our employees and our customers. We really strive to deliver high-quality products and services by embracing the unique perspectives and experiences of our employees and partners.

Our culture is one of support and working together to achieve our goals. Recently, we've all had to make adjustments due to the pandemic. During this time, we've been committed to keeping our employees safe while also keeping our customers connected. This experience has made us realize even more that our products and services are essential for our communities. 

I'm very proud of our company and teams for coming together during this difficult time to continue to support our customers, as well as each other.

What is your favorite thing about Spectrum?

My favorite thing about Spectrum is that we're a leading broadband connectivity company and cable operator. We currently serve more than 32 million customers in 41 states, and we provide great products and services at affordable prices. We also pride ourselves in having a well-trained expert customer service organization that's dedicated to their craft of taking care of our customers.

Additionally, the investments the company makes in our employees, beginning when they are hired, is critical. We provide training and support throughout an employee's career. Equally, our new hire employees invest in us and know that this is not just a job, it's a career they can look forward to for the long term. 

One more favorite thing about my company is that we raised the minimum starting wage to $18 an hour back in March, 2021. And, we are committed to reaching $20 an hour in 2022. We also offer comprehensive benefits in which our company has absorbed the annual premium increases for the past nine years.

How do you manage work-life balance?

Spectrum does provide us with great benefits, as I mentioned, as well as time off so that we can recharge and refuel. I think that's really critical to all of our success; I enjoy using that time with my family. We like to go to the movies, we like to travel, we watch Broadway shows and go to concerts. Before COVID-19, we would go to at least three to five concerts a year, ranging from the Eagles, Fleetwood Mac and Billy Joel to Red Hot Chili Peppers and Metallica. We also enjoy taking our dog Lady for walks and being outdoors. Focusing on being in the present moment is really important. One of the ways I do that is I'm currently working on a 3,000-piece puzzle, which helps me to remember to breathe and relax.

What advice would you give to other women who are thinking about working at Spectrum?

Before coming to Spectrum, I worked at the same company for over 14 years. I actively sought to work at Spectrum when I saw the opportunity here in McAllen, but leaving my previous company was difficult after being with them for so long.

However, I'm so glad to have taken the leap and was excited to get the chance to work with such a great company with a strong brand. Our company has an inclusive workplace where every person is empowered to bring their best ideas. And this, in turn, helps us better serve our customers and make an impact in our communities.

I always let our new-hire employees know that Spectrum offers a broad range of career opportunities throughout the company, not just in the call center within these four walls. So, what I would say to women looking for a career at our company is, apply and don't give up if it doesn't happen the first or second time. Keep trying; take advantage of the available openings, which might be a stepping stone to your career growth.

There's constant growth and opportunities for advancement. Once you have that role, it's important to find a mentor and a sponsor throughout your career and stay in contact with them as much as possible. Offer to work on projects that will add value to the business and strengthen your skill sets.

And then of course, surround yourself with diverse groups of people, learn from each other's strengths and unique perspectives, and keep learning through books, training and certifications because things are always changing. Most importantly: be yourself, be adaptable, be tenacious and be a servant leader.

This article was originally posted on Fairygodboss.

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