During all my years in the work world, I have never had so many chances to interact, create, implement ideas, and be challenged to execute those ideas as I do now.
In college, I had the opportunity to work as an ESL instructor for many international companies based in San Pedro Sula, Honduras. I made contacts with professionals in many industries and established a name for myself among ESL services. After 5 years in the field, I had the opportunity to open my own company, teaching English to corporate clients in the city. In a short time, I opened an office and offered onsite and in-company services. I then broadened my company’s services by offering tutoring for the children of clients receiving ESL classes. Later on, I began offering translating and interpreting services. I thought that I had made it and was going to have my own company forever.
During that time, I came across many challenges that humbled me and led me to see life differently. People say that everything happens for a reason. Well in 2009, our country faced a political meltdown. We had a coup, and our economy just vanished. This forced me to close my company, and my world just crumbled. During that time–which lasted 4 years, to be exact–I freelanced and downsized from a 50+ person company to just me. I had to do it all and start from scratch.
After freelancing, I wasn’t able to overcome the fact that thousands of dollars had been lost. I was very lucky that I had no need to declare myself bankrupt, for I was able to pay off all of my debt. Yet again, I had to start from the bottom. As I was freelancing, I had to learn about a new industry–call centers. Due to connections, I had the opportunity to begin as a trainer in a call center at Altia. It was a great experience that gave me the opportunity to travel and meet the CEO from the campaign on which I was training. I even went to the Philippines to co-facilitate training there.
Yet there still was something missing. Something made me feel I was not right for the industry. It all had become so monotonous and routine: changing schedules, sending reports, and following protocol. Although the adaptation process was fast since it was a huge corporation and I was used to that environment, it was still not what I wanted to do forever.
After being in the call center industry, I used my connections to get a job as an English supervisor in a school. My job was to supervise classes and provide training to the teaching staff for the English department. I had never worked with kids before, so that was a challenge. I liked it a lot and learned how the education system works in my country. Still, it was something I did not want to do for a long period of time.
After I had applied to many companies, every single call was from a call center. I received many offers and interviews, and every time I would go to a call center for an interview, they wanted me to start as soon as possible. The funny thing is that I never clicked emotionally nor professionally in any of the ones I had received offers from. It was as though I had a gut feeling not to pursue them.
After some time and while I was still freelancing as an ESL teacher, I received information from a new company at Altia. I thought, Great, another call center. I didn’t want to be in a call center, yet the bills had to get paid.
A human resources manager friend from another call center gave me the contacts and talked to me about PartnerHero. I had never heard of this company. I began researching and was not able to find much information. I searched on LinkedIn and found information for the founder and CEO. I had already contacted the operations manager and had exchanged some emails. I had contacted the site director as well. So I decided to write to the CEO. He replied, and the hiring process began.
I had applied for the training manager position, had an onsite interview, and then had a Skype call. The same day I received and accepted the offer letter, I was contacted by the site director from another company offering me the same position and a higher income than I was offered at PartnerHero. For a moment, greed wanted to take over. Yet what I had felt–that connection, the feeling of pursuing something bigger–had not been felt in ages. I had found my home.
I have felt the warm, welcoming culture this company has since day 1. As soon as I started interacting with my co-workers, I noticed that things are done differently here. I had never worked in a startup and had no idea how they operate. The biggest challenge I encountered is adjusting to the absence of the huge corporate mindset: following given processes and asking for authorization and approval for ideas to be implemented. Startups do not follow such bureaucracy, and fresh, new ideas are implemented daily. That feeling has been motivational and has given me the desire to succeed in my field.
The fact that every person is taken into consideration as an associate — instead of that “employee” mindset–motivates us to learn and be the best at what we do. We don’t take things for granted. PartnerHero cares so much for its personnel, and it does so on a level I have never experienced. It provides ergonomic equipment for the ones who need it. It allows associates to grow professionally by providing opportunities to study. For a company to invest in studies, to encourage associates to be active bloggers, and to read from PartnerHero’s Library are all concepts I have never come across before.
PartnerHero is more than a company. It’s a home, a place where we are held accountable for what we do and are given the opportunity to acquire new skills and develop in the areas where we need to grow. The drive and will of our CEO and VP motivate us to give our best and to want to go beyond that. Succeeding in our roles and helping others to grow and improve are part of our daily goals. Having that commitment and freedom provides the confidence to follow ideas and implement new ones for a positive outcome.
Having an outsourcing business overseas is not easy, and the hardest aspect, I imagine, is the trust factor. Trust is gained and not given. Trust is a process of knowing new people, accepting new things, establishing procedures, and making sure things get done. Having a company is a challenge–tell me about it! The drive and will to help our clients and customers grow and become active in the market and compete is what generates our passion to do better, knowing that as they grow, PartnerHero grows–and we all grow with it.
The opportunity PartnerHero has given us encourages us to be part of something bigger. PartnerHero is part of our lives, and we are part of it as well. Branding, top of mind, experience, and know-how are not the only skills we need; our sense of belonging is what makes us PartnerHero.
Honduras has lots to offer, certainly more than a workforce. It has such a rich culture — a mix of cultures, really. It is the reason why we have created such a successful fusion among companies to grow and expand our horizons. Thank you, PartnerHero, for giving us the opportunity to succeed and learn.