2. Call Center Representative
The nitty-gritty: If you're game to spend the entire day speaking on the telephone, this is your gig. You generally have your own workstation outfitted with a headset and computer. The bulk of your work is helping customers find a product, collecting payment information and typing data in the system. Expect to answer simple questions or requests such as finding the status of an order. Be warned: Some customers are lodging complaints, so you'll need to stay cool. Call centers can be cramped and noisy. The work is repetitious and, with brief breaks between calls, even stressful. Long periods spent sitting, typing or looking at a computer screen can make your eyes and muscles ache. Smooth talkers should apply.
The hours: Many call centers are open extended hours or are staffed around the clock. Peak times may not last for a full shift, so you may be slotted for part time or work a split shift.
Median pay: Median hourly wages of customer service representatives range from less than $9.15 to more than $23.24.
Qualifications: Listening and verbal skills are key. For workers who correspond through e-mail, good typing, spelling and grammar skills are essential. Basic to intermediate computer knowledge is vital. You'll likely be given training with background on the company and its products, the most commonly asked questions, and a review of the computer and telephone systems you'll be using. Hint: Companies favor folks who have a pleasant, neutral speaking voice.