An insight:
working as a Telephone Counsellor

So, tell us about yourself?

I currently work as a EAP Telephone Counsellor and I’ve been with Bupa a few months now and I’m really glad I made the move. I came from a Special Educational Needs (SEN) background and originally wanted to be a SEN support assistant but over time I realised I wanted to do more, to support people in the here and now so I decided to make the switch over to roles like this!

What's a typical day?

There isn’t one? Every day and every call is different which I love. You could be taking inbound or making outbound calls, speaking to distressed clients, or just helping people with bits of advice and signposting them to available resources. You don’t know what you’re going to get when you answer that call. What I do know is I can make a difference; I can make sure they’re safe or refer them on for specialised support. It’s a bit of a whirlwind, but in a good way and incredibly rewarding.

What do you like the most about your job?

Hard to say, it’s a bit of everything! I get a really good feel good factor every day in this role, if I could bottle up how I feel when I start work then I’d make a fortune. It’s contagious, you never know the type of call you’re going to get from one to another and it helps keep me on my toes. It’s the best job I’ve ever had.

My work-life balance as well. It’s shift work which you’re always going to get in roles like this but the team are great, I’ve got a protected day to help my daughter who has complex care needs and the team work around each other’s lives and support each other. I’ve got a 5-step commute at the moment but even when we go back to normal I can work from home when I need, having that kind of flexibility is something you can’t put a price on.

Why did you move to Bupa?

I worked for another EAP provider before I came to Bupa and the role was rewarding but I wanted to work for a company where you as a colleague are just as important as the person on the other end of the line. I heard Bupa we’re a good company to work for and they’re well known so thought why not?

What was it like joining in lockdown?

Bizarre! I was able to go into the office at the start when everything wasn’t as bad as it is now and did all my training there. Bupa was great, they took temperatures and had everything set up so I felt safe. It’s been weird not seeing people and building face to face relationships, but people make time for you, they send you things to do and everyone around you wants you to succeed and there’s a big emphasis on picking you up after a mistake rather than focussing on the error. It’s only been a few months but I feel like a part of the team already.

What would you say to someone considering a career in EAP?

If you want to do it, just do it. I’ve never regretted it and you’ll discover this whole new world that’s all about helping people. People think that working as a telephone counsellor is all doom and gloom but it’s not. It’s all about providing the support people need for a range of reasons and you can even laugh with your clients and get to know them as you help them and for me there’s nothing as rewarding as knowing you’ve helped someone when they need it.

If this has you considering a career as a Telephone Counsellor we currently have opportunities to join our team, click below to find out more and apply. 


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