From Englewood — 02/20/2010
It was an OK place to work. You have to be really comfortable with feedback, as you will get it daily, and sometimes hourly. You are required to report any financial events, outside jobs, outside brokerage accounts (which you probably won't be able to have) and all felonies and certain misdemeanors. Also, if someone files a complaint against you, there are legislatures out there that want this complaint to follow you for the rest of your life. Regardless if you were ever proven guilty, or if you've switched industries. I never had a formal complaint against me, but I took a complaint from a customer because the FC had moved the client to a higher yielding (FDIC insured) option. The client really hated change.
After every call the clients get a chance to review you. If they give you anything less than a 9 it will hurt you personally. And it does not matter if they say in their notes, I loved the rep but I had a problem with such and such. This will still hurt your bonus, potential for a raise (which about half the people the last two years got 2%, the other half got 0), and your potential to move within the company.
The break rooms were pretty cool looking. We did get free coffee, but no cups or utensils. Also, no washing machine. It is very difficult to clean dishes there, so it is best to bring in microwave dinners, or to bring dishes home to clean. And you'll want to bring your own cups as well.
There are no company parties. Sometimes they have team outing were everyone gets $10 for drinks, but this usually gets cancelled when the market goes down. Sometimes you also get team meetings, but this usually get cancelled if the alert levels are high. Everyone takes breaks at different times (of course, it is a call center) so it is very easy to feel isolated and alone. Usually your best bet to make a friend is to make sure you sit next to them in the cubes, and then these people will talk over their cubes all day long. It is kind of annoying if you are not apart of that friend group.
Everything you do is closely monitored. There will be something wrong with every call you take. The idea is for you to take on extra responsibility (becoming an acting team manager) first, and then you get put in a large pool of people for promotions, and a few only actually get the promotion. So you'd be a manager for a while, without actually getting any promotion.
There are two personalities that do very well here. The personaility that can pretty much ignore all of the feedback. They tend to stay at the entry level job, and stay there for 10-15 years. The other group are the natural born salesmen. They tend to get promoted to different groups. They are very rare, I'd say 1 in 15. For the middle of the road people who want to do a good job, and want to work hardů you may get burnt out pretty fast.
You do get paid holidays, health care benefits, and a 401K match.
Also, their surveys are not private. If you join the company, and take a survey, just say how much you love everything about Schwab. Also, I would never voice any complaints. These will be used against you (even if they ask for them).
The best part of the job is you are always learning. You play the role of an FC, tax advisor, customer service representative, and banker. Sometimes you're explaining things to clients as you are just now learning about them yourself. It can get a bit tiring, but boy did I learn a lot.