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US Postal Service Career: The Importance of Emotional and Mental Health

The United States Postal Service is an independent federal agency that is tasked with ensuring that all mail and parcels are delivered to their intended recipients. Mail handlers, mail sorters, clerks, and letter carriers might seem to do very simple jobs. After all, how difficult could sorting and delivering mail be? But this is a very simplistic way of understanding the job of postal workers.

If you intend to take the postal battery exam so you can have your shot at a postal service career, know that emotional and mental health play a huge role in enabling you to do your job well. You’ve probably heard of the term “going postal” which has now come to describe workplace violence. It traces its roots to the widely-publicized shootings perpetrated by postal workers. Although the USPS Commission on a Safe and Secure Workplace has found that “postal workers are only a third as likely as those in the national workforce to be victims of homicide at work,” the importance of emotional and mental stability in a postal career cannot be overemphasized.

There are many reasons for this. First of all, a postal service job is repetitive. Once you have mastered your route or sort mail using the necessary equipment and technology then the job is pretty much routine after that. For those who like doing the same thing for eight hours six days a week then this is not a problem. But for people who seek adventure and the chance to try out new ideas and learn new skills then the constant repetition will certainly take a toll mentally and emotionally.

A US Mail career can also be taxing on your schedules. Deadlines have to be met and you may be asked to work overtime during peak seasons of mail, like the Holidays. Thus, you have to be able to hack the stress and pressure that comes with meeting these deadlines. You should also be able to take requests (and demands) for overtime work in stride. This means doing a balancing act between work, family, and leisure. Without psychological fitness, it would be difficult for you to accomplish this degree of flexibility and balance.

Finally, emotional and mental health is required if you are to interact well with your postal customers and fellow postal workers. Clerks who are on the frontline selling postage stamps and other services to customers have to leave the worries they have at home to be able to do their jobs efficiently. If you cannot segregate work and family life then you might not be able to perform your functions well.

Working for the USPS is fulfilling and financially rewarding. Just make sure that you are ready for the job not only physically but mentally and emotionally as well.