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You’ve probably heard all the perks of working for the U.S. Postal Service: Great pay, generous retirement packages, health plans, life insurance, paid leaves, and best of all, the opportunity to hold your job for life. Since postal workers are union members, the union bargains their USPS contracts for them and one of the most significant provisions is the prohibition against laying off postal workers after they have worked with the USPS continuously for a certain number of years.
Despite these advantages, not everyone is cut out to be a postal service worker. In fact, the challenges and demands of the job have led many successful USPS applicants to quit in spite of the benefits offered. If you are seriously considering a postal service employment opportunity, you should do a self-evaluation first to determine if you are fit for postal work. Unless you can answer the following questions affirmatively, you should consider other fields that may be more suited for your talents and abilities:
Are you willing to do work outside no matter what the weather? If you are applying to become a letter carrier, you need to be aware that delivering mail is more than a job for any postal worker. It is a matter of pride as well. So unless the physical odds are insurmountable, then mail carriers are expected to do their job come hail, snow, storm, or heat of the sun.
Can you carry a 35-pound mailbag full of mail? Can you load and unload containers that can weigh up to 70 pounds? You can expect to carry these weights when performing your job. You can expect to stretch, lift, and stand on your feet for long periods of time. If you believe that you do not have the physical strength to do these duties then perhaps a less strenuous career is better for you.
Are you flexible when it comes to work schedules? During peak seasons, even regular postal workers can expect to be called to work. Although the USPS gives generous overtime pay, you need to ask yourself if you are comfortable with the fact that you can be called to render work beyond your regular work hours. If you’re not, perhaps work that has predictable hours is more suited for you.
Are you happy performing routine work? There’s a short learning curve when it comes to learning all you need to know about doing your job successfully as a postal worker. After a short time on the job, you realize that you can do your work even with your eyes closed, so to speak. However, if you are like other individuals who find fulfillment in doing work that is not predictable then a postal service job might not be your cup of tea.