Post office job
Jane Smith has just started full-time work behind the counter in a busy Post Office. Work experience at school led to a Saturday job, and now she wants to make a career in the Post Office. Jane divides her working day between counter duties and serving customers in the general shop.
What does your Post office job involve?
I serve customers both behind the counter and in the shop. When working behind the counter, I help customers who visit for many different reasons. People come in to collect their pensions and benefit payments and I will check the paperwork and provide them with their money. We also have a travel bureau and I help people to get the travel insurance they need for their holidays.
What about your shop duties?
In the shop, I serve customers buying stamps, cards, lottery tickets and other items such as stationery. I'm also responsible for making sure that shelves are stocked up and that the counter is tidy and presentable.
What equipment do you use for your job?
I use a cash till which is on the counter in the shop. I work with electronic scales to check the weight and postage cost of parcels. I also have to use a lot of different forms when dealing with bill payments, benefits and licence applications.
Who do you work with?
I work as part of a team of counter staff and it's a very supportive environment. There is always somebody to ask if I have a question!
What skills and qualities are needed for this job?
You need to be quite confident in order to sell products to customers. You also have to be friendly, polite and able to learn from the people you work with. As you're dealing with money and detailed forms, you need to be able to work quickly and accurately.
Jane's route to her Post office job
- Work experience.
- Saturday job at the Post Office.
- Part-time Post Office experience before moving to full-time counter work.
- It's important to be patient, as you are dealing with customers all the time.
- Have a flexible approach to your work – this job involves many different activities.
- Bank/building society customer adviser
- Customer services, assistant/manager
- Postman / Postwoman
- Sales assistant
Salary working for the Post Office
- Salaries usually begin at £9,900 (in the post shop) and £11,500 (at the counter).
- These increase to £14,000 a year with experience.
- At senior levels, it is possible to earn up to £15,000.
- Salaries vary according to the location and size of the Post Office.
Getting a job in the Post Office
- Whilst no formal qualifications are required, good communication and numerical skills are helpful, as well as the ability to work accurately. Previous experience of working in retail can also be useful.
- Post Office counter staff have a month's training when they first start, which includes information about the Post Office as well as practical skills. There may be additional training sessions provided externally.
- All new staff receives on-the-job training and support from managers.
- Trainees may be required to travel to a special training branch for training on particular areas of the job.
- It is possible to take NVQ/SVQ Levels 2 and 3 in Customer Service. These are available through a range of training providers.
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