It sounds like a dated idea to start out in a mailroom and work your way up. However, it’s really not a bad place to start. It allows you to get a foot in the door before even completing a degree – and that’s definitely something. Sometimes, it can even help you pay for college.
Plus, it allows you to start networking early on.
Wondering what exactly a mailroom clerk actually does? Want to know how to use the job to your advantage? Keep reading.
What You’ll Do as a Mailroom Clerk
If it isn’t somewhat obvious, most mailroom clerks handle, organize, and distribute mail. Of course, that’s not all they do.
The primary function of a mailroom clerk is to accept mail and packages that are delivered to the company. (You’ll probably get to know all your delivery folks very quickly.) Then, you’ve got to process it, sort it, and deliver it to the proper recipient within the office. You’ve also got to ensure the mailroom stays well maintained and organized, which may mean keeping stock of various supplies.
Additionally, some mailroom clerks also deliver things like internal memos that aren’t sent electronically. And, as a clerk, there’s always a good possibility you’ll be tasked with random odd jobs. This depends on several factors though, not the least of which is how large the company is.
Using This as a Stepping Stone
Mailroom clerks may not be the most respected position in a company, but that doesn’t mean you can’t make friends.
Simply being employed by a company will give you opportunities to mix and mingle with other employees. Creative individuals are often able to use this to their advantage. Just be prepared to make the best first impressions you can as you meet various other employees. (And, of course, always be respectful.)
Find ways in which you relate to others in the office, look for common ground or shared interests. Then, show your enthusiasm and look for ways to help others. (Pro tip: You might want to hit the library and check out Dale Carnegie’s book “How to Win Friends and Influence People.”)
Learning how to network is important as it’s one of the most useful life skills you can have.
While you likely won’t need a college degree, you should have a high school diploma. As this can sometimes be a competitive position though, you’re likely going to need a winning personality, too.
The skills required are mostly clerical and organizational. As such, the more prepared you appear for your interview, the better. Technical knowledge can also be a huge help.
Additionally, you’ll need to be adept at multitasking, able to do light lifting, and have good communication skills.