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For people who like driving but don't necessarily want to be surrounded by passengers all day, an alternative might be working as a messenger, also known as a courier. Couriers drive around an area, usually a city or collection of towns, picking up and delivering packages. In cities, messengers are as likely to ride a bicycle as drive a car, and they have their own culture.
In most cases, messengers work part-time, allowing them to attend school, raise a family, or look for other work. As a result, there remains high turnover, which creates frequent job opportunities.
Some messengers use the position as a chance to learn about the business and rise through the ranks. While this is a possibility, it is not common. Additionally, with the advent of e-mail, video conferencing, overnight express services, and fax, this is not expected to be a career growth area.
Some companies specialize in delivering different kinds of material, which may require you to learn how to handle all kinds of packages. For example, if you deliver medical samples, you will have to learn to handle sensitive packages containing blood or even organs. Documents, on the other hand, need a different kind of handling.
Most often you will be ferrying envelopes of all sizes from one location to another. These can be sensitive legal documents, bank information, letters, printed samples, and other seemingly routine items. While they may appear routine to you, it's vital to remember these are important to both sender and receiver, so treating the material carefully and with respect is a must. There will be times when you will be asked to handle boxes or heavy packages. As a result, you not only need to be in good physical shape, you need to make sure you have the right tools to do your job. This might mean a hand truck or cart in the back of your vehicle. Like the vehicle itself, these will need to be maintained in good working order.
You will also be responsible for getting the company's documents signed, completing a record that a package was picked up at a certain time and delivered at a certain time. This way, should the recipient claim not to have the package, there is a written record to track the delivery. These records are also used for billing purposes, which will be handled by people at the office, not the driver.
Working as a messenger is important work that places a fair amount of responsibility on the driver, and can be a good way to get yourself noticed as you decide on a career.
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